Household Materials and their Properties – in the Context of Olden-day Traditional Homes in Rural Settings
By Mr. Mdumiseni Nxumalo
Patens are found in every work of traditional crafts and traditional architecture. It is evident in wooden craft, in basketry, mats, bead work and every traditional household creations. Uphico is a traditional technique historically common in Zululand and a method used to build frames for house walls and doors (izihlandla), kraals (animal holds for small animals) and grain storage (izinqolobane).
Traditional crafters and builders (indigenous knowledge holders) harvested a variety of materials for variety of their works. These materials had to be well understood in terms of their properties in order to sort and separate them for different purposes. These knowledge and skill was needed from identifying materials in the field, to processing, to understanding different purposes suited for each use and different ways of using them suited to their properties.
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