Thesis Open Access

DOCUMENTING AND CONSERVING THE DISAPPEARING OF TYPICAL GAMO HIGHLAND VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE

ASHENAFI EZO

Thesis supervisor(s)

Tibebu Assefa (PhD),

Gamo highland is one of the areas where traditional architecture practiced abundantly.
However, now differently constructed houses clearly shown and gradually disappearing.
Therefore, it is inspiring to study the loss and their current conditions. The purpose of the
study was to documenting and conserving the disappearing of the typical Gamo highland
Keeththas of; compound pattern, construction materials and techniques, indigenous design
ideas, and architectural functions and space organizations. To achieve the objectives,
conventional means (direct observation, recording photo and video, direct measurement,
and drawing and sketching) and communication methods (interviews, questionnaires and
group discussion) were used. All collected data sets have been analyzed descriptively and
presented in pictures, tables, drawings, sketches, and maps. The result shows that the
highland people live in scattered settlements and organized into many diverse deres. The
settlements site also under the controls of the Gamo highland traditional laws called
wogas. The houses are located in a compound within a compound and surrounded by false
banana(uuththa) and bamboo(woyisha). Gamo highland keeththa typologies are; Yarra,
Karra, Gothoma(zuffa) and Boreda. The houses have been made from
split(woyisha/woyirra) woven like an upside-down basket and then thatched with roof
covering materials called qadda/gatta. The Gamo highland keeththa ideas generated from
copying of nature. The study recommends that to conserve in the social and cultural life of
the society, special attention has to be given for vernacular houses(keeththa) and for its
materials.
 

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