The beehive-style architecture of the traditional indlu (hut) distinguishes it. The hut's structure is composed of sapling poles bent inwards and roped together in a circle. When the frame is finished, it is covered with grass. The hut's floor is built of an anthill clay and cow dung combination. When dry, the ground beneath the hut is hard enough to walk on.
Indus are most often made from palm trees, but they can also be made from bamboo or wood. They usually have thatched roofs made out of grass or cornstalks. The walls are always made of mud and the floors are usually dirt. There are three main materials used by the Zulus for building their huts: wood, stone and clay.
Zulus lived in small tribes that often included many subgroups. Each tribe had its own language which was related to several other languages in Africa. The Zulus were one of the few tribes who fought against all other tribes in order to survive. They were very good at war because they worked as a team while using different tools to make it harder for their enemies to defeat them. In addition, each soldier carried a shield and sword which helped the tribe win wars.
Inside most Indus you will find a single room with a hole in the roof for smoke ventilation.
The hut was constructed mostly from traditional materials, including common thatch grass, Hyparrhania hirta, black wattle, Acacia mearnsii (saplings for the hut walls), Natal fig Ficus natalensis bark for tying material, and rock alder, Canthium mundanium, for the center pole support. The floor was made of earth. The door and window were made from wood.
Thatched roofs are usually made of straw or reed bundles tied with hemp or jute rope. The best kind of roofing material is thin strips of cotton or linen called takkies. They are light and airy and allow most of the sun's heat and light into a house while keeping out the rain and snow. A thatched roof does not need to be replaced often; each season's growth will provide new material for roofing your home.
Zulus built their homes out of mud bricks made on-site. The bricks were used to construct walls and floors. Each mud brick is made by mixing clay from around a village with water to make a thick paste. The paste is rolled out into flat sheets about 1/4 inch thick. These are dried in the sun or oven until hard, then stacked up against a wall or laid out in an open area to dry further.
When ready to use the bricks are taken down from the wall and fired in a fire or oven to burn off any excess moisture they may have accumulated during storage.
The Zulu Hut Traditional resources are used to construct Zulu houses, including common thatch grass, hyparrhania hirta, black wattle, Acacia mearnsii (saplings for hut walls), Natal fig Ficus natalensis bark for tying material, and rock alder, Canthium mundanium for pole support. The floor is constructed of concrete. Ceiling beams are made of wood.
There are eight different types of Zulu houses: one-roomed, two-roomsed, three-roomsed, four-roomsed, five-roomsed, six-roomsed, and seven-roomsed. Each room has a separate entrance, which can be through a wall or through a flap of fabric that serves as the door. There is usually only one toilet for all rooms except for those who are rich enough to have their own bathroom.
A house with many rooms is known as a "big house". It is important to note that the number of rooms does not mean that there are necessarily more people living in the house. Sometimes big houses are built to accommodate lots of guests. At other times big houses are built by wealthy individuals who want to divide their time between several locations without having to make multiple trips.
All of the building materials are natural and were gathered from neighboring locations. The cottages are typically round or oval in form. The first stage is to construct the structure, which is accomplished by hammering collected timber poles into the ground. The poles are usually cut from nearby trees and then dragged or carried to the construction site.
The walls are made of sticks that are bound together with mud. The thatch roof is made of grasses that are tied together with mud. Thatching is very important for keeping out the rain and heat during the hot African summer months.
There are three main types of Maasai huts: the beehive hut, the bell tent, and the dome tent. Each type is used for different purposes. The beehive hut is most commonly used for sleeping in because it is warm in winter and cool in summer. The bell tent is used as a dining room because there's enough space inside to host many people at one time. And the dome tent is used as a meeting place because it has a large, open top. There are also other types of tents used by the Maasai for special occasions such as when they go on a hunt or when they visit a friend or family member.
People sometimes say that the Maasai live in "teepees", but this is not true.