MacDougall, Robert Duncan, 1940-. Domestic architecture among the Kandyan Sinhalese

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter 1 Introduction To The Problem


The Literature On Architecture Of Traditional Societies

Descriptive Case Studies.

Descriptive Surveys.

Studies Which Relate Traditional Architecture To The Physical And Cultural Setting In Which It Is Found.

The Goals And Conduct Of This Research

Photograph 2-1: Garandiya Coupling

Chapter Ii Introduction To Rangama




Popular Notions About Contemporary Rangama

Contact With Surrounding Villages And Hamlets

Contact With Other Areas.

Other Communication With The Outside

Photograph 3-0: Carrying Fertilizer To The Paddy Fields.

Chapter Iii Man And The Physical Environment: Units Of Habitation, The Settlement Pattern And The Economy


Photograph 3-1: A Lane In Rangama

Part 1: The Settlement

Photograph 3-2: Air Photograph Of Rangama Village.

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Key To Rangama Village Divisions Map 3-1

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Photograph 3-3: Sacking Mustard Seed In The Courtyard Of Dwelling Unit #39.

Part 2: The Economy

Economic Activities

The Agricultural Cycle

The Agricultural Calendar

The Cultivation Of Rice

Preparation Of The Fields


Photograph 3-4: Plowing A Paddy Field. Photograph 3-5: Plowing A Paddy Field.

Photograph 3-6: A Rest Period During Plowing Photograph 3-7: Preparing A Betel Chew

Photograph 3-8: Harrowing A Paddy Terrace. Photograph 3-9: Transplanting Rice.

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Care Of The Plots After Transplanting

Harvesting (reaping)

Photograph 3-10: Harvesting Paddy Photograph 3-11: Activities At A Threshing Floor.

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Harvesting (threshing And Winnowing)

Harvesting (threshing)

Harvesting (winnowing)

Cultivation Of Heen, ‘highland “chenas” ’.

Cultivation Of Ged[unknown]r[unknown] Watu, ‘dwelling Gardens’

Cultivation Of Luunu Kotawal, ‘onion Gardens’

Harvesting Of Trees

Betel Plots

Hunting And Gathering

Poultry Raising

Local Industries And Crafts.

Major Sources Of Cash Income: Government Salaries And Shopkeeping. Government Salaries

The Case Of S.k. Dissanayake And W.m.b. Dissanayake

The Management Of Boutiques

The Fortunes Of M.g. Wijeekoon

The Operation Of W. G. Punchi Banda

Occasional Sources Of Cash Income

The Growing Of Indian Hemp

Trafficking In Black Market Rice

The Activities Of The Rangama Schoolmaster

Photograph 3-14: Stacking Chaff In The Exterior Courtyard Of Dwelling #33.

Part 3a. Units Of Habitation: The Dwellings.

Key To Rangama Village Map 3-2

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Photograph 3-16: Making A Toy Cart In The Courtyard Of Dwelling #35. Photograph 3-17: Husking Rice In The Courtyard Of Dwelling #16.

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Photograph 3-19: The Interior Courtyard Of Basnayaka Walawwa Photograph 3-20: The Exterior Courtyard To The South Of Basnayaka Walawwa

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Categorization Of Architectural Space.

Materials Of Construction Of The Rangama Ged[unknown]r[unknown]

Mud(wattle And Daub) Construction.

The Skeletal Structure Of The Wattle And Daub Dwelling

Photograph 3-21: Dwelling Skeletal Structure Photograph 3-22: A Carpenter With His Tools

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Key To Roof Structure Diagram

The Roofing Of A Dwelling.

The Technology Of Roofs.

Other Materials Of Construction Used In The Dwelling.

Historical Notes On Rangama Architecture.

Figure 3-7: Door Details

Untitled Section: ...

Style In The Rangama Dwelling.

Spatial Organization Of Selected Rangama Dwellings.

Dwelling Unit #1, Households #1a And 1b

Dwelling Unit #11, Household #11b

Dwelling Unit #14, Household #14

Dwelling Unit #17, Household #17

Dwelling Unit #27, Household #27

Dwelling Unit #28, Household #28

Dwelling Unit #31, Household #31

Dwelling Unit #32, Household #32

Dwelling Unit #33, Households #33a And 33b 33 Plan 3-9

Dwelling Unit #36, Household #36

Dwelling Unit #38, Household #38

Dwelling Unit #39, Households #39a, 39b And 39c

Summary Of Dwelling Descriptions.

The Contents Of The Dwelling

The Entries


Items Fashioned From Wood, Fronds, Husks, Gourds, Twigs And Vines.

Sources Of Raw Materials For Woven Items And For Items Made From Wood.

Items Made From Hides Or Horns Of Animals.

