It was Friday evening and the dolls were full of zest. They were itching for an adventure.
Jabali and Fadhili were building huts out of cushions, which looked great, until the dolls tried to get into them. The huts fell on top of the dolls and the dolls rolled with laughter and started again.
Doll Lady smiled at them and said, “You remind me of a saying my great grandmother told me when I was a little girl: “To work in a happy mood is to make the task easier and to relive the heart from fatigue.”
But we’re not working,” Pendo piped in. “We’re playing!”
“Yes, said Doll Lady. And that’s how it was when Doll Village was built, a long long time ago.
The dolls were fascinated. They stopped playing and sat on the yarn rug to listen to Doll Lady’s story.
“Did you know,” she said, “that Doll Village was built by both men and women? Even the children helped with gathering of the materials. The men built the wall and roof outlines. The women thatched the roofs and plastered the walls with clay. Everyone helped without thinking about who was going to live in each house. It was everyone’s responsibility to build the houses.
“And as they built, they sang songs.”
“Why did they sing?” Amani asked.
“It made the work easier. Even though it was hard work, it made them feel like they were playing. Singing made everyone want to work harder.”
“I have an idea, Jameela said jumping up suddenly. She pointed at the left over yarn in Doll Lady’s round basket. “Let’s make our own yarn village and fill it with huts.”
“That’s a great idea! Pendo squealed grabbing some of the yarn. “They can be different colours and shapes and sizes just like the different types of huts around Africa.”
Each of the dolls grabbed some of the yarn and with Doll Lady’s help, they began to make the yarn village together. Each doll had a different type of hut to make. As they began to make the yarn huts, Amani started a song and all the dolls joined in happily.
Finally the dolls had their Friday adventure.
Did you know…
Many African traditional huts were built with just a main door and no windows. Since the huts didn’t have a ceiling and the cone shaped roof was made of dry grass, there was plenty of air circulation and no need for windows. The cow or sheep dung used for the walls kept the cold out but also preserved the wood and prevented it from being eaten by insects.
Your Hut Adventure…
There are so many different and beautiful styles of huts around Africa. Some are decorated with beautiful art. Look at pictures of some of the different ones such as those in Burkina Faso in West Africa and the Ndebele huts in South Africa. Don’t they just make you want to visit and experience being in one? Maybe you could create your own hut using items found in your home and paint some inspiring patterns on the walls.