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ARCHITECTURE AND EVERYDAY LIFE IN CHAD AFRICA


The rate of urbanization in Chad is low, with most of the people still living as cultivators and pastoralists in dispersed hamlets, cattle camps, villages, and oases. Old capitals of the sultanates and kingdoms (for example, Njimi, capital of the Kanem kingdom, Wara of the Ouaddaïsultanate, and Niere of the Tama sultanate) have dwindled in size and few historical structures remain except for some palaces and mosques. There is a significant variety of building styles, use of space, mobility patterns, and material culture across the ethnic groups and climatic conditions. In the countryside, the traditional house- and hut-building styles are maintained, although the construction of corrugated iron and concrete buildings has rapidly expanded. In the sparsely populated north, with its vast expenses of desert plains, distances are great between pasture areas and human settlements. Several nomadic groups live in tents and shelter structures. The sedentary cultivators in the south live in villages and have a much higher population density. Abéchéis perhaps the most characteristic town of Chad, with its clay buildings, monuments, and small winding streets.
The capital N'Djamena is a new town, founded by the French in 1900 as Fort-Lamy. It suffered huge damage in the 1980–1982 war instigated by Hissen Habré. Because of continuous immigration and the influx of refugees from the civil war period, the city has grown rapidly without a proper expansion of services and infrastructure.

There is no government support for the arts, except if one considers the maintenance of the small Musée National as such. Some individual artists have galleries in N'Djamena.
A traditional mud hut stands in the village of Massaguet, but modern, iron-and-concrete buildings are being built more frequently throughout Chad.
A traditional mud hut stands in the village of Massaguet, but modern, iron-and-concrete buildings are being built more frequently throughout Chad.
Literature.
The various ethnic cultures have their own traditions of oral literature, including narratives, epics, and ritual drama. Literary creativity of Chadians is notable in the diaspora community in France, but less so in Chad itself, where market demand and the conditions for a literary culture are very limited. Languages of literary expression (in poetry, novels, memoirs, and theater) are French and, to a lesser extent, Arabic.
Various ethnic groups in the country have their distinct artistic traditions related to the decoration of houses, clothing, leather work, and artifacts. Modern graphic artists are few and are located in the capital of N'Djamena.
Performance arts in theaters are virtually nonexistent; traditional religious and other rituals, however, are alive and well in both the south and the north, as part of the everyday cultural life of the Chadians.

Comments

  1. This is at the same time great info and a the same time saddening. Yes their traditional buildings are still standing, but the onus is more of taking their great talent overseas than developing it in the country itself. One might name lack of conducive environment for this, but I think starting something there, no matter how small, is the first step in the right direction.

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