As our reach in the world expands our perspective of what is local and global shifts, in certain communities systematic changes threaten traditions and the sense of belonging. The Chokwe people have a wealthy cultural heritage regarding music, crafts, rituals and intangible elements, such as the Sona.

Sona, are the sand drawings are characteristic to the Chokwe culture, located in North-East Angola and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. These drawings are made by marking dots, tobe, on the sand with the indicator and ring finger and then tracing a drawing in a continuous line without lifting the finger, done by storytellers these are used to represent stories while they recite them.

Different mathematical principles can be used to explain the complexity of the Sona drawings, and the use of geometry and symmetry is applied in this project to create symmetrical and modular as a way of making these stories more tangible by materialising them into architectural elements.

Grelhas proposes two perforated bricks, that mean ‘friendship’ and ‘the less fortunate are equally entitled to be treated with humanity’, to be used in the built environment as cultural identifier of Angola, part of its culture and space, preserving cultural heritage through functional elements of tropical architecture.


Reference of drawings,:
1, Mbatshi, Tortoise; 2, Lwanu wa kai, Antepole legs; 3, Ngungu nyl ndumba, Stork and lion; 4, Uaswa wa riembe, Pigeons nest; 5, Muiômbo wa kajinje, The less fortunate are equally entitled to be treated humanely; 6, Vusamba, Friendship

Grelhas/ cobogós/ perforated bricks found in the built enviroment in Luanda and Dundo, Angola