Traditional Items Not Of Local Manufacture: Unglazed Pottery

Traditional Items Not Of Local Manufacture: Metal Work

Non-traditional Items

Ancillary Structures Within The Dwelling Garden

Storage Sheds

Chicken Coops



The Aqueduct

Non-utilitarian Structures

3b. Field Huts, Watch Huts And Lean-tos.

The Pael[unknown]

Key To Pael[unknown] And Ekuluwaww[unknown] Plans:

Photograph 3-68: Spreading Millet To Dry Photograph 3-69: Husking Millet Photograph 3-70: Winnowing Millet Photograph 3-71: An Occasion To Work And Gossip

Photograph 4-1: A Confrontation With The Anthropologist.

Chapter Iv Social Organization, Inheritance And Residential Patterns


Sources Of Data Utilized In This Chapter.


The Goyigamas


The Service Castes

The Washermen

Terms Of Address, Commensality And Seating Arrangements

The Ged[unknown]r[unknown]

The Ged[unknown]r[unknown] In Rangama

The Structure Of Names

The Padinci Ged[unknown]r[unknown] Name

Household Particularizers

Compound Names

The Vas[unknown]gam[unknown] Name

The Definition Of The G[unknown]d[unknown]r[unknown] In Rangama

The Relationship Of The Ideal Model To The Actual Ged[unknown]r[unknown]

Property Interests Within The Ged[unknown]r[unknown]

The Ged[unknown]r[unknown] As An Effective Kin Group

The Conditions Of Residence

Rights In Dwelling Garden Land

De Facto And De Jure Ownership Of Dwelling Gardens Note A: (binn[unknown]-married Male; Diig-married Female) Note B: (diig[unknown]-married Females, Polygynous. Da(ew18) And So(ew19) Married Back Into Village Through Cross-cousin Marriages. So(ew31) So(ew32) Married Diig (ew53)) Note C: (diig[unknown]-married Female; Unmarried Male) Note D: (diig[unknown]-married Females) Note E: (ew64 Resided In No. 6c From Before 1954 Through 1959) No. 6,25 Figure 4-48 Note A: 1 Binn[unknown]-married Male (out Of Village) Note B: 1 Diig[unknown]-married Female (out Of Village); 1 Female Having No Offspring Note C: 1 Binn[unknown]-married Male (in Rangama) Note D: 1 Diig[unknown]-married Female (out Of Village) Note E: 1 Unmarried Male; 2 Diig[unknown] Married Females (out Of Village) Note F: 1 Diig[unknown]-married Female (out Of Village) Note G: 2 Unmarried Males Note H: 1 Diig[unknown]-married Female (out Of Village); 1 Unmarried Male Note I: 1 Unmarried Male Note J: 1 Unmarried Male; 1 Diig[unknown]-married Female (out Of Village) Note K: 3 Unmarried Males Note L: Binn[unknown] Marriage With No Offspring. Bw51 Returned To Natal Village On Death Of Bw52. Note M: 1 Diig[unknown]-married Female (in Rangama) No. 26 Figure 4-54

The Formation Of A Household: Marriage

Binn[unknown] And Diig[unknown] Marriages


The Household

Household Structure

Key To Tables 4-2 -- 4-9

Types Of Household Structure Used In Classifying These Data

Previous Classifications Of Household Types

Comparison With Data On Residential Patterns From Other Parts Of Ceylon.

The Developmental Cycle Of The Household And Social Space Requirements.

Two Motivations For Architectural Change: Case Studies

Case Study #4-1: The History Of Daeg[unknown]ville Ged[unknown]r[unknown]

Early History

The Story Of Origin And The Data From The Grain Tax Registers.

Dwelling Garden #59.

Dwelling Garden #39

Dwelling Garden #7

D. G. Punchi Raala (d-25)

Case Study #4-2: The Case Of The Epita Ged[unknown]r[unknown] Dwelling Garden Lands. 1


Case Study 4-3. The History Of Ud[unknown]watte Ged[unknown]r[unknown] 1 And Ud[unknown]watte Ged[unknown]r[unknown]2

Ud[unknown]watte Ged[unknown]r[unknown]1

Ud[unknown]watte Ged[unknown]r[unknown]2

The Dwelling In Garden #33 During Mudiyanse’s Time

Case Study 4-4: The Case Of Maend[unknown]watte Ged[unknown]r[unknown], Dwelling Unit #1 1

Case Study 4-5: The Pallewatte Ged[unknown]r[unknown] Garden Lands

Appendix To Chapter Iv Household Lists For 1954, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962 And 1965

Photograph 5-1. The Congregation On A Full Moon Day At The Temple

Chapter 5 Architecture In The Context Of The Sinhalese Belief System


Photograph 5-2: Village Procession On Poson Poya Day. Photograph 5-3: Ritual Purification For The Aurudu Mangalle Ceremony.

Part 1: The Rangama Belief System

The Philosophical Tradition.

The Organization Of Other-worldly Directed Religious Activity In Rangama.

The Sinhalese Belief System In Rangama.

