Nubian architecture

The typical Nubian house is very spacious, with several large rooms that are able to accommodate the extended family members and guests. In the center of each home is an open courtyard. The front of the house is colorfully painted with geometric patterns. Most of the paintings and decorations on the homes have religious connotations. The colorful designs are a distinctive and admired feature of Nubian culture. The Nubians had always depended on their own resources to build their houses. They had no contractors, engineers or architects to help them. If they managed, it was mainly because they had retained a technique for roofing in mud brick, using vaults and domes, which had been passed down to them from their forefathers

Historically Nubian artists and architects who lived in Sudan, were influenced by Christian images and symbols developed from Egypt and the Mediterranean world. The Nubians added details, design combinations and proportions of their own. This is seen on the excavated walls of the Cathedral at Faras, a monastery at Qasr el Wizz and a large town containing churches with frescos at Serra East. Architectural information was recoved along with objects of daily life, including superbly painted Nubian pottery 


The homes in Nubia which made up the nugu (village) extended 320 Km along the Nile at irregular intervals in a staggered line more or less parallel to the river. Throughout Nubia, the principal entrance to the houses faced the river, whether they were on the east or .west banks of the Nile". The threshold was highly decorated. It symbolized the heritage of the household and was the chief feature..
The main entrance led into an open courtyard or haush, with rooms adjoining the the exterior walls on one or more of its sides.
Some living rooms had a high wall-to-wall opening above the door or would be completely open on to the courtyard. In front of these rooms there was a flat roofed space known as the khayma (literally "tent"), covered with palm stems and branches. it was a covered sitting area along the open courtyard"..
"The guest room or mandara usually had separate entrances, allowing the guest freedom of movement, while sustaining the privacy of the inner family quarters. The mandara was considered an important part of the house, as was hospitality, which continues to be an important obligation to Nubians.
In the South were the Nile was wider and alluvional mud was plentiful, a method know as the galos or tuf technique of construction prevailed. The walls were made of mud, mud brick (adobe) or stone, and were a dira'a (half an arm's length) thick.
They constructed their roofs by using split palm trunks and acacia wood beams.
The women and the children of the household plastered and decorated the interior and the exterior of their homes with bright, bold and colorful designs representing man-made objects such as cars, airplanes, trains, and ships, or sometimes depicted the owner's pilgrimage to the holy city of Makka.


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