The socio-cultural significance of the dwelling has been illuminated in several anthropological studies of ethnic communities in Asia. To some extent, this interest is also shared with architects examining vernacular dwellings. Yet few studies approach these examples primarily as ecologically placed architectural entities, with a temporal-ritual ambience. Drawing on this limitation, we assume a position beyond culture-nature, built-unbuilt or sacred-profane dichotomies in order to examine the case of the Mru of the Chittagong Hills. In doing so, we also reflect on the influences between the disciplines of architecture and anthropology in understanding nuanced meanings of dwelling and related spaces.Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, the article discusses the interrelationship between religion, economy and architecture. It establishes that the function of architecture is complex, and in a traditional community where religion and worldview have an interchangeable relationship with culture, nature and economic behaviour, it is on that premise that meaningful architectural spaces are created.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts