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Portuguese Style and Luso-African Identity: Precolonial Senegambia, Sixteenth - Nineteenth Centuries
     

Portuguese Style and Luso-African Identity: Precolonial Senegambia, Sixteenth - Nineteenth Centuries

by Peter A. Mark
 

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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

Overview

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.

Indiana University Press

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"... [an] innovative work....[Mrak's] contribution contribution to architectural history and African studies...lies in his argument that identity is not a stable identifier based on fixed boundaries, but constitutes a continuously dynamic process." —International Journal of African Historical Studies

Indiana University Press

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253341556
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2002
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Mark is Professor of Art History at Wesleyan University. He is author of The Wild Bull and the Sacred Forest and A Cultural, Economic, and Religious History of the Basse Casamance since 1500.

Indiana University Press

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