Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Architectural Details of Banjul

I just got back from my fantastic winter break in The Gambia, West Africa. Of course I visited a lot of cities and districts, my favorite part of the country will always be Banjul. Banjul is the capital city of the Gambia, having a population of more than 30,000 and covering an area of 36 square miles.

During the New Year Festivities, I got the opportunity to watch a masquerade competition. This is a yearly event, with people coming from all over to watch the dancing and partake in the experience. It was a fantastic excuse to go to Banjul and soak in the culture as well as the architecture. So my pictures of the buildings will be interspersed with my images of the festivities. Make sure you read to the end, because I'm including a video!

many of these buildings are so old that all the paint gets washed away in the rainy season, and if left unpainted for long enough, get a unique brownish color and texture.

Natural, built in ventilation is very popular since airconditioning can be expensive. It is mainly in Banjul and other urban areas that you will see multi-story buildings.
A corner store, alot like a 7-Eleven where you can buy everyday things and some of them serve food, like sandwiches and meat pies.

Garages are not usually built into the buildings, and people normally park on the street. It is interesting to note that they have actual blacksmiths make the gates and doors so you get to see a lot of craftsmanship that you wouldn't really get to see anywhere else.
A hunting with an unusual design. i don't know why I found this one particularly scary,
it probably had to do with the unusually small face.

The July 22nd Arch located at the entrance of the city.

I can't actually tell if this is grafitti or a store sign.

A traditional krinting house. These houses can be found throughout the Gambia
and are traditionally made with local sustainable materials such as palm trees and mudbrick.

An example of a masquerade which are locally known as "huntings" or "kumpos"

You can see the minarets of a mosque peeking out from behind this house.

It is pretty common to have window guards in Gambia.

A really unique hunting with a real moose on top for the head of the costume.

Here is the video I made of the huntings performing that day.

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