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Dossier : Dynamic Vernacular

Plantation: Modern-Vernacular Housing and Settlement in Ottoman Palestine, 1858-1918

Yael Allweil

Résumés

L’architecture vernaculaire palestinienne présente un cas essentiel pour l’évaluation des dynamiques complexes qui lient l’architecture moderne et l’architecture vernaculaire, suggérant la nécessité de reconceptualiser les implications sociales et politiques du « vernaculaire » ainsi que l’emploi historiographique de ce terme. Cet article examine la relation entre les environnements habités vernaculaires et modernes en analysant certains exemples notables présents en Palestine dans la période suivant les réformes foncières promulguées par l’Empire ottoman en 1858. La modernisation du droit de propriété, de la culture et du cadastrage a produit un nouvel environnement construit, que je qualifie ici de « plantation », reposant sur l’extraction des richesses et la dépossession des paysans. Me focalisant sur la topographie des plantations à Acre et à Jaffa, j’examine les manoirs ruraux, mais aussi les habitations « à l’arrière de la maison » et les structures agricoles qui font partie intégrante de ce paysage extractif. L’article jette une lumière sur l’histoire architecturale des plantations de Mazra’a et de Hammed, identifiant deux formes d’habitation qui représentent des variantes sur l’architecture palestinienne vernaculaire-traditionnelle : la hutte de paysan et le manoir du propriétaire. En effet, les habitations construites à partir des années 1860 employaient de nouvelles méthodes de construction et de nouveaux matériaux trouvés sur place ou importés en échange de richesses accumulées en exploitant le terrain. Ces structures indépendantes constituaient un ensemble au sein duquel les huttes de terre et les manoirs à plusieurs pièces distinguaient les paysans des propriétaires. La décomposition de la typologie de la maison à cour en plusieurs éléments a abouti à un environnement construit moderne-vernaculaire qui remet en question la distinction manichéenne entre « moderne » et « vernaculaire » comme deux schémas distincts et opposés. Considérant la plantation comme une typologie vernaculaire moderne – plutôt qu’aborigène –, cet article identifie la plantation comme la matérialisation de la fragmentation de la société palestinienne par la modernité. Cette dynamique a produit deux archétypes nationaux opposés : un sentiment nationaliste propre à l’élite terrienne qui cherchait à remplacer l’Empire ottoman ; et un mouvement prônant des réformes foncières en faveur des paysans locaux dépossédés de leurs terres.

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  • 1 Ruth Kark, Jaffa: A City in Evolution: 1799-1917, Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, 1990; Walid Khalidi, Bef (...)

1A dramatic change unfolded in Palestine’s landscape starting in the 1860s. Within about forty years, Palestine’s fortified cities spilled beyond their centuries-old walls, and a new milieu of landowners developed a vast new housing and settlement form: the plantation. Historical maps and accounts of Jaffa indicate that some 7500 dunam (750 hectares) of groves were developed around the region between 1858 and 1878, dotted with a large number of structures (fig. 1a-b).1 This new landscape comprised vast fields and orchards, landlord mansions, and small clusters of serf huts. Plantations were sites for a “new” Palestinian society, where all land-related social ties were irrevocably transformed, replacing older land-based identities with a modern model of for-profit production. Modern-vernacular architecture housed new ways of life and conceptions of polity among the newly-expansive lands, vast accumulated wealth, and exploitation of the landless.

  • 2 Alexander Scholch, Palestine in Transformation, 1856-1882: Studies in Social, Economic, and Politi (...)
  • 3 Haim Gerber, “A new look at the Tanzimat: The case of the Province of Jerusalem,” in David Kushner(...)
  • 4 Kamel Karpat, “The Land Regime, Social Structure and Modernization,” in William Polk and Richard C (...)

2Plantations were the result of the period of modernization in the Ottoman Empire and its governance, during which land was identified as the Empire’s greatest asset, and leaders aimed to better exploit it.2 The Tanzimat, or reforms, included the 1858 land modernization code, which commodified state lands, annulled cultivation-based ownership, and applied a modern system of legal registration throughout the Empire.3 Consequently, a few local and absentee owners obtained vast lands, while many fellahin (peasants) lost access to land altogether, and with it many other rights as well. It has been argued that the overarching consequences of land modernization marked the beginning of modernization in the Middle East.4

  • 5 George Robinson Lees, Village Life in Palestine: A Description of the Religion, Home Life, Manners (...)

3Surprisingly, Western travelers and consuls, members of the local elite, and even Ottoman officials discussed the post-reform built environment as a traditional landscape representative of native or biblical Palestine, often using the Bible itself as a reference, disregarding―knowingly or ignorantly―that it was in fact a modern landscape.5 Palestine’s plantations are an opportunity to recognize the dynamic and slippery nature of the relation between “modern” and “vernacular.”

4This study examines Palestine’s post-1858 plantation as a modern-vernacular built environment, where two competing Palestinian publics were consolidated: the plantation-landowner conception of a territorial homeland, where the national elite would replace the Ottoman Empire, and the landless-serf conception of village identity that aligned fellahin of different plantations with the aim of circumventing dispossession from the land. These two political projects did not start with proclamations and political action but rather with housing—the formation of two distinct dwelling environments characteristic of the plantation and new to Palestine: the landowner’s multi-room mansion and the serf’s detached hut. Here I present an architectural analysis of these two housing forms as two modern-vernacular alterations to the pre-reform courtyard house.

5In what follows, I conduct detailed architectural studies of the plantations surrounding Acre and Jaffa. My aims are to (1) extend the discussion of the relationship between vernacular and modern architecture beyond the well discussed, unidirectional appropriation of vernacular forms by modernism, and (2) complicate the Manichean relationship between modern-orientalist and vernacular-native that paralyzes research on the vernacular built environment for Palestine and beyond.

Fig. 1a: Jaffa and Environs, 1842.

Fig. 1a: Jaffa and Environs, 1842.

Source: Skyring, Charles Francis, London, 1843. Courtesy of the Jewish National & University Library, Jerusalem.

Fig. 1b: Theodor Sandel map of the Jaffa area, 1878-79.

Fig. 1b: Theodor Sandel map of the Jaffa area, 1878-79.

Source: Courtesy of Or Alexandrowicz. Hammed plantation marked with an H by author.

Vernacular Built Environment: Modern Perspectives

  • 6 Edward Said, Orientalism, New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1979; Paul Rabinow, French Modern: Norms an (...)
  • 7 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, New (...)
  • 8 Sibel Bozdoğan, Modernism and Nation Building: Turkish Architectural Culture in the Early Republic(...)
  • 9 Mark Levine, Overthrowing Geography: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and the struggle for Palestine, 1880-1948, B (...)

6There is a rich body of literature on vernacular settings in the context of the modern projects of nationalism, colonialism, and post-colonialism, which have often viewed native, vernacular built environments as non-modern. Colonialism distinguishes the vernacular as “other” to modernity and modernist formal vocabulary, requiring modernization as a justification for colonial domination, as shown by Paul Rabinow, Mark Crinson, and others following the work of Edward Said.6 The modern project of nationalism has been using the native and his vernacular landscape and built environment in order to produce and justify national claims to sovereignty as located in native vernacular settings.7 Sibel Bozdogan, Michelangelo Sabatino, Lawrence Vale, and other architectural historians have examined architects’ use of vernacular architecture as a conscious fabrication of the character and history of a nation, articulating and cementing forms and practices as national.8 The postcolonial perspective largely focuses on the modern colonial project and on the watershed appearance of Western colonialism, assuming the vernacular as aboriginal, as can be seen in historical and geographical studies of Palestine by Mark LeVine and Derek Gregory.9 Postcolonial scholarship thus tends to disregard the richness of vernacular history, including the phenomena of urban and rural migrations, changes in landed economy, the scale of the territorial homeland (namely, village, region, or nation), and changes in patterns of ownership over a vast historical scope of imperial and proto-national history before the coming of Western colonialism.

  • 10 Mark Crinson, Modern Architecture and the End of Empire, London: Ashgate, 2003 (British art and vi (...)
  • 11 Michelangelo Sabatino, Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in It (...)

7The discipline of architectural and urban history made an important contribution by exploring the Manichean divide between vernacular and modern, and showing how the idea of the vernacular has contributed to shaping built environments that have been considered modern. Mark Crinson terms this the “double end” of modern architecture, capable of projecting the image of Empire while also displaying regional peculiarities and traces of the locality.10 While the vernacular was treated by modernists as an ahistorical “found object,” Michelangelo Sabatino, Francesco Passanti, and others understand the vernacular as defined vis-à-vis modernism in architecture, and thus as a modern construct produced by modern projections of nationalism and colonialism.11

  • 12 Timothy Mitchell, Questions of Modernity, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000 (Contra (...)
  • 13 Nezar Alsayyad, The End of Tradition?, London: Routledge, 2004; Nezar Alsayyad, Consuming Traditio (...)
  • 14 Anthony D. King, The Bungalow: The Production of a Global Culture, London: Routledge and Kegan Pau (...)
  • 15 Jiat-Hwee Chang and Anthony D. King, “Towards a genealogy of tropical architecture: Historical fra (...)

