How to Make a Traditional Mud Hut

Written by jody wilber
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How to Make a Traditional Mud Hut
Mud is the future of home building. (adobe house ruins image by Aaron Kohr from

Using the earth in order to make a home is a practice that is thousands of years old. Mud huts are traditional African Structures that provide housing and protection. They are insect-proof, rodent-proof, and energy efficient. According to Canadian Anthropologist Trevor Marchand, more than one-half of the world's population lives in this type of structure. The benefits of this type of housing make mud huts appealing as they continue to rise in popularity.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Straight tree limbs
  • Clay-filled soil
  • Water
  • Dead grass
  • Rocks
  • Saplings or large leaves

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  1. 1

    Build a wall line by pounding a number of straight tree limbs into the ground. The limbs should be at least 1 foot long. Use one tree limb every 8-10 inches until the line complete.

  2. 2

    Blend together two parts of clay, two parts of water, and one part dry grass in a large pit. This mixture will be used to make the mud mortar for the bricks of the hut.

  3. 3

    Gather some rocks. The mud will cling to and dry on the rocks producing a hard surface for the outer wall.

  4. 4

    Layer the rocks and mortar around the tree poles. This will keep the walls of the hut straight and will help to keep the wall from collapsing.

  5. 5

    Repeat this process while building the other walls of the mud hut. Allow the walls to dry in the sun.

  6. 6

    Place additional tree limbs over the wall of the hut to make a roof. On top of these limbs layer the saplings.

  7. 7

    Seal any cracks that might exist on the inside of the wall with the mud mixture. This step will also add texture to the walls and strengthen any weak areas.

Tips and warnings

  • When building the outside walls make the base of the wall wider then the top of the wall to better stabilise the hut.

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