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Scientific article
English

Vernacular architecture in eastern Senegal: Chaînes opératoires and technical choices

Published inJournal of Material Culture, vol. 25, no. 3, p. 348-378
Publication date2020
Abstract

Architecture is an important component of cultural identity, although it has rarely been studied in Sub-Saharan Africa. The gradual disappearance of knowledge regarding construction techniques using local materials makes this study urgent. Our ethno-archaeological study of current vernacular architecture and its evolution during the past 3 centuries in eastern Senegal aims at building a documentation to be used for archaeologists lacking references to interpret past architectural remains. The main aim of this paper is to account for the variability of techniques used for constructing walls and roofs of dwellings in the Faleme valley, while considering the environmental, cultural, and socio-economic factors at play, including various ethno-linguistic groups. Our methodology is based on a description of the chaînes opératoires of construction, interviews, mapping and statistical analysis. The patterns observed allow discussing the evolution of techniques, environmental adaptations, the transfer of knowledge and the role of history in material culture dynamics.

Keywords
  • Culture
  • Environment
  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • Senegal
  • Technical choices
  • Vernacular architecture
Citation (ISO format)
PELMOINE, Thomas, MAYOR, Anne. Vernacular architecture in eastern Senegal: Chaînes opératoires and technical choices. In: Journal of Material Culture, 2020, vol. 25, n° 3, p. 348–378. doi: 10.1177/1359183520907929
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ISSN of the journal1359-1835
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