This article analyzes one kind of colonial equipment designed
in the early twentieth century for the purpose of providing medical assistance
to the indigenous populations of Angola and Mozambique. I will
refer to it as a ‘hut-hospital’, although it had several forms and designations.
The layout of hut-hospitals consisted of a main building and a
number of hut-like units that were supposedly more attractive to the indigenous
population and therefore more efficient than the large, rectangular
buildings of the main colonial hospitals. Using different sources, including
three-dimensional plaster models of hut-hospitals, photographs, legal
documents, and 1920s conference papers and articles, I will investigate
the relatively obscure history of this colonial artifact while exploring the
use of imitation as part of the repertoire of colonial governance.