Baka Pygmy Architecture
One of the best examples of vernacular nomadic architecture is found among the Baka pygmies of Eastern Cameroon. Traditional Baka huts are called móngulu. They are typically shaped one-family houses made of branches and leaves and predominantly built by women.
|The Kotoko kingdom was a monarchy in what is today northern Cameroon and Nigeria and southwestern Chad. It was originally created around the 15th century from the merger of various smaller kingdoms, such as Kousseri, Logone-Birni, and Makari. It then grew by assimilating several neighboring peoples, reached its peak around the 16th and 17th centuries, and then … began to disappear as an independent entity, absorbed by more powerful neighboring kingdoms (first the Bagirmi, later on the Bornu.) By the 19th century, the Kotoko kingdom had been completely subsumed into the Bornu Empire. Eventually, the whole of the Bornu Empire would end up being divided by the European colonial powers.
In spite of the dramatic changes in their administrative structure – from being an independent kingdom to being part of the Bornu Empire, soon to be followed by being part of various European colonies (and eventually various countries) – the Kotoko people managed to survive to this day. Today, they live mostly in small settlements around the southern side of Lake Chad and along the banks of the lower Chari and Logone rivers. They distinguish themselves by, among other things, having kept alive one of the traditional trademark skills of the Sao civilization, namely pottery making. As a matter of fact, today, the Kotoko (as well as the neighboring Kanuri) consider the Sao to be their forefathers. Kotoko are also renowned adobe architects. Several walled cities with maze-type quarters can be found in Extreme North Cameroon.
The city of Logone-Birni was built by the Kotoko people of Cameroon.
|The buildings, made of clay, are examples of architecture by accretion.|
|New enclosures were built around older, often sharing walls with the older rooms.|
|At least in part, this reflected patriarchal aspects of the culture: a father wanted his sons to live nearby, so their houses were built sharing walls with their father's house.|
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