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"Portuguese" Style and Luso-African Identity


Published: 1st November 2002
Format: PDF
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In this detailed history of domestic architecture in West Africa, Peter Mark shows how building styles are closely associated with social status and ethnic identity. Mark documents the ways in which local architecture was transformed by long-distance trade and complex social and cultural interactions between local Africans, African traders from the interior, and the Portuguese explorers and traders who settled in the Senegambia region. What came to be known as "Portuguese" style symbolized the wealth and power of Luso-Africans, who identified themselves as "Portuguese" so they could be distinguished from their African neighbors. They were traders, spoke Creole, and practiced Christianity. But what did this mean? Drawing from travelers' accounts, maps, engravings, paintings, and photographs, Mark argues that both the style of "Portuguese" houses and the identity of those who lived in them were extremely fluid. "Portuguese" Style and Luso-African Identity sheds light on the dynamic relationship between identity formation, social change, and material culture in West Africa.

The evolution of "Portuguese" identity: Luso-Africans on the upper Guinea coast from the sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century -- Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century architecture in the Gambia-Geba region and the articulation of Luso-African ethnicity -- Reconstructing West African architectural history: images of seventeenth-century "Portuguese"-style houses in Brazil -- "The people there are beginning to take on English manners": mixed manners in seventeenth- and early-eighteenth-century Gambia -- Senegambia from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century -- Casamance architecture from 1850 to the establishment of colonial administration.

ISBN: 9780253109552
ISBN-10: 0253109558
Audience: General
Format: PDF
Language: English
Published: 1st November 2002
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Country of Publication: US