8Invoking non-Western modernity and alternative modernities, Duanfung Lu, Timothy Mitchell, and Tom Avermaete discuss the multiplicity of modernism, asking whether Third World modernism involves confrontation with and assimilation of modernism, or whether it is “just modernism.” Discussing vernacular architecture and urbanism as modern (rather than aboriginal), they breach the historiographical affiliation of modernity with Western colonialism.12 Nezar AlSayyad’s discussion of heritage and tradition problematizes the vernacular as a source of authenticity and true sense of place, showing that modernity is always based on manipulations of tradition, and the modern is a direct product of an engagement with the vernacular.13 Anthony King’s study of the production of global architecture unsettles the developmental assumption of globalization as Western by unraveling the appropriation of vernacular Asian architecture into the architecture of globalization.14 Studies of “tropical architecture” by Ola Uduku, Jiat-Hwee Chang, Anthony King, and others have contributed to “complex, two-way exchanges” where the colonized were central in shaping colonial culture in a form not derived from the Metropolis.15

  • 16 Maiken Umbach and Bernd-Rüdiger Hüppauf, Vernacular Modernism: Heimat, Globalization, and the Buil (...)
  • 17 Ibid., p. 2.

9Provoking the idea of vernacular modernism, Bernd-Rüdiger Hüppauf and Maiken Umbach question the vernacular as necessarily a victim of modernization and discuss its presence as an important sub-current of modernism, invoking “the role of the vernacular in the modern” by showing how vernacular elements have been appropriated by modernism and embedded into the project of modernity.16 This scholarship is interested in what the vernacular can show about the nature of modernity, revealing an underlying assumption that “the vernacular is a space within the modern,” and thereby that modernism appropriates and encompasses the vernacular.17 Nonetheless, while it is accepted that the vernacular too has been shaped and transformed by its interaction with modernity, with consequences for its “authenticity” and very existence, scholarly attention is still largely preoccupied with the modern side of this exchange.

  • 18 Michelangelo Sabatino, Pride in Modesty, op. cit. (note 10), p. 6.

10How do we conceptualize “the vernacular” while acknowledging the messy, two-way relationship between vernacular and modern? Sabatino analyzes the etymology of the word vernacular, based on the Latin word verna, which is associated with the status of slave, to point out that the term vernacular is rooted in class distinctions. Sabatino states that “not only is the vernacular tradition lower on the totem pole when it comes to class divide, because villages and their inhabitants were typically considered peripheral to the city, the subject and spatial conditions in which this tradition most thrived are two times removed from centers of power.” Sabatino’s work on modern Italian architecture’s vernacular foundations critiques the use of vernacular as a blanket term that “threatens to blur or even obliterate vital nuances that distinguish highly diverse practices and intentions over time.”18

  • 19 Ronald Fuchs, “The Palestinian Arab House and the Islamic ‘Primitive Hut,’” Muqarnas, no. 15, 1998 (...)

11Coming closer to the material discussed in this article, Ronald Fuchs’ study of the Palestinian Arab house and Islamic “primitive hut” addresses this same problem by deliberately circumventing modernity’s association of the vernacular with static, rural, and lower-class society. Fuchs relies on Amos Rappaport, Bernard Rudofsky and Paul Oliver to define vernacular architecture as the production of a certain architectural culture over time, in line with Dell Upton’s definition of vernacular architecture as regional architecture.19 Fuchs’ study historicizes Palestine’s vernacular architecture and converses with Said’s critique of the Orientalist idea of Palestine’s bygone pastoral glory, stagnated by passion and decadence. As Fuchs points out, Orientalist readings of Palestine have extended “the vernacular” from the rural, “biblical,” and lower-class to incorporate the elites, clumping all “Orientals” together as peripheral to Western centers of power, fixed in space and time, and thus lower in class to Western modernity.

12This idea of the vernacular as a class or race distinction is taken seriously in this article. If we understand vernacular architecture as that produced or inhabited by people of lower classes and with a peripheral relation to centers of power, we can escape a time-based distinction of the vernacular as non-modern and can seriously engage its historical and contemporary class implications. Moreover, as contemporary socio-economic, political, and spatial hierarchies are justified and sustained via the vernacular, it is an increasingly relevant analytical framework for landscapes of class and race distinction.

Plantation: Modern Production, Rural Setting

13The plantation is a modern agricultural landscape, posited on for-profit production using modern irrigation and cultivation techniques and based on a global market for produce. It is a means for packing, transporting, and marketing produce grown in a monocultural environment. Owned by a single owner and cultivated by landless workers (serfs, indentured laborers, or slaves), it is distinctly a class-based landscape whose built environment reflects this distinction with its ornate mansions for the landowners and low-quality worker dwellings.

  • 20 Alexander Scholch, “The Economic Development of Palestine, 1856-1882,” Journal of Palestine Studie (...)
  • 21 Gad Gilbar (ed.), Ottoman Palestine, 1800-1914: Studies in Economic and Social History, Leiden: Br (...)
  • 22 Alexander Scholch, “The Economic Development of Palestine, 1856-1882,” Journal of Palestine Studie (...)
  • 23 Alexander Scholch, “Was There a Feudal System in Ottoman Lebanon and Palestine?” in David Kushner (...)

14Between 1856 and 1881, “Palestine produced a relatively large agricultural surplus which was marketed in neighboring countries such as Egypt or Lebanon, and increasingly exported to Europe.”20 Production of for-export produce (oranges, wheat, barley, olive oil, sesame) involved monoculture over large tracts of land cultivated by modern agricultural techniques in new mazra’as―literally plantations―founded in the valleys and coastal plains, sparsely populated and therefore cheap and available for purchase.21 Scholch describes this process as Palestine’s transformation from a “peripheral economy” to European industrial capitalism.22 Wealth extraction benefitted big landowners, merchants, and the state treasury, while affecting actual producers only slightly. Asking whether “feudalism” is appropriate terminology for this reality, Scholch contends that Palestine’s geographic and temporal distance from feudal Europe renders feudalism unproductive as a term, yet that terminology based on cross-cultural comparisons is nonetheless fruitful.23 Drawing comparisons from American antebellum landscapes of agricultural wealth extraction, also characterized by being a “peripheral” economy, I propose the mazra’a as a productive spatial socio-economic category of analysis.

  • 24 Diala Khasawneh, Memoirs Engraved in Stone: Palestinian Urban Mansions, Ramalla: Riwaq; Jerusalem: (...)

15With some exceptions, studies of Palestine’s plantation landscape narrow to architectural analysis of the “rural mansions” of the landed elite, neglecting the built environment of the people producing this wealth-borne architecture.24 As John Michael Vlach pointed out, this is characteristic of plantation architectural analysis. In his influential book Back of the Big House of 1993, Vlach argued that architectural study of the American South had focused exclusively on the plantation mansion of the antebellum period―vastly neglecting the “non-architecture” of slave dwellings, barns, and other structures in the “back of the Big House” that were integral parts of plantation landscape. “Plantations were complex places,” wrote Vlach.

  • 25 John Michael Vlach, Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery, Chapel Hill, NC (...)

Designed to be vast growing ‘machines’ that produced a single crop for export—tons of cotton, rice, sugar, or tobacco—plantations […] consisted of fields, pastures, gardens, work spaces, and numerous buildings. [They] are best understood as cultural landscapes, as human environments inscribed with the competing cultural scripts of their owners and the African Americans who were forced to work there.25

  • 26 Clifton Ellis and Rebecca Ginsburg, Cabin, Quarter, Plantation: Architecture and Landscapes of Nor (...)

16The American plantation landscape had been so completely reordered that few structures from the antebellum period survived; hence Vlach’s focus on the architectural history of plantation “back of the house” was crucial for reconceiving it.26

  • 27 John Michael Vlach, “The Shotgun House: An African Architectural Legacy, Part I,” Pioneer America, (...)
  • 28 Chris Wilson and Paul Erling Groth, Everyday America: Cultural Landscape Studies After J. B. Jacks (...)

