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Santals are historically and locally renowned for the neatness, orderliness and workmanship in constructing houses and organizing village settlements. Writing about Santal villages, W. G. Archer pointed out that “the mud walls have a hard cement-like precision, a suave and solid neatness, and the roofs, softly thatched or ribbed with tiles, compose a vista of gently blending courves. Even in the rains the walls contrive to keep their trimness. Of all the other tribes of eastern India, now has quite the same relish for neatly ordered buildings, the same capacity of tidy spacious living or the same genius for domestic architecture.”
Gauri Bharat is an architect and Assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad. She is currently doing PhD at the School of Art History and World Art Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich under Dr. Daniel Rycroft and Prof. John Mack. Her interests include Adivasi architecture and material culture; she has been carrying out research on Santal built environments for the past 14 years. Ms. Bharat’s current research is moving in the direction of Adivasi everyday lives and participatory explorations of perceptions and identity.