History and Background of the Zulu Tribe

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The Zulu people first moved south from the mountains, there were frequent struggles between the various tribes for control of land, cattle, and power. They were very good at utilizing many resources to insure their survival, from their beginnings as a true pastoral tribe to their times that go beyond this paper when they became a real empire. The rich history of the Zulu people and their pastoral beginnings of male domination can be seen as the primary obstacle facing progress on the status of women today. Although women can be seen in all levels of urban society, most of them are not allowed to be employees, because there is still this belief that a women's place is in the kitchen and taking care of the children and her husband’s family. Tending to her immediate family is her primary responsibility just as her husbands is providing for them. Her secondary responsibility is taking care of her birth family, a heavy load for anyone.

They came from a Pastoral background as their primary mode of subsistence. They domesticated animals and were male dominated, the men having full control the food supply. To feed these animals they traveled grazing paths to food and watering holes annually. During harsher seasons, the women and children stayed in one place while the men traveled to graze the animals. The housing they stay in was sturdy, however it was made in such a way that is was easy to build quickly. Aside from tending the flocks, most of the work outside the home was male dominated as well. Their first king, Shaka Zulu, was the illegitimate son of a Zulu chief and a common woman. They were exiled from their tribe in shame. He would later rule them and cause them to grow in power with cunning and ruthlessness to build the first truly powerful Zulu kingdom. They were politically organized into chiefdoms ruled by the dominant lineage of the strongest clan. Chiefdoms typically included a group of related patrilineal clans. (pg. 349 Zulu Religion)...
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