17Vlach insisted that plantation landscape was valuable not only for manifesting the spatial heritage of a dispossessed community but also―significantly―as the vernacular setting codifying an American built environment. Vlach specifically identified the American vernacular shotgun house type as “the central building type in the development of an African-American architecture,” demonstrating the significance of “the narrow frame shack of cotton fields and mill towns” on the American landscape and the role of plantation slaves’ vernacular architecture for the country’s cultural landscape.27 This idea of cultural landscapes―“the complex sets of environments that support all human lives and all social groups”―has framed studies of the vernacular as invested in the significance of “ordinary” landscapes for American culture and society.28

18Our understanding of the vernacular significantly affects how we see and read rural and everyday landscapes. The comparison with American plantations might seem far-fetched, yet it can be a productive one providing we remember that a “plantation” workforce is not necessarily slave labor. Plantation, deriving from the Latin plantare, to plant, calls for a cultural landscape analysis which takes into account the landscape and built environment of extraction agriculture, in addition to its social implications. No literature has yet addressed Palestine’s plantations as comprehensive landscapes comprising “big houses,” vast cash-crop agriculture, and poor worker dwellings. While each of the three elements of the plantation built environment has been recognized, no study ties this landscape of extraction into a single unit of inquiry using the plantation as analytical framework.

19I suggest that the entire plantation can be used as a unit of analysis, focusing on the correlation between agricultural facilities, laborer dwellings, and the big house, and reflecting the socio-economic circumstances of Palestine’s modern-vernacular plantations as a cultural landscape. Like Vlach’s work, this article argues that the modern-vernacular landscape of Palestine’s post-1858 plantations has contributed significantly to Palestine-Israel’s built environment. My inquiry focuses on two plantations: Mazra’a north of Acre and Hammed east of Jaffa. I examine historical maps, Western and Ottoman surveys, architectural preservation reports, and historical photographs, supported with academic secondary sources, Ottoman records, and interviews to map Palestine’s modern-vernacular architecture.

Acre’s Mansions and Plantations

  • 29 Thomas Philipp, Acre: The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian City, 1730-1831, New York, NY: Columbia U (...)
  • 30 Yuval Ben-Bassat and Yossi Ben Artzi, “Cartographical Evidence of Efforts to Develop Acre During t (...)

20Acre and its environs demonstrated the effectiveness of Ottoman land reform in breaking local powers that threatened the central government. The city was a semi-autonomous political entity whose military and political power―able to withstand Napoleon―was based on the sale of raw materials for European industrialization; it was in fact the first economy in the eastern Mediterranean to experiment with cash crops. Philipp shows that Acre’s governors monopolized cash-crop export and used it as the economic basis for a unique territorial political entity that at times challenged even the authority of the Ottoman Empire.29 The 1858 reform shifted the power to exploit for-profit agriculture from a local monopoly over commercial export of crops―namely from local authority and the port city―to private landownership, modern cultivation, and the agricultural landscape. This transformation marked a distinct change to the built environment, both in and around Acre, explicitly planned for by the Ottomans, as can be seen from Ottoman plans for the city.30

  • 31 Hawwa is also spelled Hawa and Ha’wa. In addition, several other surnames are associated with the (...)

21Examining the architectural transformation of a waterfront dwelling complex in Acre’s old city (fig. 2), we can see a traditional-vernacular courtyard house serving a number of families, altered in the late-19th century to serve as a central-hall mansion. The building was used as a single residence by the Hawwa family, a wealthy Christian family originally from Nazareth who owned a number of mansions in Acre and agricultural land in the Acre and Haifa areas. The Hawwas were associated with the Lebanese Sursock family, originally tax farmers in the service of the Ottomans, who purchased some 800,000 dunam in Palestine in the 1870s, including portions of the coastal Galilee and Jazreel Valley. Habib Hawwa managed the Sursocks’ plantation north of Acre and owned lands himself.31

  • 32 Yaara Shaltiel-Sinwani and Ido Rosental, Preservation Report: International Preservation Center, A (...)
  • 33 See roof-scape pictures in Yaara Shaltiel-Sinwani and Ido Rosental, Preservation Report, op. cit. (...)

22Detailed preservation reports for the building, presently serving as the Acre International Center for Preservation, trace three distinct periods in the history of this housing complex.32 The first iteration of the house included a cluster of rooms surrounding a courtyard, all built on top of remains of crusader fortifications, a cistern, and a reservoir. This traditional-vernacular courtyard house was composed of five or six single-room houses, each roofed with its own groin vault marked with a shallow dome. The house was originally a cluster of rooms serving an extended family, each room a nuclear house-unit within the structure, serving all life functions in one room. Some rooms were separated into two areas by a raised platform serving as a sleeping and hosting area. In the second stage, dating probably to the early cash-crop production era in the 1770s, a second story was added, encircling the courtyard with smaller rooms accessed via a staircase leading from the courtyard. Each of the second-floor rooms was also an independent spatial unit, as can be seen from the slightly different floor and roof levels for each one of them (fig. 2b). Second-floor units opened onto the courtyard and connected to the staircase and each other via a circular passage on the roofs of the first floor, making them significantly smaller. These smaller rooms were covered using flat wooden roofs. One of the second-floor units, based on a barrel vault, roofed over the courtyard entrance.33

Fig. 2a: Survey of Palestine map of Acre, 1929. Plan I showing the old city and its fortifications. Hawwa mansion location highlighted by author.

Fig. 2a: Survey of Palestine map of Acre, 1929. Plan I showing the old city and its fortifications. Hawwa mansion location highlighted by author.

Source: The National Library of Israel.

Fig. 2b: Hawwa Acre mansion: plan superposition of floors one and two and section.

Fig. 2b: Hawwa Acre mansion: plan superposition of floors one and two and section.

Source: Adapted from Shaltiel-Sinwani and Rosental, 2010. Drawing by Alma Allweil.

  • 34 Ronald Fuchs, “The Palestinian Arab House and the Islamic ‘Primitive Hut,’” op. cit. (note 19); Yi (...)

23The Acre house is characteristic of pre-reform vernacular housing, studied by Fuchs vis-à-vis vernacular houses in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, and by Hirshfeld with regard to Roman and Byzantine domestic architecture in Palestine. Courtyard houses were characteristic of the Ottoman dwelling environment as a whole, serving Jews, Christians, Armenians, and other communities. Moreover, this housing type served both urban and village dwellers and housed all social classes, with class distinctions expressed in courtyard size, quality, and location, rather than typology.34 A cluster of independent units, it produced a landscape of roofs at varying levels, each roofing over a house-unit producing a one-to-one correlation between roofs and dwelling spaces for urban and rural pre-reform domestic spaces.

  • 35 Elizabeth Anne finn, Home in the Holy Land, London: James Nisbet, 1862, p. 42-43.
  • 36 Diala Khasawneh, Memoirs Engraved in Stone, op. cit. (note 24); Yaara Shaltiel-Sinwani and Ido Ros (...)

24As accumulated plantation wealth enabled members of the land-owning elite and foreigners to gain hold of entire courtyard complexes, the correlation between house and roof units was disrupted. Visiting a two-story courtyard house fully owned by a European in 1862, Elizabeth Finn observed that it included a landscape of individually roofed rooms, which distinguished it from European houses: “it is not, as in Europe, that each [multi-room] house has one roof to itself.”35The third iteration of the Acre house, traced to the late-19th century, reflects this spatial transformation perfectly. The Hawwa family roofed over the courtyard to produce a central-space house covered by a wooden roof with terracotta tiles. The construction of multi-room houses under one roof required improved building techniques and materials, including imported wooden beams, iron rods, and light terracotta roof tiles that would make large roofs possible. These imported goods listed by Tawfiq Canaan as alien to Palestine’s traditional construction methods were imported and transported by the steamboats that carried Acre’s produce to Europe and were available for the new landed elite. Moreover, the great detail of the Hawwa mansions’ ceiling ornamentation, woodwork, and paintings (as well as of Jaffa mansions discussed ahead) reflects the roof as a marker of class in post-reform Palestine.36 The Liwan (terrace entrance hall), Riwak (gallery hall), and central hall together constitute a new housing type, a multi-room mansion under one roof, a clear departure from the vernacular single-room domed house.

25The wealth producing these mansions derived from Acre’s agricultural landscape. The Acre area, which had proved its productive capacity before the land reform and enjoyed good water supply, was compelling for plantation development. Interestingly, the Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet Founder of the Bahá’í faith who was exiled by Ottoman imperial decree to Acre in 1868, occupied several residences in and around Acre and its plantations in the late-19th century. Several of these are today in the possession of the Bahá’í World Centre, providing an interesting source for Acre’s plantation landscape. As Bahá’í historical images show, all these residences were explicitly connected to the lush landscape of plantation orchards.

