Phenomenology of vernacular environments: Wancho settlements in Arunachal Pradesh, in the north east of India


Place identity
Indigenous culture
Cultural identity
Indigenous institutions
Tribal identity

How to Cite

Singh, S., & Popli, S. (2020). Phenomenology of vernacular environments: Wancho settlements in Arunachal Pradesh, in the north east of India. Journal of Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism, (1), 539–550.


This paper explores the Wancho communities in the Longding District of Arunachal Pradesh, located in the north-east of India, analysing their architecture in its traditional cultural and geographical context. Through a phenomenological study of the landscape and architecture of the Wancho, it reveals how these communities create forms and inscribe their particular patterns upon the landscape, resulting in a unique built expression. Phenomenology emphasizes lived experience and enquires into the related concepts of space and place, understanding how physical phenomena are inscribed with meanings. Accordingly, the Wancho settlements in Arunachal Pradesh have been seen through the lens of lived-experiences that provide them with meanings. In Wancho settlements the emotional and subjective attachment of the community to their place is strong, and is reflected through the material reality of the village and its environment. Seen as a whole, the settlements integrate climatic and other natural environmental factors, as well as the cultural institutions, values and practices of these people, which are also reflected through the craft and local skills of the community. The traditional Wancho settlements are “read” here by considering their landscape and townscape as “texts”.


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Copyright (c) 2020 Sanjeev Singh, Saurabh Popli


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