The rondavel is usually round or oval in shape and is traditionally made with materials that can be locally found in raw form. Its walls are often constructed from stones. The mortar may consist of sand, soil, or combinations of these, mixed with cow dung or cement. The floor of a "traditional" rondavel is finished with a dung mixture to make it hard and smooth. The main roofing elements of a rondavel are spars or poles taken from tree limbs, which have been harvested and cut to length. The roof covering is of thatch that is sewn to the poles with grass rope. The process of completing the thatch can take as little as one weekend or up to a year if made by a skilled artisan, as it must be sewn in one section at a time, starting from the bottom working towards the top. As each section is sewn, it may be weathered and aged to form a complete weatherproof seal.