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African architecture 1

FA 210 Art of the World
Vernacular architecture of Africa

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African architecture 1

  1. 1. Vernacular  African  Architecture   •  Wide  range  of  ecosystems  and  climates,  from   tropical  rain  forest  to  savannah,  from  coast  to   desert.   •  Type  of  architecture  and  materials  used  respond   to  what  is  available  and  to  the  needs  of  the   environment.   •  Although  contemporary  vernacular  structures   con=nue  to  be  built  and  inhabited,  Africa  is   rapidly  modernizing.  
  2. 2. Nigeria   Lagos:  largest   city  in  Nigeria  
  3. 3. •  Mali   •  Rwanda   •  Congo   •  South  Africa  
  4. 4. Mali   •  Dogon  architecture   •  Timbuktu   •  Mosque  of  Djenne   Mud  Bricks  
  5. 5. Dogon  region:  Bandiagara  
  6. 6. Dogon  town   Tellem  (Pygmy)   town  
  7. 7. Toguna:  community  men’s  house:   village  council  
  8. 8. Timbuktu  
  9. 9. Great  Mosque  of  Djenne  
  10. 10. •  Made  of  “banco”  or   adobe  (mud  brick);   largest  mud  brick   building  in  the   world.  
  11. 11. Interior  views  
  12. 12. Rwanda:  King’s   house  
  13. 13. “Living  fence”  typical  of  Rwanda    
  14. 14. Tradi=onal  mee=ng  house  
  15. 15. Congolese  vernacular  architecture:  
  16. 16. South  Africa:   Ndebele   people  
  17. 17. Very  brief  history   •  Ndebele  people  split  from  Zulu  in  1600s.   Different  fac=ons  went  north  (now  Zimbabwe)   and  south  (South  Africa);  laZer  retained   language  and  culture   •  Boers  (white  farmers)  encroached  on  their   land  and  demanded  all  their  goods;  Ndebele   lost  war  in  1883.     •  Ndebele  people  were  essen=ally  enslaved  on   their  own  land,  taken  over  by  Boers.  
  18. 18. •  As  white-­‐controlled  South  Africa  restricted   Africans  to  “homelands”  (counterpart  to   “reserva=ons”  in  the  US),  some  Ndebele   ended  up  together  on  ancestral  land.   •  During  their  occupa=on,  Ndebele  began   pain=ng  dis=nc=ve  abstract  paZerns  on  their   houses.    
  19. 19. •  Ini=ally  painted  mud  with  fingers.     •  Later  earth-­‐toned  colors:  limestone  whitewas   covered  with  natural  ochres  and  black,   applied  with     s=cks  with     Feathers     aZached.  
  20. 20. •  House  pain=ng  an  act  of  resistance,  a  form  of   secret  communica=on  among  the  Ndebele.   •  Tradi=on  con=nues  to  the  present,  and   cons=tutes  some  of  the  best  known   vernacular  architecture  in  Africa.  

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