A Bemba girls’ initiation song from Zambia. The song neatly describes the delicate balance of equality between husband and wife.

The man is the peak of the house:
That is what we have understood.
It is the woman who makes the pinnacle on top of the roof. (1)

from Chisungu,
by Dr. Audrey Richards,
Faber & Faber (1956);


  1. Pinnacle refers to the cone which is used to bind the thatch and rafters together at the peak of a Bemba house.