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Architecture since 1400$
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Kathleen James-Chakraborty

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816673964

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816673964.001.0001

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Africa: Villages and Cities

Africa: Villages and Cities

(p.411) 26 Africa: Villages and Cities
Architecture since 1400

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter considers the architecture of Africa. African countries are rich in architectural traditions, ranging from the portable dwellings of nomadic peoples to village huts, from the shanties of the slums and the mansions at the centers of expansive walled compounds. Throughout pre-colonial sub-Saharan Africa, most people lived a settled, rural existence in circular compounds, which continue to be built today. These dwellings were mostly built out of locally available materials and carefully adapted to local climatic conditions. In South Africa, architecture has provided vibrant symbols for its new democracy. Vernacular architecture has proved able to accommodate social, religious, and technological change. It has also served as a template for those wishing to reweave a social fabric that was unraveled by the travails of colonialism.

Keywords:   African architecture, Africa, African villages, African cities, vernacular architecture

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