The house can be considered as a metaphor of life. It is a place where human life begins and ends. It is also the proper place for preparing food and a place to eat a meal. This paper, based on ethnological data from the North of Togo, presents African house as a sacred space, separated from the outside world by the compound wall and is sanctified through the regular offering of sacrifices being done inside. The comparative description of the house building in the different ethnic groups shows multiple similarities. The only difference concerns the presence or absence of vestibule and the position of granary inside or outside courtyard. The African household forms members of family living in the compound. It is a group of kin bound through the common goal, the surviving. The group of kinship includes also the defunct who support and protect living members of family. The sacrifices offered in the honor of ancestors ensure material prosperity and procreation capacity of women. The house is also a place of ritual enacting, especially in case of rites of passage and rites of crisis. The African house is a proper place for maintaining the life - physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.