The Kassena people of Burkina Faso (a small African nation near the border of Ghana) don’t have many resources or economic wealth but that hasn’t stopped them developing a rich culture and architectual heritage, employing traditional practices to create beautiful dwellings. Occupying a small community of just over a hectare in area, their houses are made from a sun-dried mix of clay, soil, straw and cow droppings moistened to create a perfect mortar, mixed by foot to create strong pottery-like structures.

The most eye-catching feature however is the intricate, hand-painted ornamation that covers the structures, painted with colored mud and chalk to tell detailed stories of the ancient tribe’s culture. By adapting to their surroundings, the tribe has developed a form of highly practical, ornate and homely architecture, from which a lot could be learned by the Western world. (via designboom)