In Western Province, the Zambezi river has a large floodplain and in the rainy season this area is flooded. Many areas during the wet season are covered by less than 300cm of water.
Large earth mounds exist in this floodplain. The "islands" are randomly scattered and the distance between them vary. The size of the actual mound also varies. Many are large enough to accommodate a large homestead. Some islands may contain a few families, probably extended, but usually one family resides per island.
The homestead will have the normal homestead structures, insaka main house, cooking insaka. They will not contain a granary because maize is not grown here, the soil is too sandy. Other crops are grown and an area for fishing chores exist.
Traditionally the Lozi would live on the banks of the floodplain during the dry season. There was more land available and better suited for crops. When the rains came the Lozi would migrate out to their"winter homes" on the mounds. they would fish and farm a small area of land.
Traditionally, this migration was an elaborate ceremony to celebrate the Litunga (Paramount Chief) from the Lealui (floodplains) to his Limmulunga (higher ground). Hundreds of his people follow behind in their dugout canoes, while the Chief is transported in his royal barge.
sandy flood plain
high ground
access by canoe
tree coverage
functional structures