REGIONALISM IN LUO TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE

Though an attempt has been made by Kenyan Architects to keep Luo cultural values alive, through the design of Modern Luo
residential housing, more still need to be done to ensure that goal is realized completely.
The research seeks to understand the impact of socio-cultural, religious and economic practices of the Luo community on their lives
and built forms in the past and how this has changed and impacted on their lives and built forms over time. The research also
seeks to establish the socio-cultural practices that are integrated in the design of Modern Luo housing; thereby identifying the
constants and principles of Luo Architecture that are relevant in the design of their modern residential housing.
Data is collected through unstructured interviews, observation, sketches, photographs and descriptive notes which aid in analyzing
and presenting the data collected in the field.
Through this analysis, the author establishes there are cultural and architectural constants that governs the establishment of Luo
Villages, Homesteads and Units, most of which resonate with the ones established in the literature review. However, there are
inconsistencies that were noted in the field such as the change in the location of the man’s house, abila, among others. The research
highlights the importance of the central uphill location of the first wife’s house within the Luo polygamous homestead and how the
Right-Left dichotomy is key in organizing spaces right from the village to the unit level in the Luo community. Recommendations
made provide a platform which acts as planning by-laws for modern Luo Housing.

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