Topics: South Africa, Swaziland, Nguni languages Pages: 5 (1730 words) Published: October 8, 1999

Anthropology is the study of humankind everywhere, throughout time, seeks to produce reliable knowledge about people and their behavior, both about what makes them different and what they all share in common. The next few pages will share with you some simple facts about two cultures that are very much different, and are separated by a span of ocean water. These two groups of people are the Yanomamo people of Brazil and the Swazi of South Africa.


There is a large tribe of Tropical Forest Indians on the border between Venezuela and Brazil. They are distributed in about 125 small distant villages. The are gardeners and they have lived until recently isolation for our kind culture. The interesting thing about the group is tat they have managed to retain their native pattern of warfare and political integrity without interference from the outside world. This is due to their isolation in a remote corner of the Amazon. They have remained sovereign and in complete control of their own destiny up until a few years ago. The Swazi people live in a small land locked country border on three sides by South Africa. They have a wide range of ecological zones; rainforest in the north, west mountainous regions, the center is level land and the east scrubby lowveld. It mostly rains in the summer, which is strangely from December to April. The people are hard workers are originating from the Nguni clan of North Africa. Because of their location many European hunters, traders, farmers, and missionaries came to their area bringing the skills and trades with them. This caused the Nguni people to become what is now known as the Swazi people with a new and mixed culture. By comparing, the two cultures I will try to show how being isolated and exposed can change a culture. This will show each culture’s destiny was decided by each group geographical location.


Yanomamo people lived by a combination of horticulture, fishing, and foraging. Horticulturist who raises plantains and bananas, the Yanomamo diet consists of things hunted and gathering of palm fruit. Only about three to four hours in a day were spent working on the food supply. This allows time to enjoy the day by relaxing and having fun. This somewhat likes a civilized society. Because of the tropical region where the live it allows for year round cultivation and gathering of crops. So there is a fair amount of food to allow for this time of play. The Swazi people are farmers and herders. A great deal of their day is placed on cultivating and tending livestock. They do not rely on the self made fruit of the land, for a constant food supply. However, their region allows for seasonal rotation of crops. Production a food is necessary, to this clan. Gathering is not a big part of their substance planning. The land on which they live is a haven for crop raising and cattle rearing. It is very clear that these two societies devote some part of their day to take care of their fist basic need. One society has Mother Nature on their side to help with food supplies. Clearly, the other has to place effort forward in order to survive. The amount of time placed on food, I believe has a lot to do with the amount availability of it. A banana dangling from a tree is more readily available the planting the banana tree first.


Economic development in Swaziland is rapidly growing. Swaziland enjoys well-developed road links to South Africa. It also has railroads running in and out of the area. One of the older railroads Goba Line makes it possible to export goods from Swaziland. The chief commercial crops are sugar, cotton, tobacco, soygrum and citrus fruit. Livestock includes cattle, goats, and sheep. Mining is increasing in importance producing diamonds, gold, coal, and kaolin. Forestry is also important. Light manufacturing industries are being developed and tourism is a growing industry. Although...
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