The Wonderfil Life of Zulu People

Topics: Family, Zulu, Africa Pages: 6 (1867 words) Published: March 18, 2009

The Wonderful Life of the Zulu People

Table of Contents


Chapter I
“Women are extremely valuable in society” 5
Chapter II
“Ancestors are the source of power” 8
Chapter III
“Rite Of Passage” 10
Conclusion 12


The African continent is home to many different religious traditions. The ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations formed in Egypt. Records show the Egyptians have been around since 3100 B.C.E. The Egyptians era had a long influenced on African cultures that spread to other sections of the continent. Some of the great advances in African culture and technology diffused from Egypt. Egypt was one of the earliest places in Africa to develop agriculture, to produce African urban centers, states and kingdoms, and to evolve complex technologies.

One culture that gained from Egypt’s development in agriculture is the Zulu people. The Zulus are members of the Bantu people of southwest Africa. They have occupied much of the country before the seventeenth century. The Zulu strongly believe in three major things and they are: women are extremely valuable in society because, all human life passes though their bodies, the ancestors are the source of power and the souls of the people since, they know what is happening among the people and can help them and the rite of passage are moments of great religious importance in each person’s life. These are all examples of how Zulu people are very well-known for their traditions and rituals.

The Zulu people have well-thought-out patterns of individual and family.


Chapter I
Women are extremely valuable in society
The life of women is very different than the life of a man. This begins from the day they are born until the day they die. A female baby is washed in warm water all the way up until they are four months old where as a boy is only washed in warm water until he reaches three months. When girls are still tiny they are treated with gentleness, affection, and patience and both men and women no matter older or younger will leave any task to look after a female baby who is crying. “Around the age of 1, when she can stand up she is put in the middle of a circle of women dancers, and the old women clap their hands and admire her for being so grown-up as her chubby little body manages to keep in time with the rhythm while she maintains a precarious balance.”[1] Around the age of or two or three she is then able to get her ears pierced with six holes in the right ear and seven holes in the left ear.

Though out her years as a little girl she is expected to full fill the role of a sister and daughter. The relationship she has with her father is less affectionate than with her mother. She really does not see her father but knows she must respect him because both her mother and father will choose her husband for her, with no opinion in the matter. Once the daughter is married her father will avoid physical contact with her until she has children which he will be a grandfather to. Things are different when it comes to her mother. Her mother’s relationship will not change once she is married. In many cases the mother is the daughter’s counselor to help her in the beginning of her marriage. Once the daughter children, she will give one of her daughters to her mother as a household help especially when the grandmother is getting sick and can not do things on her own.

The happiest times in a women life would be the period preceding puberty. Around this time she is older than ten years old and she goes to dances where she meets young men and married men. At these dances she plays a minor role but all songs give praises for the beauty of women. During these dances she had freedom since no value is attached to virginity. At the end of these dances they have sexual freedom under one condition that she picks certain...

Bibliography: • Lamb, David. The Aficans, First Edition. New York: Random House,1982.
• Skinner,Ellioot. Peoples and Cultures of Africa. New York: The Doubleday/Natural History Press, 1973.
• Schapera, Isaac. Married Life in an African tribe. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1966.
• Hance, Gertrude. The Zulu Yesterday and To-Day. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1916.
• Reyher, Rebecca. Zulu Women. New York: Columbia University Press, 1948.
• Ottenberg, Simon and Phoebe. Culture and societies of Africa. Nee York: Random House, 1960.
[1] Elliotl Skinner, Peoples and Cultures of Africa(New York: Natural History Press, 1973), 298.
[2] Simon and Phoebe Ottenburg, Cultures and Societies of Africa(New York: Random House, 1960), 374.
[3] Isaac Schapera, Married Life in an African tribe(Evaston: Northwestern University Press, 1966), 38.
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