Localizing Fulbe Architecture

in Islamic Africa
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Fulbe architecture of the Adamawa Region, Cameroon, and the Fouta Djallon region, Guinea, bear many formal similarities. Fulbe in Cameroon often point to architectural form as a marker of ethnic identity. Scholars have also perceived ethnicity, as well as Islam, as central to analyzing Fulbe architecture, drawing upon a now-outdated understanding of pulaaku, or Fulbeness. Instead, the Fulbe should more appropriately be perceived, especially in the realm of permanent architecture, as extraordinarily adaptive. The focus on ethnicity and Islamic faith has in fact blinded scholars to the much stronger connections that can be drawn with local architectural traditions, irrespective of religion or ethnicity.


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