n as the 17th century initiated a particular transition in the stylistics of church building in the region, the full development of Goa church architecture was completed in the 18th century when local communities (comunidades) or powerful local hierarchs (gaunkars) often took over the reconstruction of the churches founded by the Jesuits or the Franciscans and transformed them into buildings of a new type. The whole of Goa
(Ilhas, Bardez and Salcete) was covered by a `white mantle of churches'. Indeed, Indo-Portuguese
architecture as it emerged in Goa was an important manifestation of the material culture of a group of people who were converted to Catholicism in the 16th and 17th centuries a group of people who had to create a distinct culture for themselves. The structures they built were, therefore, buildings by Goans, sometimes designed by Goa architects and masons, including Goans Catholic priests, and, in many cases, commissioned by Goa landowners or Goan local communities; in other words, they were natikve ' buildings. Supplemented with photographs, plans and drawings throughout, this important volume is a must read for students and scholars of architecture, history of architecture, social and cultural history of Goa, as well as the informed lay reader interested in the history of w hat soon came to be recognized as a unique moment in world architecture.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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