  • 37 Conversation with Joshua Lincoln, secretary-general of Bahá’í International Community, and Kamran (...)
  • 38 In the 1930s British General McNeal resided in the house and transformed it significantly, adding (...)
  • 39 The Bahá’í World Center purchased the house in the 1970s and maintains it as a site of pilgrimage  (...)
  • 40 British maps available at the Mazra’a engineering department are drawn for each individual land pl (...)

26One of Bahá’u’lláh’s residences was the mansion in a plantation village named Mazra’a, north of Acre (fig. 3). Bahá’u’lláh lived in Mazra’a from 1877 to 1879, and as his first residence outside Acre’s walls this consisted of a small two-story house surrounded by its own garden and fenced with a wall. It was rented from Muhammad Safawat Pasha who was residing in Acre at that time. Documentation on the building by the Bahá’í World Centre indicates that the house initially included a ground floor composed of two rooms constructed of sandstone based on groin vaults and an open court, with stairs leading up to another room on the second floor. The second-floor room, with a flat wooden roof, included windows in all four walls which might indicate it served as a watchtower for the plantation. When leased to serve Bahá’u’lláh as a residence, a surrounding wall was added or renovated, with two rooms on the ground floor for a kitchen and stables, and the complex included an area within the garden where Bahá’u’lláh’s tent was pitched to receive guests (fig. 4a-b).37 Around 1900, rooms were added on the roof, marking the beginning of a process of expansion that eventually turned this service structure into a multi-room mansion.38 Adjacent to the watchtower (now Bahá’í mansion)39 is a courtyard structure (caravanserai) dating to the late-19th century that served for stables and produce packing, and probably as the farm manager’s residence; it was owned and cultivated for the Wakf religious endowment (fig. 5).40

  • 41 Interview with Mrs. Raquiya Awad, August 2011. See also Kibbutz Evron records by Micha Cahani of 1 (...)

27An oral history account given by Mrs. Raquiya Awad in 2010 identified the landowners of Mazra’a plantation as the Badr family of Sheik-Badr village near Jerusalem and the workers as overflow peasants who lost access to land in Sheik-Badr following the land reform. Records are not clear as to when the Badr family purchased the land or if they purchased it directly from the Sultan or from previous owners. Records nonetheless indicate that a “Badr mansion” of “some dozen rooms” dominated the farm. The mansion was adjacent to the aqueduct and appears in a number of British maps dated 1924, 1931, and 1944. After 1948 the Badr mansion served Sheik Rabbah Awad, but it has deteriorated through the years and is currently in ruins like other elaborate mansions in the area, including the Sursock residence, leaving the Bahá’í mansion as the only one remaining.41 Pictures taken in the 1950s show a two-story house of limestone whose size in 1944 was double that of the Bahá’í mansion (fig. 6).

  • 42 Isaac Schecter, “Land Registration in Eretz Israel in the Second Half of the 19thc,” Katedra, no.  (...)
  • 43 David Grossman, “Rural settlement in Palestine’s plains 1835-1945,” Katedra, no. 45, p. 57-86.
  • 44 Nofus register 436, pp. 134-135. State Archive, ISA-Ottomans-NufusBooks-000ilpg.
  • 45 In 1940-1941 a court trial was held at the British Court in Acre over a land ownership dispute bet (...)

28The Mazra’a serf village lies two kilometers to the south, spatially removed from the “big house” and surrounding structures. Ottoman authorities surveyed Mazra’a village in January 1873, as part of an imperial land survey conducted to determine land use and occupancy since the 1858 reforms and to determine villagers’ right to legal land registration.42 Surveyors distinguished between populated villages and depopulated villages, as well as between villages at least 300 years old and villages that were part of new farms, often populated only during the agricultural season. Mazra’a was listed as a village of twelve houses and 262 hectares, partially planted. Even as it lists twelve houses (rather than ruins) existing in the village, the report states that its dwellers were missing, corresponding with early settlement patterns in the plains whereby fellahin returned to their home villages during winter and summer. The January survey did not locate the Mazra’a villagers and thus determined it a new village, not eligible for land registration for the nominal fee.43 This data is supported by accounts of Mazra’a in Ottoman population registration books, where it first appears as a permanent village in 1895.44 The British land surveys of 1930-1931 and 1940-1941 described a peasant village of eleven families who each owned 0.05 hectares of housing plots.45 The villagers cultivating the vast farmlands of Mazra’a were therefore virtually landless except for small house plots.

  • 46 Tawfiq Canaan, The Palestinian Arab House, op. cit. (note 5), p. 5-6.
  • 47 Gustaf Dalman was a German Lutheran theologian and orientalist who conducted extensive fieldwork i (...)
  • 48 Tawfiq Canaan, The Palestinian Arab House, op. cit. (note 5), p. 57.

29Surveyors could easily determine whether a village was old or new by observing its dwelling architecture and settlement composition: post-reform villages of detached huts and a large mansion were distinct in layout and materiality from the old villages with their fortified stone courtyard-houses. As can be seen (fig. 3) Mazra’a village consisted of a dozen scattered structures built with local materials, in a campus-like layout with no well-defined paths between the structures or any ordered planning for the complex. As described by Canaan, “the hut […] is mostly used in the hot summer months, and is built, usually, in the vineyards and orchards […] Such summer abodes need to be constructed every year; hence in the Bible they are spoken of as the symbol of transitoriness […] Huts are only temporary habitations. Houses and tents, however, are of permanent use.”46 Nonetheless, while it was clear for surveyors, Orientalist and Palestinian accounts of the “Arab native house” do not distinguish pre- from post-reform agricultural landscapes and read both as “biblical.” Gustaf Dalman famously stated, “the Palestinian house is to be considered from an archeological point of view […] for the village house it is accepted that in its materials and design it stands close to Biblical antiquity.”47 Canaan’s 1933 account of the architecture of the “Palestinian house,” based on developmental analysis of construction techniques that identify the structural inferiority of mud construction as necessarily preceding stone construction, declared “flat wooden roofs are certainly older and more primitive than stone vaults.” Canaan relied on the mention of “houses of clay” in the Bible while ignoring the fact that mud huts were constructed on land developed as plantations after 1858.48

  • 49 Farid Awad, The Process of Change of the Arab House in the Galilee, Haifa: Technion, 2003; Jihad A (...)

30Nondurable construction materials, primarily mud bricks or mud-covered straw, have dramatically affected the typology of serf villages. The vulnerability of mud structures to erosion by the elements, especially in the seams between adjacent structures, made free-standing structures more durable than a cluster forming a defensive wall. In a wall structure, the seams between attached buildings would have to be maintained constantly by members of adjacent houses and could cause the destruction of buildings; thus, the deterioration of one hut in a wall-like structure could affect the entire structure. Historical remains indicate that some flatland villages included wall-like structures and that the deterioration and destruction of segments in the structure, as well as the addition of new huts, changed the layout of the village from compound to campus, namely from an orchestrated arrangement of houses in relation to each other circumferencing a courtyard, to a cluster of houses scattered on the landscape, devoid of any ordering spatial mechanism. New materials and construction by dwellers themselves generated a new village typology that was nonetheless vernacular: the campus village. The detached landlord mansion was also an element of plantation campus layout.49

Fig. 3a: Mazra’a plantation map, Survey of Palestine, 1930 (amended 1932, 1940). Mazra’a village marked by IX.

Fig. 3a: Mazra’a plantation map, Survey of Palestine, 1930 (amended 1932, 1940). Mazra’a village marked by IX.

Source: Israel State Archive.

Fig. 3b: Mazra’a map, Association of Eretz Israel Authorized Surveyors, Haifa, prepared for the 1944 land dispute trial (detail). On right, from top to bottom: Badr mansion, Bahá’í mansion and Wakf structure, serf village.

Fig. 3b: Mazra’a map, Association of Eretz Israel Authorized Surveyors, Haifa, prepared for the 1944 land dispute trial (detail). On right, from top to bottom: Badr mansion, Bahá’í mansion and Wakf structure, serf village.

Source: Israel State Archive.

Fig. 4a, b: Bahá'u'lláh house in Mazra’a, circa 1890. A grove in the Mazraa where Bahá'u'lláh used to pitch His Tent.

Fig. 4a, b: Bahá'u'lláh house in Mazra’a, circa 1890. A grove in the Mazraa where Bahá'u'lláh used to pitch His Tent.

Source: Bahá’í Guardian.

Fig. 4a, b: Bahá'u'lláh house in Mazra’a, circa 1890. A grove in the Mazraa where Bahá'u'lláh used to pitch His Tent.

Fig. 4a, b: Bahá'u'lláh house in Mazra’a, circa 1890. A grove in the Mazraa where Bahá'u'lláh used to pitch His Tent.

