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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Panaji: Photo 10

world pictures Peninsular India: Panaji

Still in San Thome, a typical Goan house. Gerard da Cunha (Houses of Goa, 1999, p. 103) says that the Goan house, "is distinguised by its balcão or sopo." He writes that the balcony "functioned as a transitionary space between the public and private domains of the house." Other writers go further. Helder Carita (Palaces of Goa, 1997, p. 166) links the balcony to caste: "In Brahmin and Chardo [=kshatriya] houses, members of lower classes were not allowed to enter.... The porch of the Indo-Portuguese house resolved this problem perfectly, as it created a room outside the house which was treated as a protective ante-chamber to the interior." The balcony apparently became a standard feature of Goan houses in the 19th century; in this case, it's been double-stacked.

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