The Supernatural World

The Classification Of Supernaturals.

The Scope And Source Of Supernatural Authority.

Supernatural Roles In The Cause And Reversal Of Misfortune.

The Evaluation Of Supernatural Activities In Orthodox Buddhist Terms.

Photograph 5-4: Devale, Exterior Photograph 5-5: Devale, Interior Structure

Propitiation And Appeasement Of The Punitive Supernaturals.

Offerings For Supernaturals.

The Accountability Of Supernaturals.

Astrological Influences

The Basic Principles Of Astrological Science.

Mystical Phenomena Of Human Agency.

Part 2: Architecture As A Symbolic Technology


Case #5-1: The Schoolmaster’s Bungalow

Previous Approaches To South Asian Architecture

Western Inspired Studies Of The Formal Evidence

Studies Of The Indigenous Architectural Literature

The Northern School

The Southern School

The Study Of The Textual Material With The Aid Of Craftsmen

The Work Of N.k. Bose On Canons Of Orissan Architecture

Summary Of The Approaches To The Indigenous Architectural Tradition

The Relationship Of This Presentation To Previous Investigations Of The Indigenous Tradition

The Specialists In The Little Community

The Textual Material Available In Rangama

The Sinhalese Mayimataya

The Vaastu Vidyaawa Or Grha Nirmana Silpa

Other Texts

The Content Of The Sinhalese Building Code

Proposition 1.

Proposition 2.

The Shape Of The Site

Types Of Dwelling Sites And Their Implications For Occupants

1. Elephant-shaped Land.

2. Bull-shaped Land.

3. Tortoise-shaped Land.

4. Umbrella-shaped Land.

5. Peak-shaped Land.

6. Palm (of The Hand)-shaped Land.

7. Water Surface-shaped Land.

8. Boar-shaped Land.

9. River-shaped Land.

10. Square Land.

11. Triangular Land.

12. Round Land.

13. Oval Land.

14. Protruding Land.

15. Even Land.

16. Demon Land.

17. Black, Rough Land.

Soil Testing.

The Vegetation On The Site.

Siting The Gepol[unknown], ‘foundation’, On The Intended Site

Proposition 3.

Proposition 4.

Beginning Construction.

The Placing Of The Mal[unknown] Bulat Tattuw[unknown].

The Placing Of The Mal Pael[unknown].

The Burying Of The Badun[unknown].

Kap Hit[unknown]w[unknown]n[unknown]wa, ‘placing The Kap[unknown].’

The Crossing Of The Door Frame

Rituals Connected With Taking Possession Of The Dwelling.

The Pirit Ceremony.

Proposition 5a.

Proposition 5-b.

Proposition 6.

Proposition 7.

Proposition 8.

The Appraisal Of Good ‘design’.

Appendix To Chapter V: An Idiomatic Translation Of The Sinhalese Mayimataya

Chapter Vi Perspective

Perspective On The Viability Of Indigenous Architectural Traditions.

Perspective On The Classification Of Domestic Architecture

Perspective On The Motivations Of Architectural Form.

Prospects For Further Research

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Domestic architecture among the Kandyan Sinhalese

Published By: Original publisher Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms. 1971 [1974 copy]. xli, 937 leaves ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Robert Duncan MacDougall

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 1997. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Sinhalese (AX04)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Equipment and maintenance of buildings (350); Architecture (341); Dwellings (342); Utensils (415); Literary texts (539); Household (592); Kinship terminology (601); Revelation and divination (787); Magic (789);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This dissertation is a detailed description of domestic architecture and material culture, and their ecological and symbolic contexts within a largely traditional village. MacDougall presents very detailed descriptions (including scale plans and photos) of the dwellings and their contents, with inventories of a number of houses. Differences due to age, life cycle position, and socioeconomic status are discussed. The place of supernatural in everyday life and the importance of astrology and ritual in house construction are dealt with thoroughly. The first part deals with material culture and dwelling construction, while the second covers social and ideological aspects. Attention is also given to the kinship structure of the households. The importance of symbolic over formal principles in Sinhalese architecture is stressed. Any alteration of nature, such as building a house, must be undertaken with the greatest care not to upset the supernatural laws (thus the need for astrology). Rituals are used to maintain the natural balance. A good bibliography is provided.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 8

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. ax04-008

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: UM 71-29,259 Thesis (Ph.D.) -- Cornell University, 1971 Includes bibliographical references (p. 931-937) Since there is so much data on material culture and extensive lists of possessions, most household objects are indexed for Utensils (415), unless they are described more fully. KAARENA, the manipulation of supernatural forces for immediate ends, has been indexed for Magic (789).

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1964-1965 (Sept.-Sept.)

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-4,5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Martin Malone ; Marlene Martin ; 1975-1976

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). not specified

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Kandy area; 'Rangama', Sri Lanka

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Sinhalese (Sri Lankan people)


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