How Zulu Subsistence Methods and Culture Changed After the Anglo-Zulu War
Benjamin J. McInnis
ANT101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Instructor Mitra Rokni
Eating Ashes: How Zulu Subsistence Methods and Culture Changed After the Anglo-Zulu War
The Zulu people of South Africa made an unprecedented development from a single clan of pastoralists much like the other clans and tribes in the area of modern KwaZulu-Natal (Sithole, 2002. “Zulu Orientation”. para. 1) to a great nation with the rise of King Shaka in the 1820’s (Etherington, 2004. p. 159). Through revolutionary tactics begun by his predecessor Chief Tingeswio, King Shaka united all of the tribes in the area “under the name of Zulus” (Etherington, 2004. p. 159). After the defeat of the Zulu nation by the British in the 1880’s (Sithole, 2002. “History and Cultural Relations”. para. 2), the Zulu people went from a pastoralist culture with land allocated by local chiefs to “subsistence agriculturalists” forced to work for white land owners (Sithole, 2002. “Land Tenure”). The defeat of the Zulu Nation and its annexation by the British profoundly changed the Zulu method of subsistence which in turn affected their culture at every level.
According to the Encyclopedia of Archaeology(2008), “ …‘mixed farming’…a form of intensive agriculture consisting of domesticated animal and crop production as food sources where the maintenance of soil fertility results from the use of animal manure as fertilizer”, was introduced to Southern Africa by the Bantu speaking people who migrated from the East (“Herders, Farmers, and Metallurgists of South Africa”. p.p. 1,6). This introduction of subsistence technology, including new crops, livestock, and the introduction of metallurgy in the form of iron and copper, changed the South African people, including the Zulu, from foragers to pastoralists in a very short period of time (2008). By the second millennium C.E.,
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