Cultural Research Paper On Zulu

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Cultural Research Paper on Zulu


In the Zulu language, amaZulu means the Zulu people, and the word Zulu means heaven. According to a Zulu version of the creation story, this name refers to the belief that the Zulu people came down from heaven. One of the Bantu languages, Zulu is spoken by the largest language community of South Africa. There are also 200,000 speakers in Lesotho. Some linguists prefer the prefixed form isi-Zulu, literally 'Zulu in language or culture'. The language group that includes Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Swazi was once called Kaffir, Portuguese Caffre, a vague word that sometimes denoted all the Bantu languages of southern Africa (it is the Arabic word for 'pagan'). Zulu itself was sometimes called Zulu-Kaffir. The group is now usually named Nguni, a modern reapplication of a term that once denoted a single constituent element within the Zulu-speaking population. Customarily the variant form Ngoni is used for the people who migrated northwards (see map in the appendix section) in the mid 19th century. In this paper we try to focus on the Zulu. The main purpose of this paper is to describe the Zulu culture. The paper highlights the primary mode of subsistence of the Zulu. The paper also describes the life of the Zulu they live. The paper analyzes and evaluates the impact that the primary mode of subsistence of the culture has on the following aspects: Beliefs and values, Economic organization, and Sickness and Healing. The paper also uses ethnography and ethnology. The Zulu


Zulu had previously been influenced in its turn. Its click consonants originate in loanwords from Khoe or some other Khoisan language, evidently the result of deep and long-lasting interaction with its speakers. Pastoralism and an associated cattle cult were clearly shared between the two language groups: Zulu words for 'cow', 'sheep' and 'milk' are Khoisan in origin. Seventeen consonants were added to Zulu in the course of this interaction. Zulu (like Xhosa) now has a sound pattern that is most unusual for a Bantu language.

In Zulu spelling the three clicks borrowed from Khoisan languages appear as c (dental), q (palatal), x (lateral). The Zulu empire of Shaka, and the great upheavals of that time, marks a break between earlier and later identifications of peoples - and therefore of languages - in what is now South Africa. Before Shaka's time, the 'Zulu' were simply one clan among many. After the difaqane 'forced migrations' of the 1820s and 1830s, the rebellions and famines and population movements in what is now eastern South Africa, a new linguistic map begins to emerge (Davenport, 1998).

Thesis Statement

Zulu is a very vast and influencing culture of South Africa. Zulu is a rich heritage culture that provides detailed traditional values regarding every aspect of life including economical condition, healing and sickness and different believes and values.


The Zulus are members of the Bantu group of peoples who come from central and southern Africa. They were traditionally pastoral farmers. In the 1800s, Zulu populations lived in modest dwellings constructed ...
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