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Comments on Gigapan: Descouvertes Village

Gigapan Comments (1)

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  1. Dan Langfitt

    Dan Langfitt (September 06, 2011, 07:19AM )

    This panorama depicts a typical mountain Haitian "lakou" (from French "cour" --- courtyard). A lakou refers both to the common space between these small houses and to the group of houses generally. Usually a lakou is occupied by one extended family network of several generations, or by two or three families connected by marriage. The many children are raised almost collectively by the lakou; a child will certainly know who his or her biological parents are, but may sleep in the house of his or her father one night and with an aunt or uncle the next. They quite literally embrace the "it takes a village" philosophy of child-rearing. This particular lakou is wealthier than many of the surrounding communities because its residents own land in the nearby "hanging valley" (downhill in this panorama), where they can irrigate fields of vegetables and even rice. This higher relative wealth is obvious to the experienced eye in things like the corrugated aluminum roofing, the relatively well-clothed villagers, and the pig.