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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Constructing Identity: 16th and 17th Century Architecture in the Gambia-Geba Region and the Articulation of Luso-African Ethnicity
Author:Mark, Peter
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic terms:West Africa
international trade
architectural history
History and Exploration
Architecture and the Arts
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3171919
Abstract:The establishment of communities of Luso-African traders in the 16th and 17th century makes the Gambia-Casamance-Bissau area important to the study of early sustained interaction between Europeans and West Africans. One result of the establishment of Portuguese and Luso-African trading communities on the northern Upper Guinea coast (present-day Gambia, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau) was the development of a distinctive style of architecture, suited to the climate and making use of locally available building materials. This article examines the 'Portuguese' building style of the local Luso-African communities in connection with the articulation of Luso-African ethnicity, and addresses several related questions, such as: What were the respective roles of Africans, Europeans, and Luso-Africans in the development of a distinctive architectural style? Is it possible to discern the influence of evolving Luso-African construction on local African architecture? And of local building styles on Afro-European construction? In other words, to what extent does architecture reflect mutual, two-way interaction between European and African society? Notes, ref.