This paper discusses several aspects of vernacular settlements in Kerala and Minangkabau. The framework for the study is architecture as part of holistic system of landscape. The inquiry is directed to explore simultaneous
correlation between social organization, settlement configuration and the architecture of ancestral house in both regions of Kerala and Minangkabau. The comparative study is directed to elaborate the aspects of agreement
and difference by which contextual conditions underlining the design could be identified. In general both vernacular settlement organization in Kerala and Minangkabau acknowledge the concept of network
of villages, called Nagari in Minangkabau and Tara in Kerala. The activities of settlement are generated by the corporate house-hold unit managed under matrilineal descent-group, or Saparauik in Minangkabau and Taravad in
Kerala, which is institutionalized architecturally in ancestral maternal house, or Rumah Gadang in Minangkabau and courtyard house in Kerala (naluketttu, ettukettu or Patinjarukettu). Several maternal-ancestral houses were
traditionally organized in communal assembly of male-head care-takers in settlement level which is called kuttam in Kerala and Ninik- mamak in Minangkabau. Originally the organization was clan-based but following the length of a historical process, it underwent contextual transformations, and therefore made distinctions.
The topic is expected to raise a discourse about a subtle transitional difference between Indian and
Indonesian culture. The discourse would provide base for a critical review on geopolitical-based scholarly
classification in the traditional and vernacular architecture studies in general, such as Southeast Asian
architecture and Indian architecture, and on discourse of cultural diffusion such as “Indianized Southeast Asia”.
This topic of this paper would emphasize the importance of settlements formation as factors that define architecture
and its theoretical classifications. Theme 2: Interdisciplinary Social Science Practices Of human life-ways: anthropology in its contexts.
|Keywords:||Settlement, Architecture, Tara, Nagari, Dwelling-culture, Vernacular, Minangkabau, Kerala, Matriliny|
PhD Scholar (Student), Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
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