is a renewable material and is grown in all parts of the country. It is part
of the seasonal cycle. At the end of the dry season it is gathered and what
is not gathered is burned in the fields.
grass starts growing during the rainy season and is cut and gathered in the
dry season when the grass has dried out.
three images show different stages of the thatching process on three different
runs off the thatch
is first started on the bottom and is layered upward. These layers are overlapped
to prevent water from seeping in.
overhang is usually quite large to take the water away from the walls and prevent
grass is combed out to make the grass uniform and straight. The comb is a piece
of wood with nails.
grass bundles are tied down on the wood poles (battens). Spacing is the length
of the grass and a little bit extra to allow for overlapping.
layer of thatch
layer of thatch
ridge is often a decorative feature. This needs to be a tight seal to prevent
water from entering
has precedent of being used all over the world, including this example of an
homes roof is made from banana fawns. This is very common in countries such
as Zaire. This home was built in Northern Zambia.
the extreme northwest corner of Zambia, this unique style of roofing was found.
The ridge is exaggerated for no apparent reason except that " it is the
way that it is done".
pictures are examples of overhangs.
is desired to have straight poles so the thatch does not sag and leak
time, the poles sag due to weight and the thatch begins to leak
church in Northern Province is thatched by the "cake method". It is
obvious where one layer of thatch begins.