The Tonga people of Southern province are pastoralists. They
enjoy living with and among their livestock. But this love for their animals
has its own problems. The goats and the cattle will not spare any edible thing
in this semiarid land. There is also the perpetual threat of wild animals
and the discomfort of the extreme heat during both day and night. These reasons
are the main reasons factors that influence the architecture of the Gwembe
valley. Houses throughout the Zambezi valley are built on stilts for reasons
of security and for a more comfortable sleep as there is better air circulation
on the "1st" floor. The Ngazi, as the house is popularly known, are not only
used as sleeping quarters, but also for safe storage of grain away from their
poles are placed vertically into the ground. These major poles support the base.
Smaller supports support even smaller poles, this is the base of the house which
will then be plastered over. This gives not only a floor surface but adds to
rigidity. A large number of main supports are needed to hold this weight. Walls
also contribute to the weight. The walls are usually plastered over woven bamboo
or poles. A thatch roof is added at the end and tied down with bark.
exclusively in the southeast part of the country.
floor is constructed of larger poles supporting numerous smaller poles holding
a plastered floor.
sketched section shows the thatch roof being supported by a mud wall, into the
flooring system and all being held up by larger poles into the ground.
and text cortesy of BP Zambia
houses are found exclusively in the Kariba valley area home of the Tonga people.
The reasons for their unique structures are based on their culture and on geographical