Dowa

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Chaima village:

 

The chief gave a tour to this village and many different elements were documented. The 1st person greeted was the ex-chief of the village who was working with thatch on the roof. The floor of a kitchen was being plastered and the battery cells were added to make the pigment black. A man was making bricks in a mold and setting them out to dry..

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Chipaya village:

 

This homestead has 2 new homes being built, both using burnt brick. Reeds tied together is whatis used as a window. The grainery was different in the fact that the floor was not raised off the ground (this was the only example documented) The grainery is constructed using a bundle of fibers.

Jonasi village:

 

The 1st structure looked at was a communal kitchen, .which was constructed of rammed earth. The kitchen had no roof but the walls were very tall. The next structure was a home that is going to have an attached shop. This structure is built with burnt bricks and the roof is being constructed. The bamboo is being tied together with the Sisal plant and is soaked in water to soften.

Juma village:

 

This homestead has all of the structures decorated in a similiar fashion, which is plaster from mud and a black and ornge band at the base.

Maganga village:

 

The kitchen in this homestead has bundles of thatch which will be used for the roof. Also interesting is the metal door.

Makhoma village:

 

This homestead has some interesting construction elements. The sisal plant has recently been cut into strips and is laid out to dry. Also interesting is the bundles that are created with thatch and these are used as cross beams on the roof.

Masako village:

 

This home was constructed from burnt bricks and the door and windows are made of reeds vertically stacked with horizontal supports. Thatch is piled on the roof ready to be applied. An interesting detail is a layer of plastic at the base which the owner stated was to prevent termite damage.

Mossisi village:

 

Tabacco is a common plant grown for export. These structures are constructed of burnt brick and are used to dry the tabacco. A fire is lit from the outside and the smoke and heat are funneled into the structure.

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Mtanga village:

 

This compound has an interesting color pattern. The kitchen roof covers a span of 2 spaces but only one room is enclosed where a fire is lit when the elements do not allow it outside.

Mwanjsi village:

 

This was a typical homestead that was constructed with burnt brick. A long length of a vine is shown that will be used as connecting poles on the roof.

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malawi architecture
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Simakumi village:

 

The chief of the village showed us a grainery which is part of a goverment project. Villagers in the the chief's kingdom are required to bring a bundle of maize seeds to store in time of need.

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malawi architecture
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A concrete grainery provided by the government to each chief.

Thatch is tied down to bamboo poles.

A vine, sourced localy, is gathered and will be used to tie down poles and thatch.

Kitchen is covered by a thatch roof and is on the side of one structure.

Verandah has a half wall between the columns and is plastered.

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Interior view, the warm air is circulated through the structure on the floor.

The side of the structure has an opening to contain the fire and another which is a vent.

A layer of plastic was added at the base for termite protection.

Poles are stacked, ready to be placed on the roof.

Mud is being appied to the grainery.

Door and windows are built using reeds.

Sisal, a plant, is cut into strips, dried and will be used as straps.

Overhang of roof showing bundles of thatch used for roof support.

Thatch is tied together in bundles and will be used a roof support instead of poles.

The bundles of thatch being used as the roof.

Burnt brick home with a decorative band and a small front verandah.

The soil for the verandah and base came from a near by river bed.

Communual kitchen that has no roof. In the centeris an overturned pot.

The thatch brush is used to apply water to the plaster.

Bamboo roof poles are being tied down with sisal.

The grainery is constructed of tightly bundled thatch which is tied to each other.

Window is made out of reeds.

Used battery cells are cut open and the insides are mixed with soil to make black for decoration.

Plaster is being applied to kitchen floor.

Filling wood forms with mud to create bricks.

Tying down thatch to roof structure.

Download all the pictures from Dowa district on my Flickr gallery.