Source: Bahá’í Guardian.

Fig. 5: Khan near Mazra’a, circa 1950. Photography: Justus Mayer.

Fig. 5: Khan near Mazra’a, circa 1950. Photography: Justus Mayer.

Source: Haifa University library.

Fig. 6: Remains of ornate door and Ottoman aqueduct, Mazra’a, circa 1950. Most likely the remains of Badr mansion. Photography: Justus Mayer.

Fig. 6: Remains of ornate door and Ottoman aqueduct, Mazra’a, circa 1950. Most likely the remains of Badr mansion. Photography: Justus Mayer.

Source: Haifa University library.

Jaffa’s Plantation Landscape

  • 50 Ruth Kark, Jaffa: A City in Evolution: 1799-1917, op. cit. (note 1).
  • 51 Sharon Rotbard, White City, Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa, Cambridge, MA: (...)

31Jaffa’s plantation landscape was far more developed than Acre’s, with roughly 10,000 dunam of orange and other fruit groves cultivated in about 230 individual orchards. Looking at historical maps, geographers have seen an imperial modern transformation involving urban and rural development departing from the vernacular old city (fig. 1a-b).50 On the other hand, urban historians and conservation architects focus on “Palestine’s disappearing palaces” and identify them as expressions of local culture, tradition, and construction heritage before its 1948 Nakba destruction. This is what Chiara de Cesari defines as “creative heritage” taking the role of state building in the context of the occupation and the weak Palestinian state.51

  • 52 Interview with architect Rinat Milo, August 3, 2016.
  • 53 Plan TA/4065 for the preservation of 19 biara and documentation of 22 more is presently in the app (...)
  • 54 Avi Sasson, “Biara and Orchid Houses in Jaffa and Its Environs,” in Sharon Rotbard and Muki Zur (e (...)

32The Tel Aviv Preservation Department developed a fascinating connection between these two perspectives on the vernacular by commissioning a detailed survey of Jaffa’s agricultural remains in order to develop a preservation policy to protect this “disappearing landscape” from growing real estate pressures. Department architects Rinat Milo and Jeremy Hoffman commissioned historical geographer Avi Sasson and landscape architect Tal Katzir for the survey, seeking a comprehensive account of the cultural landscape rather than minute architectural documentation of specific buildings.52 The report’s major contribution lies in documenting wells and agricultural structures, expanding beyond the mansions’ architectural significance.53 Based on their expertise in irrigation history, Sasson and Katzir point to the bayyara, or well-house, as the building block of Jaffa’s citrus landscape, reflecting the decisive role of irrigation. The term bayyara derives from the word beer, referring to the well “without which no orchid can be developed.”54

  • 55 Ruth Kark, Jaffa: A City in Evolution: 1799-1917, op. cit. (note 1). Kark relies on the Survey of (...)

33Yet one decisive factor is largely missing from these accounts―worker housing, “back of the big house,” as a key element in this landscape of extraction. Labor for Jaffa’s plantations was not supplied by fellahin living on the farm as in the case of Mazra’a. Rather, fellahin resided in a number of saknat, or fellahin dwelling clusters, and left them to work as paid labor for more than a single landowner. The sakna―literally dwelling―differed from a village by including no lands of its own, a fundamental transformation from the traditional conception of agricultural village life. Fellahin were not slaves or feudal servants tied to the land, but landless serfs paid per day or per season in any of the surrounding orchards, with no guaranteed source of livelihood. Following Ruth Kark’s important study, scholars largely identify saknat dwellers as Egyptian immigrant-peasants and discharged soldiers brought into Palestine with Ibrahim Pasha (1831-1840).55 Nonetheless, historical accounts indicate that the boom in land exploitation around Jaffa occurred between 1858 and 1878, which suggests that saknat plantation dwellers could not have comprised Egyptian immigrants only, but included significant numbers of Palestinian fellahin who migrated to the newly cultivated plantations in search of employment, as in the case of Mazra’a (fig. 7). Several large saknat are listed around Jaffa, yet the literature largely neglects their role as the third element enabling industrialized agricultural production, along with bayyara irrigation and accumulated wealth indicated by the mansions. Including saknat into the scholarly purview clearly associates this landscape of production with the plantation typology.

34My focus here is the Hammed plantation, first mentioned by the Survey of Western Palestine of 1879, since it best demonstrates the role of sakna in the plantation landscape (fig. 8). Hammed was composed of two large mansions, one on top of a well and reservoir and the other on top of stables. Another elaborate mansion built on top of vaulted service rooms, where no well or reservoir were located, was perhaps also part of this same plantation, as the first indication of plot subdivision dates to 1918. Adjacent to the Hammed orchards was Saknat Hammed, contained as an enclave between two branches of Herzl Street. All these elements of the landscape, namely orchards, the big house, and worker accommodations, operated together as a plantation.

35The Hammed Plantation landscape initially included only functional farm structures and worker dwellings. The orchard was founded on an irrigation system comprising an animal-operated well, a reservoir and irrigation canals. Service structures included stables and spaces for storage and produce processing. Like many plantations, it seems that Hammed also included dwellings for the bayyargi or farm manager and his family, whose work was supplemented by saknat workers. With wealth extraction, landowners transformed meager functional bayyara structures by constructing elaborate mansions on top of them. This process produced evident architectural stages characterized by distinct materials and features, specifically in roofing, as seen above with the Acre plantations.

  • 56 Naor Mimar, “Herzl Street 138 – Conservation Report,” Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv Preservation Department, (...)

36The well structure serving the Persian wheel, stables, and other farm spaces was built of limestone using shallow groin vaults and represented the traditional-vernacular phase of the plantation, before wealth extraction (fig. 8, phase I). In the second stage, after the plantation had already produced wealth for its owners, new construction techniques and materials, such as iron beams, marble, and terracotta tiles, were introduced to produce the single-roof landlord mansion (fig. 8, phase II, III). With the introduction of a power engine to replace the livestock-operated Persian wheel, construction atop the well became possible, and stables were no longer necessary. Hammed owners constructed three mansions above agricultural structures. One mansion of two stories was built on top of the well and reservoir (fig. 8, mansion A). The first story included five rooms serviced by a central hall, and the second story included three additional rooms served by a gallery (riwaq) and opening to a porch. A tiled roof based on iron rods and terracotta tiles covered the entire house. Another less elaborate dwelling was constructed atop the stables, probably serving the farm manager and his family, including one story of six rooms around a central hall (mansion B). An additional mansion, probably serving another part of the family, was built above a vaulted farm structure at the other edge of the plantation. This elaborate central hall mansion included marble floors and ornate wooden ceilings, topped with a tiled terracotta roof (fig. 8, mansion C).56

  • 57 George Robinson Lees, Village Life in Palestine, op. cit. (note 5); Yizhar Hirshfeld, The Palestin (...)
  • 58 Michelangelo Sabatino, Pride in Modesty, op. cit. (note 11).

37There is no available formal documentation of Saknat Hammed beyond historical maps of the entire landscape. A 1:2500 map from 1936 nonetheless indicates that the sakna was composed of detached small structures, rather than a cluster of houses surrounding a courtyard (fig. 9a). The sakna included mud huts built of mud bricks and mud-covered straw, as can be seen in historical images (fig. 9b). As discussed above, the detached huts of the fellahin involved less construction effort and resources and were constructed and maintained by the villagers themselves rather than by professional masons.57 Plantation serf housing was consistent with the single-room/single-roof typology of Palestinian traditional-vernacular courtyard houses, yet was clustered into a campus landscape rather than a courtyard and has come to characterize the plantation setting. If we accept Sabatino’s definition of the vernacular as lower-class,58 we can identify this modern, rural, built environment populated by powerless fellahin as a vernacular one.

Fig. 7: Jaffa’s urban development 1799-1918.

Fig. 7: Jaffa’s urban development 1799-1918.

Source: Kark, 1986.

Fig. 8: Hammed plantation: mansion A phase I, II, III and elevation, adapted from Mimar, 2014. Plantation map adapted from Survey of Palestine map of 1924 and Survey of Egypt map of 1917. Mansion C, perspective view of second floor central hall.

Fig. 8: Hammed plantation: mansion A phase I, II, III and elevation, adapted from Mimar, 2014. Plantation map adapted from Survey of Palestine map of 1924 and Survey of Egypt map of 1917. Mansion C, perspective view of second floor central hall.

Source: Drawings by Alma Allweil.

Fig. 9a: Saknat Hammed plan, detail of Survey of Palestine map of 1924.

Fig. 9a: Saknat Hammed plan, detail of Survey of Palestine map of 1924.

