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The culture of Zulu - Research Paper Example

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The Culture of Zulu Name University Name . Contents Introduction 3 Mode of Subsistence 3 Zulu Religion 4 The Spirit World 4 Death and Burials 5 Present Times and Zulu Religion 6 Political Organization of Zulus 6 Gender Relations 8 Conclusion 9 References 10 Introduction The Zulus are the largest ethnic group in South Africa…
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The culture of Zulu
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Download file to see previous pages This led to the Battle of Isandlwana where the British suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Zulus. They were eventually defeated by the British in the battle of Ulundi in 1979 (Dougherty & Sievert, 2008). During the Apartheid years, Zulus were classified as third class citizens and were forced to suffer discrimination at the hands of the state. Zulus have played an important role in the end of Apartheid and in the development of modern South Africa. The two important political parties of the country – African National Congress and the Inkatha freedom party were both formed by Zulus. They also participated in large numbers in the struggle to end Apartheid in both the parties. In this essay, discussions will be focused on the culture of Zulus especially their Religion, political organization of Zulus before the arrival of British and the Gender relations in Zululand (Dougherty & Sievert, 2008). Mode of Subsistence Farming and cattle rearing were the primary modes of subsistence of the Zulus. Cattle especially the Ox was very important for the Zulus. Cattle were also given great significance and there was also a special place for the cattle in the family .The cattle was reared largely for eating purposes. Although all the cattle and the farms were owned by the head of the family who was a man each of his wives was provided with a set of her own farms and cattle which were used by her in order to feed her immediate family (Dougherty & Sievert, 2008). Zulu Religion The Spirit World Zulus placed a lot of importance on their ancestors and their spirits. These ancestors were supposed by them to be living in Unkulunkulu which was considered as the world of the spirits. The ancestors were the link between the living and the spirits. For this reasons they needed to be remembered by the family members, praised regularly and also appeased by maKing offerings to them. In case a family failed to do so, the spirits are were to visit them in the form of troubles. These troubles can be solved only if the mistake of the family is rectified and the spirits of the ancestors are pacified by some offerings and by showering praises on them. The Sangoma was the spiritual healer and the priest of the Zulus. In case of a mishap such as failure of crops, death of livestock, draught or any other natural calamity the Sangoma was the one who declared the reasons for the calamity. The calamity could have been caused by the unhappy spirits or by witchcraft. If it was the former, the family was supposed to appease the ancestors but if it was the latter a witch-hunt and the elimination of the witch responsible was carried out (Monteiro-Ferreira, 2005). Another important religious person among the Zulus is the Inyanga. The Inyanga can be said to be the doctor of the Zulu tribe. He mostly used local plants and animals in order to find cure of the common diseases like cuts, bruises. The cure was usually followed by religious rituals in which the spirits were praised and pacified and asked to restore the health of the person who is sick (Monteiro-Ferreira, 2005). It is not only ancestors whose spirits were worshipped by the Zulus. The spirits were also supposed to exist in animals, forests, mountains and caves. Thus animals should be fed properly and cared for, the forest and the mountains should not be made angry or the spirits living in them will have their vengeance on the people. The Zulus are afraid of the phenomenon of lightning. They believed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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