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A traditional Creole home gets a facelift thanks to Seychelles' heritage fund

Victoria, Seychelles | June 18, 2016, Saturday @ 10:08 in Entertainment » ARTS & CULTURE | By: Madiha Philo and Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 4623
A traditional Creole home gets a facelift thanks to Seychelles' heritage fund

The traditional Creole house of the Mahoune family at Anse Etoile that has just received a facelift. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) 

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(Seychelles News Agency) - The first Seychellois family to benefit from the newly established Seychelles’ heritage incentive scheme has given a facelift to their traditional Creole house.

The Mahoune family, from the northern district of Anse Etoile, has been living in their house since 1982.

The owner, Patrick Mahoune, told SNA, “After more than 30 years, time has taken its toll on the house. The ceiling was leaking, and this is one of the things I managed to fix under the grant.”

Through the Seychelles’ heritage incentive scheme, the government allocates funds to help owners to repair, renovate or maintain buildings or houses that have historical, cultural and heritage value. The scheme is administered by the Seychelles Heritage Foundation.

Miera Savy, the chief executive of the foundation, said the scheme was launched in 2014 to preserve the traditional Creole architecture and promote the country’s heritage for the next generation.

Savy said the Mahoune family was chosen because the type work that had to be done on their house reflected the general purpose of the Seychelles Heritage Incentive Scheme.

Patrick Mahoune enjoying a moment under the large wooden veranda of his house which stands on four main pillars. The architectural style of the house was popular in the 20th century. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Mahoune lives with his wife, two daughters and grandchildren in their 150-year-old house. The house stands on four main pillars and is surrounded by a large wooden veranda in an architectural style that was popular in the 20th century.

Mahoune said that over the past 34 years, he has extended the back of his house in blocks and built the large veranda, with the help of his workers, since he was in the construction industry at that time.

He left the general architecture as it is even though he says it is very expensive to maintain this type of house.

"I was able to remove all the rotten plywood under the veranda which was falling apart, because when the tsunami happened (December 2004) my property was flooded. All the wooden pillars that had metal sticks supporting them rusted away, so there was urgency,” said Mahoune.

Mahoune says he applied for $4,715 under the grant for the urgent repairs to the house. (Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Mahoune says he applied for $4,715 under the grant for the urgent repairs that were necessary for his family’s safety.

He says that even though work under the scheme has completed, there is still a lot of renovations and repair to be done on the house because of its old age.

“I no longer have the same strength as I did a few years ago. Things are more expensive and difficult, so I will enjoy my house until the day I die, and then my children will decide what to do,” said Mahoune.

The chief executive of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation says that so far the government has given $38,000, adding that: “We meet once a once a month to review the applications one by one and decide how to disburse the funds.” 

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Tags: traditional, Creole, house, heritage incentive scheme, Seychelles Heritage Foundation, tsunami

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