Zulu Culture

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  • Topic: Zulu, Agriculture, KwaZulu-Natal
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  • Published : May 22, 2013
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Zulu
Amanda McClure
ANT101: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Daniel Diaz Reyes
04/02/2013

Introduction
In my research I will share information on the Zulu Tribe, which is one of South Africa's largest ethnic group population that is estimated about 10-11 million people. The majority of the people live in KwaZulu-Natal Natal Province which is also referred as Zululand. Other Tribes or groups live in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. The Zulu reside in the rural part of South Africa. This culture of people raise cattle and also grow corn and vegetables such as beans, yams, and millet. Traditional Zulu society has chiefs and a King who represent all the Zulu culture. Today the Zulu traditional structure clashes with the present central and democratic government of South Africa. Men play the dominate role in the Zulu family, the Zulu women are renowned for the bead craft, basket weaving, and pottery, the men are crafted in wood  and object made out of animal skin. The Zulu people have faced many wars and conflicts with the government, however since 1994 when Nelson Mandela became president and the end of apartheid, the new South African government has ended many battles with in the last ten years. The Zulu’s economic organization, beliefs and values, and social organization are what make them an emerging agriculturalist.

The primary mode of subsistence can be explained as the major activities that the people of Zulu tribe practice. The Zulu are located or are known to settle in Natal province in the state of South Africa. This province lies between the Indian Ocean and the Drakensberg mountain range to the east and west. The province also stretches from the Swaziland and Mozambique borders in the northern side to the UMzimkhulu River to the southern side. This area is known to be fertile; making it appropriate for agriculture. The geographical climate of the area also favors the aspect of agriculture; which has made it easy for the Zulu people to make their living. Because of these geographical aspects, the Zulu people are best described to be emerging agriculturalists. This is because their main supply of industry comes from both cattle herding and farming. Agriculturist societies use a range food-production patterns to meet the needs of the group. These patterns include: foraging, ranching, peasant farming, plantation agriculture, and large-scale mechanized grain farming. The Zulu people mostly practice agriculture in that they carry out both farming and cattle rearing. The men and boys of this ethnic group are known to herd or rear the cattle and other livestock. The Zulu women are well known to do the planting of diverse crops, which include vegetables such as beans, maize, millet, yams, and fruits. The women were also the ones carrying out the harvesting of the crops. This shows that the Zulu people practiced agricultural activities; so their subsistence mode is emerging agriculture. The Zulu economy organization is dependent on diverse activities. The Zulu primary mode of subsistence, which is agriculture, has had an impact on the economic organization of the ethnic group. Agricultural societies are more stratified than societies using any other subsistence strategy. Adult men occupy the highest level of status while women rank the lowest—though this is changing in some agriculturist societies. Agricultural societies maintain a sharp distinction between men’s work, politics, public life, food production, and warfare and women’s work, childrearing and other domestic chores. The Zulu people depended entirely on farming and livestock herding during the mid and late 19th century. A man's wealth was counted in cattle. Cattle provided the mainstays of the diet, hides for clothing and shields, as well as the means of acquiring wives through lobola, or bride-price. The modern Zulu are poor, with agricultural yield below subsistence level. Even as Apartheid as an institution has been dismantled, it is still...
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