From Lineage Residential Unit to Real Estate Rent: Compounds in French West Africa and in Nigeria from the Late 19th Century to 1960

By Laurent Fourchard

From lineage residential unit to real estate rent : compounds in French West Africa and in Nigeria, late 19th century-1960.

The French West African and Nigerian compounds in the 19th century represented the main residential unit for lineages in African towns. During the first half of the 20th century, these units were totally changed because of the monetarization of social relationships, increase in urban land price and implementation of colonial land acts. New land uses developed and came into existence mainly from coastal cities to hinterland towns and from the European area to African layouts. Due to urban densification and higher pressure on urban land, scattering of lineage segments throughout the town on the one hand, ethnic, professional and religious heterogeneity within neighbourhood on the other hand became more pronounced.

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