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    THE THATCHED ROOFS
 Site Description
  Overview
  Muzibu Azaala Mpanga
  Anthropological Dimensions
  The Thatched Roofs
  Bark Cloth
  Conservation
 
  A member of the Ngeye clan (colobus monkey clan) thatching.
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  The thatching technique at the Kasubi tombs is quite unique and can hardly be compared to another African or European thatching technique.
   
 
   
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  The grass is prepared in conical bundles which are simply laid onto the roof structure without being tied, except for the first layers at the bottom. When one of these bundles is rotten, it can simply be pulled out and replaced. This interesting technique makes the huge maintenance task of the thatched roofs much easier.

The thatching is carried out by the members of the Ngeye clan (colobus monkey clan), who are the only people allowed to do the work. The thatching skills are passed down from the elders of the clan to younger members during an apprenticeship.

This practice is still very much alive with younger members of the clan coming up voluntarily to take on this important responsibility at the site. Special customs are observed when fixing a roof. The widows for example, are not allowed to enter the building when it is being thatched. It is believed that their presence would cause leakage. Pregnant women are also not allowed inside the building during renovation. In addition, thatchers are not supposed to have sexual intercourse during the thatching period. The same custom is observed by the decorators of the poles, who belong to the leopard clan.
 
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