Source: Tel Aviv Preservation Department.

Fig. 9b: Sakna by Jaffa, circa 1920. Photography: Jacob Ben-Dov.

Fig. 9b: Sakna by Jaffa, circa 1920. Photography: Jacob Ben-Dov.

Source: Central Zionist Archive.

Implications of Plantation Society

  • 59 Kamel Karpat, “The Land Regime, Social Structure and Modernization,” op. cit. (note 4); Gershon Sh (...)

38Stark differences in house typologies made evident the social fragmentation of Palestinian society following the land reform, invoking differences between serf and landlord concerning national consciousness and conceptions of the homeland.59 On one hand, the landed elite, based in the Ottoman walled city, developed a conception of a territorial nation as a result of its newly gained access to capitalist exploitation of the flatlands. Plantation serfs, on the other hand, developed a conception of village-based homeland, or Balad, calling for a land-reform movement rejecting the alienation of fellahin from the land by the landed elite, Ottoman Empire, and Zionists.

39Zionists were first to identify dispossessed fellahin distress as proto-nationalism, making their dismissal of this phenomenon historically problematic. Yizhak Epstein, in his well-known text of 1907, “A hidden question,” referred to the consequences of Zionist settlement on fellahin. Epstein wrote it after seeing the forced eviction by Ottoman soldiers of Druze serfs from lands sold by a Lebanese absentee landowner to the Jewish National Fund. As Epstein commented,

  • 60 Yizhak Epstein, “A Hidden Question,” HaShiloah, 1907, p. 193-206.

Heaven forbid that we close our eyes to what is happening. One can definitely say that at the present time, there is no Arab national or political movement in Palestine. But this people has no real need of a movement: It is large and numerous and does not require revival because it never ceased to exist. […] Will those who are dispossessed remain silent and accept what is being done to them? In the end, they will wake up and […] seek legal redress against those who have torn them from their lands. Let us not make light of its rights, and take advantage of the evil extortion of their own brothers.60

  • 61 Kibbutz Evron archive, testimony of Micha Cahani regarding “the ruined house”; Benny Morris, The B (...)
  • 62 Interview with Raquiya Awad, August 2010; Hillel Cohen, Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration (...)

40Mazra’a plantation, owned by a single family and cultivated by a small number of landless serfs, reflects the tension between the two evolving frameworks of Palestinian nationalism. The two Badr brothers, well-known Arab nationalists involved in the Palestinian national struggle against the British, allegedly sheltered Germans sent to organize the Arab revolt against the British during World War II.61 During the 1948 war the Badr brothers left Mazra’a for Acre, while the twelve fellahin families cultivating the land remained in the village, joined by internal refugees from across the Galilee, including local fellahin leader Sheik Rabbah Awad of Gabsiyya.62

  • 63 Hillel Cohen, Army of Shadows, op. cit. (note 62), p. 3, 112, 241-242, 265. Note that Cohen descri (...)
  • 64 Hillel Cohen, Army of Shadows, op. cit. (note 62).
  • 65 Sheik Rabbah Awad, “Call Against Terror in Acre District,” Davar Workers Newspaper, August 13, 193 (...)
  • 66 Ted Swedenburg, “The Palestinian Peasant as National Signifier,” op. cit. (note 63), p. 157-164.

41Sheik Awad was one of the key figures of Balad nationalism who opposed the Mufti Husaini and landowner leadership as a whole.63 Hillel Cohen and Ted Swedenburg bring evidence that Palestinian national leaders like Awad proposed to the people “an alternative Palestinian nationalism” based on ideas of land reform. This political agenda diverged sharply from that of Palestinian leadership by the landed elite, which claimed the right to the entire geography of Palestine as a national territory in order to maintain its hold on the land as a means of production.64 In 1939 Sheikh Rabbah published a statement against the Arab Revolt and Mufti Huseini’s leadership of Palestinian nationalism and was subsequently declared wanted by the Mufti and his supporters. In the statement Awad writes that he had taken part in the revolt and fought “for religious, political, national and economic rights, but the Arab leadership has betrayed [us].”65 Swedenburg defines Sheikh Rabbah’s narrative of fellahin dispossession by their own leaders, largely missing from Palestinian historiography, as “(un)popular memories.”66

Conclusion

42This paper identifies and closely examines Palestine’s post-reform agricultural landscape as a modern form of vernacular built environment: the plantation. This modern landscape of extraction provoked the formation of two new social classes in Palestine: the landed elite and landless serfs. Plantations compose a new landscape of dispossession, where the landlord mansion is architecturally and geographically separated from the serf mud-hut village, clearly distinguishing the dwellings of the landed and the landless. The breakup of Palestine’s society resulted in the breakup of its traditional-vernacular courtyard house, which had served all segments of society before the land reform.

43Looking at the Mazra’a and Hammed plantations, I identify three elements that together compose this landscape of extraction: agricultural structures, serf dwellings, and the landlord mansion. I argue that the sakna-serf dwelling—was the key component in recognizing the formation of the plantation as such. The striking difference between the multi-room “big house” and single-standing fellahin huts was part and parcel of the plantation landscape and represented the deep division in the class and rights base between the two populations.

  • 67 Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, New York, (...)
  • 68 Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity, op. cit. (note 67); Nur Masalha, Catastrophe Remembered: Pal (...)

44Examining the roofscape and roof construction of Mazra’a and Hammed huts and mansions helps us trace transformations to the traditional-vernacular courtyard house as a change to the direct correlation between dwelling space and roof. Courtyard house alterations produced the campus as the landscape of this “new” Palestine. The modern-vernacular plantation produced not only crops and capital but also Palestinian nationalism(s). Modern-vernacular plantations like Mazra’a and Hammed were the locus for the formation of proto-national consciousness among Palestine’s dispossessed fellahin, who rejected dispossession using the modern framework of nationalism.67 Campus modern-vernacular typology has not only affected plantations but has extended well beyond them to become the modern-vernacular architecture of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, based on the detached house and campus settlement layout.68 If we accept Sabatino’s definition of the vernacular as representing the socio-political lower class, the plantation’s implication becomes glaring.

45This architectural history reads the dynamic within vernacular architecture as a modern vernacular, and proposes a rethinking of Palestinian history beyond the Manichean modern-vernacular divide. As a cultural landscape, the plantation materializes unpopular memories of Palestine’s post-reform modernity and glaringly points to the vernacular as a class distinction in the service of resource distribution.

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Notes

1 Ruth Kark, Jaffa: A City in Evolution: 1799-1917, Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, 1990; Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora: A Photographic history of the Palestinians, 1876-1948, Washington, DC: Institute of Palestine Studies, 1991; Noa Kadman, Erased from Space and Consciousness: Israel and the depopulated Palestinian villages of 1948, Jerusalem: November Books, 2009.

2 Alexander Scholch, Palestine in Transformation, 1856-1882: Studies in Social, Economic, and Political Development, Washington, DC: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1993; David Kushner (ed.), Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: political, social, and economic transformation, Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi; Leiden: Brill, 1986.

3 Haim Gerber, “A new look at the Tanzimat: The case of the Province of Jerusalem,” in David Kushner (ed.), Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period, op. cit. (note 2), p. 30-46, 1986; Gershon Shafir, Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882-1914, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996.

4 Kamel Karpat, “The Land Regime, Social Structure and Modernization,” in William Polk and Richard Chambers (eds.), Beginnings of Modernization in the Middle East: The Nineteenth Century, Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 1968 (Publications of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, 1); Gershon Shafir, Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882-1914, op. cit. (note 3).

5 George Robinson Lees, Village Life in Palestine: A Description of the Religion, Home Life, Manners, Customs, Characteristics and Superstitions of the Peasants of the Holy Land, with Reference to the Bible, London; New York, NY: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1905; Tawfiq Canaan, The Palestinian Arab House: Its Architecture and Folklore, Jerusalem: Syrian Orphanage Press, 1933; Rafiq Al-Tamimi and Muhammad Bahjat, Wilayat Beirut, Beirut: Dar Lahid Khater, [1916] 1979.

6 Edward Said, Orientalism, New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1979; Paul Rabinow, French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1995; Mark Crinson, Empire Building: Orientalism and Victorian Architecture, London: Routledge, 1996.

7 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, New York, NY: Verso Books, 2006.

8 Sibel Bozdoğan, Modernism and Nation Building: Turkish Architectural Culture in the Early Republic, Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2002 (Studies in modernity and national identity); Michaelangelo Sabatino, “Space of Criticism: Exhibitions and the Vernacular in Italian Modernism,” Journal of Architectural Education, vol. 62, no. 3, 2009, p. 35-52; Lawrence J. Vale, Architecture, Power and National Identity, London: Routledge, 2008.

