Spaces That Teach

Attachment to the African Compound
  • Deborah Pellow
Part of the Human Behavior and Environment book series (HUBE, volume 12)


When I arrived at Somo’s, she was cooking palm nut soup alongside the wall of the showerroom, in the shaded area at the rear of the compound. Her sister’s daughter came out to help her, by preparing cassava and plantain to be cooked. After bathing, her sister Faustina also came outside to cook, situating herself near the kitchen shelter. While Somo cooked, her eldest son bathed her youngest daughter. Another member of the patrilineage and resident of the compound sat in the yard. But there was no cross-conversation; each was attending to his or her task. There were no apparent physical divisions bounding each activity area, yet territories were recognized and respected. I wondered how each knew where her cooking spot was, how she maintained her distance, or sensed when it was appropriate to chat up one of the others.1


Living Space Place Attachment External Space Family House Domestic Space 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Pellow
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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