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Old October 2nd, 2016, 12:01 AM   #1
djbowen
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Traditional architecture of the Caribbean region

I see that we have threads for a lot of the Caribbean regions by colonial power, but we don't really seem to have anything that covers the entire region and the diversity of cultural and ethnic influences (indigenous, African, European, and Asian) that have shaped it architecturally. In that light, I'm starting a thread for it.

Let's start with four very different places.

1. The Maroons of Suriname. This is a group of West African origin that are descended from runaway slaves and to a great extent maintain their West African culture and architectural styles with some Amerindian, Dutch, and Asian influence. The images below show traditional Maroon houses and townscapes from Wikipedia:






Some Maroon houses today from all over the internet. Maroons are famous in the Guianas/eastern Caribbean for their intricate woodwork and extremely precise craftsmanship; their homes look like parquet boxes!





2. The churches of Father Jerome, in the Bahamas. Father Jerome (born John Hawes) was an Anglican-turned-Catholic convert who was a priest and church-founder in Australia. Upon his retirement in 1939, he settled in the Bahamas where he designed a number of Greek-influenced Catholic churches, especially in Cat Island. His showpiece work, the Hermitage, is situated on the highest point in the Bahamas.





A Father Jerome parish church appears below:



All photos were taken by KL & Karin Hughes of the Florida Keys (not mine, sorry!)

3. Cacao is a village in French Guiana, near Suriname, with an unusual history. After the end of French colonialism in Laos, the French government invited dozens of Hmong to settle in French Guiana; the villages of Cacao and Javouhey have a Hmong majority, and their architecture mixes Laotian, French, and Caribbean elements:






This house right outside Cacao is typical French Guiana architecture; half-timbering is very common here.



4. Colonia Tovar in Venezuela. This is a town in the coastal mountain ranges of Venezuela, near the Caribbean Sea but enjoying a cold climate as it is in the mountains. It was founded in the 19th c. by immigrants from Germany and uses a primarily Germanic style of architecture, similar to those in German-speaking villages in southern Brazil.





The town has grown fast since the 1980s and much of the newer architecture is of inferior quality.
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Old October 3rd, 2016, 12:48 AM   #2
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One of the more interesting traditional buildings in the Cayman Islands is the conch shell house, built out of -- you guessed it -- conch shells. The asymmetrical, vaguely English house contrasts sharply with traditional Cayman architecture.



Traditional Caymanian houses for reference (from Wikipedia) are generally symmetrical wood or masonry, often with front porches (although conch shells, as you can see, are abundant):


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Old October 4th, 2016, 03:37 AM   #3
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Next up: two opposite sides of Cuba.

Place #1 is the colony of Bayate, in Guantanamo. This small town was settled in the late 19th c by Swedish-American farmers and its house styles incorporate elements of American Midwestern architecture (images source: the late, great Jaime Sarusky - the leading expert on Scandinavian settlers in Cuba)


- But for the gingerbread trim along the verandah, this could 100% be a Minnesota farmhouse

Sarusky's bio can be found in translation here (warning: Cuban propaganda source) https://translate.google.com/transla...ky&prev=search

#2: On the complete other side of the scale can be found the traditional (and Art Deco) mid- and high-rise towers of Central Havana. Havana's Chinatown for instance is home to some of the most attractive tall, traditionally-detailed buildings I've ever seen, including the +/- 13-story Spanish-Gothic wedding cake on the right of this Panoramio image:


Here are some more (c) of Habana Deco:







For comparison/contrast, some pure modernist skyscrapers:

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Old October 5th, 2016, 03:25 AM   #4
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Are you ready to go Victorian?



Because tonight's destination is the magnificent Victorian architecture of Port of Spain, Trinidad!

The finest stretch of Victorian architecture in PoS is the "Magnificent Seven", seen below:









Source: http://therebelchick.com/breathtakin...pain-trinidad/

Here's a painting I found with them numbered:



Sadly, they aren't all in good shape but you can see the mixture of Queen Anne, Moorish, Medieval Revival, and French Second Empire influences. Some common Victorian homes from a blog (urbaninfrastructure-pos-chag.blogspot.com) appear below:



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Old October 6th, 2016, 04:14 AM   #5
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Haiti, and in particular the capital of Port-au-Prince, is known for its brightly colored wood and masonry houses. These houses play a major role in Haitian art:


Source: http://www.tropicaccents.com/Tropic_Accents_Home.html




In spite of the country's tortured history, many of these homes survive today and reflect American, French, Native American, and Afro-Caribbean influences:



source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB100014...61440650733446






source: http://www.lincs-asso.com/haiti/l-ar...a%C3%AFtienne/

Here's a .pdf about traditional Haitian architecture and urban planning.

http://www.greenhomebuilding.com/pdf...n%20Wisdom.pdf

It was intended for relief efforts after the 2010 earthquake, but it's appropriate now as Haiti was just hit by a hurricane (like Russia, its history can be summed up as "And then things got worse").

Last edited by djbowen; October 6th, 2016 at 04:25 AM.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 03:50 AM   #6
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MANDIRS (Hindu Temples) of the Caribbean

Guyana

(http://www.themacsavage.com)



(Flickr)

These pagoda/gazebo-like temples seem to mainly be Guyanese. You'll also see some with North Indian elements too (Flickr)

Compare with North Indian temple


Suriname

[IMG]http://media.***********.com/photos/suriname-paramaribo-hindu-temple-picture-id83149885?s=170667a[/IMG]

(various)

Symmetrical temples that are classic Western European churches in Hindu garb.

Trinidad
[IMG]http://l7.**********/zooms/2dd3b5e9d3bf474eb1bfad8e8b4aa30d/there-is-a-large-east-indian-population-religions-hinduism-islam-large-cf96wc.jpg[/IMG]

Strong North Indian influence.

Panama

Very faithful North Indian temple.

Guadeloupe and Martinique

Tamil-style. This is called a Kovil in Tamil Nadu. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koil

http://matmanu972.canalblog.com/arch.../14526289.html
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Old October 10th, 2016, 05:26 PM   #7
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you can clearly see the european, north and south american, african influence!

beautiful
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