9 Mark Levine, Overthrowing Geography: Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and the struggle for Palestine, 1880-1948, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005; Derek Gregory, The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004.

10 Mark Crinson, Modern Architecture and the End of Empire, London: Ashgate, 2003 (British art and visual culture since 1750, new readings).

11 Michelangelo Sabatino, Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010; Francesco Passanti, “The Vernacular, Modernism, and Le Corbusier,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 56, no. 4, 1997, p. 438-451.

12 Timothy Mitchell, Questions of Modernity, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000 (Contradictions of modernity, 11); Duanfang Lu, Third World Modernism: Architecture, Development and Identity, New York, NY: Routledge, 2010; Tom Avermaete, Another Modern: The Post-War Architecture and Urbanism of Candilis-Josic-Woods, Amsterdam: NAi Publishers, 2005.

13 Nezar Alsayyad, The End of Tradition?, London: Routledge, 2004; Nezar Alsayyad, Consuming Tradition, Manufacturing Heritage: Global Norms and Urban Forms in the Age of Tourism, London: Routledge, 2013.

14 Anthony D. King, The Bungalow: The Production of a Global Culture, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984; Anthony D. King, Spaces of Global Cultures: Architecture, Urbanism, Identity, New York, NY: Routledge, 2004.

15 Jiat-Hwee Chang and Anthony D. King, “Towards a genealogy of tropical architecture: Historical fragments of power‐knowledge, built environment and climate in the British colonial territories,” Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, no. 32, p. 283-300; Ola Uduku, “Modernist architecture and ‘the tropical’ in West Africa: The tropical architecture movement in West Africa, 1948-1970,” Habitat International, no. 30, p. 396-411.

16 Maiken Umbach and Bernd-Rüdiger Hüppauf, Vernacular Modernism: Heimat, Globalization, and the Built Environment, Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005.

17 Ibid., p. 2.

18 Michelangelo Sabatino, Pride in Modesty, op. cit. (note 10), p. 6.

19 Ronald Fuchs, “The Palestinian Arab House and the Islamic ‘Primitive Hut,’” Muqarnas, no. 15, 1998, p. 157-177; Dell Upton, “Vernacular Domestic Architecture in Eighteenth Century Virginia,” in Dell Upton and John Michael Vlach (eds.), Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture, Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1986, p. 315-335.

20 Alexander Scholch, “The Economic Development of Palestine, 1856-1882,” Journal of Palestine Studies, 1981, p. 36, 58.

21 Gad Gilbar (ed.), Ottoman Palestine, 1800-1914: Studies in Economic and Social History, Leiden: Brill, 1990. The term mazra’a, namely farm or plantation, has been also used as a proper name for several plantation villages across the country, i.e. Mazra’a or Mazra’at-. It is thus similar to the term sakna discussed ahead.

22 Alexander Scholch, “The Economic Development of Palestine, 1856-1882,” Journal of Palestine Studies, 1981, p. 35-58.

23 Alexander Scholch, “Was There a Feudal System in Ottoman Lebanon and Palestine?” in David Kushner (ed.), Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period, op. cit. (note 2), p. 130-145.

24 Diala Khasawneh, Memoirs Engraved in Stone: Palestinian Urban Mansions, Ramalla: Riwaq; Jerusalem: Centre for Architectural Conservation, 2000 (Riwaq’s monograph series on the architectural history of Palestine, 2); Ashraf Abu-Hilal, Palestinian Domestic Vernacular Architecture During the End of 19th/Beginning of 20th Century: Case Study of Hebron, PhD dissertation, Middle East Technical University, 2009; Jihad Awad, Rural Houses in Palestine, Ramalla: Riwaq, 2012; Suad Amiry and Vera Tamari, The Palestinian Village Home, Ramalla: Riwaq, 1989; Avner Amiri and Annabel Wharton, “Home in Jerusalem: The American Colony and Palestinian Suburban Architecture,” Post-Medieval Archeology, vol. 45, no. 2, 2011, p. 237-265.

25 John Michael Vlach, Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery, Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1993 (Fred. W. Morrison series in Southern studies).

26 Clifton Ellis and Rebecca Ginsburg, Cabin, Quarter, Plantation: Architecture and Landscapes of North American Slavery, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010; Dell Upton, “White and black landscapes in 18th century Virginia,” Places, no. 2, 1984, p. 57-72.

27 John Michael Vlach, “The Shotgun House: An African Architectural Legacy, Part I,” Pioneer America, vol. 8, no. 1, 1976, p. 47-56.

28 Chris Wilson and Paul Erling Groth, Everyday America: Cultural Landscape Studies After J. B. Jackson, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.

29 Thomas Philipp, Acre: The Rise and Fall of a Palestinian City, 1730-1831, New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2001 (History and society of the Middle East series). See also Beshara Doumani, Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1995.

30 Yuval Ben-Bassat and Yossi Ben Artzi, “Cartographical Evidence of Efforts to Develop Acre During the Last Decades of Ottoman Rule: Did the Ottomans Neglect the City?” Mediterranean Historical Review, vol. 31, no. 1, 2016, p. 65-87.

31 Hawwa is also spelled Hawa and Ha’wa. In addition, several other surnames are associated with the Hawwa family, among them Bishara, Habib, Tannous and Naccache. See Hawwa Family League community on Facebook: URL: https://www.facebook.com/Hawwa-Family-League-166004924376/?fref=nf. Accessed 1 November 2016. Diala Khasawneh documented Raymonda Hawwa Tawil house’s in Acre. Diala Khasawneh, Memoirs Engraved in Stone, op. cit. (note 24).

32 Yaara Shaltiel-Sinwani and Ido Rosental, Preservation Report: International Preservation Center, Acre, Acre: Israel Antiquities Authority, 2010; James Cocks, International Preservation Center: Historic Assessment, Acre: US/ICAMOS International Exchange Program, 2007.

33 See roof-scape pictures in Yaara Shaltiel-Sinwani and Ido Rosental, Preservation Report, op. cit. (note 32).

34 Ronald Fuchs, “The Palestinian Arab House and the Islamic ‘Primitive Hut,’” op. cit. (note 19); Yizhar Hirschfeld, The Palestinian Dwelling in the Roman-Byzantine Period, Jerusalem: Franciscan Print Press, 1995 (Collectio minor (Studio Biblicum Franciscanum), 34).

35 Elizabeth Anne finn, Home in the Holy Land, London: James Nisbet, 1862, p. 42-43.

36 Diala Khasawneh, Memoirs Engraved in Stone, op. cit. (note 24); Yaara Shaltiel-Sinwani and Ido Rosental, Preservation Report, op. cit. (note 32).

37 Conversation with Joshua Lincoln, secretary-general of Bahá’í International Community, and Kamran Yazdani, conservation manager, Department of Holy Places. Bahá’í World Center, Haifa, August 2016. Mansion drawings were shared with me but not released for publication.

38 In the 1930s British General McNeal resided in the house and transformed it significantly, adding a third floor, an additional wing, and modern amenities.

39 The Bahá’í World Center purchased the house in the 1970s and maintains it as a site of pilgrimage and a private museum. Like other Bahá’í historical sites in the Acre area, the Mazra’a mansion is included in the UNESCO world heritage list (UNESCO website).

40 British maps available at the Mazra’a engineering department are drawn for each individual land plot, helping us validate that the khan and Bahá’í mansions belonged to different owners and did not constitute the same economic unit. The watchtower is part of the Badr plot.

41 Interview with Mrs. Raquiya Awad, August 2011. See also Kibbutz Evron records by Micha Cahani of 1991.

42 Isaac Schecter, “Land Registration in Eretz Israel in the Second Half of the 19thc,” Katedra, no. 45, 1988.

43 David Grossman, “Rural settlement in Palestine’s plains 1835-1945,” Katedra, no. 45, p. 57-86.

44 Nofus register 436, pp. 134-135. State Archive, ISA-Ottomans-NufusBooks-000ilpg.

45 In 1940-1941 a court trial was held at the British Court in Acre over a land ownership dispute between the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and thirty villagers from Mazra’a. The dispute involved land purchased by the JNF from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchy with a total area of 45 hectares. Detailed records of land ownership were therefore prepared for Mazra’a in 1940. State archive, Mazra’a lands court file.

46 Tawfiq Canaan, The Palestinian Arab House, op. cit. (note 5), p. 5-6.

47 Gustaf Dalman was a German Lutheran theologian and orientalist who conducted extensive fieldwork in Palestine. His work was published as Gustaf Dalman, Arbeit und Sitte in Palestina, Bd. VII: Das Haus, Hildesheim: Olms, 1987. Translated excerpts in Ronald Fuchs, “The Palestinian Arab House and the Islamic ‘Primitive Hut,’” Muqarnas, no. 15, 1998, p. 158.

