Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Charles Faulkner

Committee Members

Faye Harrison, Benita Howell


In this thesis the origin and history of the shotgun house are examined. The thesis traces the diffusion of the shotgun house from the Yoruba kingdom in Africa to Haiti and finally to New Orleans, and the rest of the South (Vlach 1986). The shotgun house may be defined as being one room wide and three or four rooms long with all of the doors perfectly aligned. Thus, the shotgun house encouraged social interaction as there is only one flow of movement through the structure. According to folklore, a shotgun can be fired through the perfectly aligned doorways without ever touching the walls thus giving the structure its name (Faulkner 1991). The possibility that the house type was instead a response to the need for cheap company housing must also be considered.

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