- Posted September 17, 2012 by
Silver Spring, Maryland
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your favorite building
The Beauty of Mud
Firstly, the building was constructed entirely by hand using mud bricks joined together with mud-based mortar. There were no timber supports or nails used in the construction of the building and the only wood that you see, aside from the door, are bundles of rodier palm rods that are inserted into the walls for decoration as well as to serve as scaffolding supports for the annual repair that needs to be done. It is like a giant sandcastle, only much sturdier!
Secondly, despite its size, the building is fragile. Mali’s rainy season lasts for several months and the torrential rains remove a substantial layer of mud from the walls. The mosque is repaired every year after the heavy rains subside; it is entirely re-plastered by hand. The process begins by hauling mud from the banks of the nearby Bani River and curing it for several days.
Even with every available pair of hands helping out, it takes the community of Djenné nearly a month to restore the damage caused by the rains as well as cracks caused by changes in temperature and humidity. It is truly a labor of love and devotion for the people of Djenné to maintain this building year after year.