48 Tawfiq Canaan, The Palestinian Arab House, op. cit. (note 5), p. 57.

49 Farid Awad, The Process of Change of the Arab House in the Galilee, Haifa: Technion, 2003; Jihad Awad, Rural Houses in Palestine, op. cit. (note 24), 2012.

50 Ruth Kark, Jaffa: A City in Evolution: 1799-1917, op. cit. (note 1).

51 Sharon Rotbard, White City, Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015; Roberto Sabelli and Italo Celiento, “The Rehabilitation of Traditional Architecture in Jericho (Palestine),” Restauro Archeologico, vol. 24, no. 2, 2015, p. 80-97; Jihad Awad, Rural Houses in Palestine, op. cit. (note 24); Chiara De Cesari, “Creative heritage: Palestinian heritage NGOs and defiant arts of government,” American Anthropologist, no. 112, p. 625-637; Riwaq, “Riwaq’s Registry of Historic Buildings in Palestine: Ramallah,” Ramalla: Riwaq, 2006; Iris Kashman, “Protecting the ‘Other’s’ Heritage: A Proposal for the Preservation of the Bayyaraat Houses of Jaffa,” in Neil Silberman and Claudia Liuzza (eds.), Interpreting the Past V. The Future of Heritage: changing visions, attitudes and contexts in the 21st century (selected papers from the Third Annual Ename International Colloquium, Monasterium Poortackere, Ghent, Belgium, 21-24 March 2007), Brussels: Vlaams Instituut voor het Onroerend Erfgoed, 2007, p. 273-281 (Interpreting the past).

52 Interview with architect Rinat Milo, August 3, 2016.

53 Plan TA/4065 for the preservation of 19 biara and documentation of 22 more is presently in the approval process. This preservation policy pushes beyond Tel Aviv’s modernist and urban heritage, upon which lies its UNESCO recognition as a world heritage site, to include the rural heritage of Arab-Palestinian Jaffa.

54 Avi Sasson, “Biara and Orchid Houses in Jaffa and Its Environs,” in Sharon Rotbard and Muki Zur (eds.), Neither in Jaffa nor in Tel Aviv: Stories, Testimonies and Documents from the Shapira Neighborhood, Tel Aviv: Babel and Bina, 2009; Avi Sasson and Tali Katzir, “Biara in Tel Aviv-Jaffa,” Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv Preservation Department, 2013; Aaron Leib Felman, Garden Spring: Ways of Planting Gardens and Orchids in the Holy Land, Jerusalem: Lonz, 1891, p. 7.

55 Ruth Kark, Jaffa: A City in Evolution: 1799-1917, op. cit. (note 1). Kark relies on the Survey of Western Palestine of 1878-1879. Yet the survey states that “the natives of the villages on [sheet XIII] are all Moslems and Syrians, except those in the Egyptian Colony at Jaffa.” C. R. Conder, Edward Henry Palmer and Horatio Hervert Kitchener, The Survey of Western Palestine, London: Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 1888, vol. 2, p. 305.

56 Naor Mimar, “Herzl Street 138 – Conservation Report,” Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv Preservation Department, 2014.

57 George Robinson Lees, Village Life in Palestine, op. cit. (note 5); Yizhar Hirshfeld, The Palestinian Dwelling in the Roman-Byzantine Period, op. cit. (note 34), 1995.

58 Michelangelo Sabatino, Pride in Modesty, op. cit. (note 11).

59 Kamel Karpat, “The Land Regime, Social Structure and Modernization,” op. cit. (note 4); Gershon Shafir, Land, Labor and the Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, 1882-1914, op. cit. (note 3), see comment 4.

60 Yizhak Epstein, “A Hidden Question,” HaShiloah, 1907, p. 193-206.

61 Kibbutz Evron archive, testimony of Micha Cahani regarding “the ruined house”; Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

62 Interview with Raquiya Awad, August 2010; Hillel Cohen, Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2008.

63 Hillel Cohen, Army of Shadows, op. cit. (note 62), p. 3, 112, 241-242, 265. Note that Cohen describes an alternative Palestinian national political process, persecuted by the Hausseini leadership, which perceived itself as a local and better Palestinian nationalism. Ted Swedenburg, “The Palestinian Peasant as National Signifier,” Anthropological Quarterly, 1990, p. 18-30.

64 Hillel Cohen, Army of Shadows, op. cit. (note 62).

65 Sheik Rabbah Awad, “Call Against Terror in Acre District,” Davar Workers Newspaper, August 13, 1939, p. 1.

66 Ted Swedenburg, “The Palestinian Peasant as National Signifier,” op. cit. (note 63), p. 157-164.

67 Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2013; Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal, Palestinians: The Making of a People, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993; Beshara Doumani, “Rediscovering Ottoman Palestine: Writing Palestinians into History,” Journal of Palestine studies, vol. 21, no. 2, 1992, p. 5-28.

68 Rashid Khalidi, Palestinian Identity, op. cit. (note 67); Nur Masalha, Catastrophe Remembered: Palestine, Israel and the Internal Refugees: Essays in Memory of Edward W. Said (1935-2003), London; New York, NY: Zed Books, 2005.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1a: Jaffa and Environs, 1842.
Crédits Source: Skyring, Charles Francis, London, 1843. Courtesy of the Jewish National & University Library, Jerusalem.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 143k
Titre Fig. 1b: Theodor Sandel map of the Jaffa area, 1878-79.
Crédits Source: Courtesy of Or Alexandrowicz. Hammed plantation marked with an H by author.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 818k
Titre Fig. 2a: Survey of Palestine map of Acre, 1929. Plan I showing the old city and its fortifications. Hawwa mansion location highlighted by author.
Crédits Source: The National Library of Israel.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 926k
Titre Fig. 2b: Hawwa Acre mansion: plan superposition of floors one and two and section.
Crédits Source: Adapted from Shaltiel-Sinwani and Rosental, 2010. Drawing by Alma Allweil.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 363k
Titre Fig. 3a: Mazra’a plantation map, Survey of Palestine, 1930 (amended 1932, 1940). Mazra’a village marked by IX.
Crédits Source: Israel State Archive.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1016k
Titre Fig. 3b: Mazra’a map, Association of Eretz Israel Authorized Surveyors, Haifa, prepared for the 1944 land dispute trial (detail). On right, from top to bottom: Badr mansion, Bahá’í mansion and Wakf structure, serf village.
Crédits Source: Israel State Archive.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 809k
Titre Fig. 4a, b: Bahá'u'lláh house in Mazra’a, circa 1890. A grove in the Mazraa where Bahá'u'lláh used to pitch His Tent.
Crédits Source: Bahá’í Guardian.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 461k
Titre Fig. 4a, b: Bahá'u'lláh house in Mazra’a, circa 1890. A grove in the Mazraa where Bahá'u'lláh used to pitch His Tent.
Crédits Source: Bahá’í Guardian.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 769k
Titre Fig. 5: Khan near Mazra’a, circa 1950. Photography: Justus Mayer.
Crédits Source: Haifa University library.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 150k
Titre Fig. 6: Remains of ornate door and Ottoman aqueduct, Mazra’a, circa 1950. Most likely the remains of Badr mansion. Photography: Justus Mayer.
Crédits Source: Haifa University library.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 442k
Titre Fig. 7: Jaffa’s urban development 1799-1918.
Crédits Source: Kark, 1986.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 405k
Titre Fig. 8: Hammed plantation: mansion A phase I, II, III and elevation, adapted from Mimar, 2014. Plantation map adapted from Survey of Palestine map of 1924 and Survey of Egypt map of 1917. Mansion C, perspective view of second floor central hall.
Crédits Source: Drawings by Alma Allweil.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 526k
Titre Fig. 9a: Saknat Hammed plan, detail of Survey of Palestine map of 1924.
Crédits Source: Tel Aviv Preservation Department.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 266k
Titre Fig. 9b: Sakna by Jaffa, circa 1920. Photography: Jacob Ben-Dov.
Crédits Source: Central Zionist Archive.
URL http://abe.revues.org/docannexe/image/3259/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 86k
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Référence électronique

Yael Allweil, « Plantation: Modern-Vernacular Housing and Settlement in Ottoman Palestine, 1858-1918 », ABE Journal [En ligne], 9-10 | 2016, mis en ligne le 28 décembre 2016, consulté le 21 septembre 2017. URL : http://abe.revues.org/3259 ; DOI : 10.4000/abe.3259

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Auteur

Yael Allweil

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion IIT, Israel

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Licence Creative Commons
La revue ABE Journal est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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