By Mark Delancey
In Conquest and Construction Mark Dike DeLancey investigates the palace structure of northern Cameroon, a area that used to be conquered within the early 19th century through basically semi-nomadic, pastoralist, Muslim, Ful e forces and included because the biggest emirate of the Sokoto Caliphate. Palace structure is taken into account initially as political in nature, and for this reason as responding not just to the desires and expectancies of the conquerors, but in addition to these of the mostly sedentary, agricultural, non-Muslim conquered peoples who constituted the bulk inhabitants. within the strategy of reconciling the cultures of those a number of elements, new architectural types and native identities have been constructed."
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Extra info for Conquest and Construction: Palace Architecture in Northern Cameroon
15), so too smooth, long grasses and caps become a signifier of one’s origin in the Ngaoundéré region and of one’s belonging to that community. Contemporary associations specifically with Fulɓe identity shift the meaning of this element once again, most likely as a result of ethnic politics in modern Cameroon in which it is politically and economically advantageous to be Fulɓe. Figure 15 Detail, roof of the palace entrance. ” It also is used to refer to the place where the herd stays, and by extension the family residence.
70; Taylor, Fulani–English Dictionary, 28. C. Moughtin, Hausa Architecture (London: Ethnographica, 1985), 57–68. 39 Prussin, “Sudanese Architecture and the Manding,” 15. Much as the compound is frequently associated with the family unit, so too is the individual structure often identified with its occupant. For a fascinating look at architectural anthropomorphism in West Africa, please see Suzanne P. Blier, “Houses are Human: Architectural Self-Images of Africa’s Tamberma,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 42, no.
Although the relationship between cattle herd and homestead may seem at first to be evidence of the lack of distinction between the natural world and the human environment, a closer look reveals a far different situation. It must be emphasized that the relationship between cattle and humanity in Fulɓe culture is a strong one. Fulɓe culture revolves in critical ways around pastoralism. Indeed, the world itself is said in some myths to have been created from a drop of milk. ”11 Yet, cattle here are not seen to be part of the natural environment per se, as they are after all domesticated creatures, but rather to be part of a civilized world.
Conquest and Construction: Palace Architecture in Northern Cameroon by Mark Delancey