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|Title:||Afro-Brazilian Architecture in Southwest Colonial Nigeria (1890s-1940s)|
|Advisors:||da Costa Meyer, Esther|
|Contributors:||Art and Archaeology Department|
|Keywords:||African Diaspora Studies|
Latin American Studies
|Publisher:||Princeton, NJ : Princeton University|
|Abstract:||This dissertation studies the funerary, residential and religious architecture of Afro-Brazilian migrants who left Brazil and resettled within kingdoms in the Lagos Colony and what later became the Southern Nigeria Protectorate of the British Empire. Over a period of seven decades, thousands of Afro-Brazilians landed on the shores of the Bight of Benin and in Lagos, they deployed an idiosyncratic neo-baroque architecture, which was inspired by the churches and houses that they worked on, repaired or saw in city centers in Brazil. Not limiting their settlements to the West African coast, they also migrated further inland and built structures for monarchs, merchants, contractors, chieftains, and soldiers who were inspired by the foreigners’ architecture in Lagos. These buildings constituted the second wave of an architectural revolution. This inquiry asks how the influx of these Brazilians affected the architectural and fashion tastes of Nigerian communities, as well as their social customs. The thesis argues that the Afro-Brazilians worked with other African settlers and indigenous elites in Colonial Nigeria to create a unique built environment. The research critically engages with historical-critical methods of art and architectural history and consequently gives accounts of people who used architecture -- in tandem with other expressions of culture -- to transform societies in ways that would have eluded the traditional historiographical approaches. To wit, the architecture of the Afro-Brazilians symbolized their desires to be at home in certain Southwest Nigerian societies, and create spaces where they could refashion their identities. Thus, the dissertation examines unconventional sources in order to produce an overall picture of the cultural lives of inhabitants who had limited freedom within their polities. Overall, the dissertation argues that these Afro-Brazilians and others from the African diaspora, who were physically and psychologically displaced, used architecture to define both their shifting identities and what constituted “home.” Their material and spatial responses proved that they were dialecticians who wrestled with these issues and gave answers – provisional, experimental, and long lasting – that allowed them to feel grounded.|
|Alternate format:||The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: catalog.princeton.edu|
|Type of Material:||Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)|
|Appears in Collections:||Art and Archaeology|
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