noun, class [5] [plural vhu]
English translation: land

Ground considered as a subject of use or possession; earth; soil. SYNONYMS: gura, gurandanda, gwatukwatu, hwuhwo, munda, nyika. ORIGIN: standard Shona dialect. 

Native land, soil, earth Harare, Zimbabwe.

Denga rapera, uno nama chengo ne ivu re no kanywa pa churu ndio yaka samba, kana ya oma, uno dzurura ne dopi.

The roof being finished, plaster the walls with trampled ground from an ant heap. This is the strongest; when dry smear with mud.

Tora ivu pa churu ku robera pasi, ita chitukuriro ne rukuba we ari, omba zigadzo zo ku gadzika ari; kana yaka oma, dzira ne indowi kuti pasi parege ku tsemuka.

Take ground from an ant heap to make a beaten floor, make the sitting place for the man near the fireplace, make the platform for the pots and mould rings for the pots; when dry smear with cow dung so that the floor will not crack.

From Kuwaka Imba (To Build a Hut)
by W. Edwards, N.C.

Natural materials, that are in concert with nature exemplify traditional construction methods in Zimbabwe. In A Mushona Hut, Guy A. Taylor, M.A. writes that typically the floor is of hard beaten clay, and a ledge or “skirting board” (mupfungwa), also of clay, ran round the hut. It was about 6” high and 6” deep. The floor, the dresser and the ledge, had all been smeared recently with fresh cow-dung (kudzira ne ndowe – to smear with cow-dung).

The walls of the hut were of bush poles roughly plastered with mud on the inside but not on the outside. Mashona huts are circular and are roughly thatched with grass. Purlins of grass-rope run round inside the hut under the rafters, and split laths of wood are carried round the outside on top of the grass and are laced through to the inside with bark-rope.


Maxwell Mutanda. 

Creative Director, Studio [D] Tale.

Harare, Zimbabwe.

Studio [D] Tale works cross borders between Architecture, Interiors, Urban Exploration, Product Innovation, Critical Design & Communications. By experimenting with new materials and innovation the Studio brings out the best in Design and Architecture. Every design process starts with a bespoke story told through rigorous research.

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