Architecture and Nationalism in Sri Lanka: The Trouser Under by Anoma Pieris

By Anoma Pieris

The function of the house, the family sphere and the intimate, ethno-cultural identities which are cultivated inside of it, are severe to figuring out the polemical structures of nation and town; culture and modernity; and regionalism and cosmopolitanism. the house is prime to principles of the place of birth that supply nationalism its inventive shape and its political trajectory.

This booklet explores positions which are important to rules of nationwide belonging throughout the heritage of colonial, bourgeois self-fashioning and submit colonial id development in Sri Lanka. the rustic is still primary to similar architectural discourses because of its emergence as a serious web site for nearby structure, post-independence. Suggesting styles of indigenous lodging and resistance which are expressed via outfitted shape, the publication argues that the country grows as an extension of an indigenous inner most sphere, ostensibly uncontaminated through colonial impacts, domesticating associations and appropriating rural geographies within the pursuit of its hegemonic ideals.

This bold, accomplished, wide-ranging ebook provides an abundance of recent and unique fabric and lots of creative insights into the background of structure and nationalism from the mid 19th century to the current day.

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Additional info for Architecture and Nationalism in Sri Lanka: The Trouser Under the Cloth (Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series)

Sample text

The difference between the new colonial environs constituted through roads and grids versus the centrifugal symbolic domains of indigenous capitals and territories of ancient Lanka can only be conjectured, because scant evidence of these precolonial capitals survived up to the nineteenth century. Kandy (1658–1815), the only capital left intact in Ceylon, following 310 years of colonial rule, fell to the British in 1815, by which time elsewhere on the island, urbanity was associated 28 Country and city with colonial environments.

The relationship between ascension and centrality, the axis mundi and central courtyard space, identified by Bonnie McDougall as a feature inimical to colonial urban form is visible in all these examples (2008: 92–3). The city embodied Hindu or Buddhist geomantic principles which were further incorporated at the scale of its domestic architecture. The location of a house centrally in a village signified leadership; the center of a village or town was associated with a higher stratum in the ritual order; and a palace was typically centralized in a town plan.

This community became integrated with the rest of the population in the island following colonization and the importation of craftsmen from India no longer infused Tamil and Sinhalese traditions. Yet it is evident that the local habitus, which determined the placement, orientation, proportions and astrological charts for house-building, was still dominated by the Indian treatises on vastu sastra, interpreted by village astrologers. Astrologers, lay priests and bamunas (mendicant Brahmin priests) who officiated over village rituals had knowledge of Hinduism, which continued as a subculture to Buddhist practice.

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