The Zambian village is a self-contained unit. Each Zambian village house has a silo where they store their grain supplies. The traditional healer takes care of ailments afflicting the people and the elders, in most cases grannies, are entrusted with educating the young ones on various social issues. Disputes are settled right in the village 'court', commonly referred to as 'Insaka'.
Each house has got an ‘Insaka’, which serves as a meeting place and socializing area of the household. It is a reception for visitors. In the evening, the whole family gathers in the 'Insaka' and the elders take advantage of the situation to teach the young ones traditional values and responsibilities.
Belief in traditional healers is still rife, and in every village, there's at least a traditional healer where the locals get their herbs for various ailments. This is in view of the modern medical centres, which are insufficient or not easily accessible due to long distances.
The most readily available relish are fish, edible insects like Inswa (termites) or Ifishimu (caterpillars), vegetables and game meat. Sweet potatoes and groundnuts are also abundant when in season or during harvesting. In Zambian villages, the older men usually eat separately from the women and children.
The Zambian villagers are traditionally subsistence farmers. They grow and eat their own food. They sell the surplus if it’s there. In general, the majority of the Zambian villagers’ farm, herd livestock, engage in fishing or make handcrafted products.
Farming is by far the most important subsistence activity, and it dominates rural production. Each house has got a silo for grain storage. The grain usually lasts up to the next harvest. But this depends on the rains that particular rain season, because the farmers rely on rainfall for watering the crops. The practice of irrigation is almost non-existent. Therefore, a good rainy season translates into a good harvest.
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