An insaka is a structure which is similar in western thought as a gazebo. In Zambia these structures have significant roles in social life in village life and the preparations of food.
Insaka is a Bemba word for "place to gather" It is derived from the verb isa " to come together".
Culturally it is very important!!
A cooking insaka is a small hut which a fire is kept. Women socialize around this nucleus of activity. Men socialize in the insaka which is more public, where one greets a visitor. The men and the women have different accepted social areas.
Traditionally people would gather underneath a tree. The tree naturally enclosed a space and offered protection from sun and the rain.
An insaka basically encloses a space. This for protection from the elements while allowing for work or socializing.
Insakas are constructed in all shapes and sizes.
The structures provide protection from the elements, mainly wind but also rain and sun.
Construction of:
1. A shallow foundation is dug and burnt bricks ( or pole and mud) is built to a height of about 1 meter.
2. Poles are placed into the ground about .5 meter deep. It is also common for the poles to be placed before the walls are constructed. The poles are either plastered into the walls or just sit outside of them.
3. After the poles are built for the roof structure, thatch is added on top.
2 main functions of insakas:
Poles and Walls: The support poles can either be embedded into the walls with bricks plastered with them or poles are placed just outside of the walls.