Zulu Culture

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Zulu Culture


This research paper outline aims at undertaking the vital domain of Zulu Culture; the historical aspects of the culture, identification of the Zulu culture's primary mode of subsistence, their religion, the imperative facets of their society and politics. Kinship, social, political, economic organization of the Zulu culture are put up in this research outline along with a brief discussion over the issues of their beliefs and values; and sickness and ways for healing. The relevant scholarly research journals, ethnographies and ethnologies on Zulu Culture are used as the primary sources of information.

Zulu Culture


Cultural Anthropology encompasses the comparative study of human behavior and societal organization. Ethnographies of distinct societies offer an epitome to relate the potential and limits of adaptation of human and the society. The examples of traditional tribes include Basseri of Iran, the Batek of Malaysia, Enga of Papua New Guinea, the Amish- descendants of the Anabaptists, Huaorani of Ecuador, Bedouin of Arabs, Kurds, Maori of New Zealand, Mbuti of Congo, Nayar of India, Semai of Malay Peninsula, Navajo of Southwestern United States, Tikopia of Melanesia and Zulus of Natal Province in South Africa. In this outline of the research paper, Zulu tribe of the South Africa will be analyzed to gain an understanding of the cultural relativism and orientation.



Zulus are located in the Natal province of South Africa. (See Appendix for map)Before 16th century, they were resided in the Congo Basin in the north of Africa. AmaZulu consider Patriarch Zulu as their ancestor and they themselves as his direct descendants. During the period of Shaka, Zulu became the most powerful tribe of South Africa. Their military got hold of area of around 11, 500 sq. miles. The descendent of Shaka, Dingaan tentatively got hold of English colonies. The next to Dingaan was Mpande who permitted the British to take hold of Zulus' areas. The next king was Cetewayo. During his reign, Zulus had a confrontation with the Englishmen. The British acquired the success and the Zulu kingdom got divided.

The defeat of British gave rise to the era of domination of white colonials. In 1910, South Africa got independence. All the powers were given to the Whites while the blacks and Zulus had to live depravedly. The practice of Apartheid initiated by the racist government in 1948 considered Blacks and Zulus inferior from Whites officially. The democratic government of Nelson Mandela had ended the practice of Apartheid.

Chief Gastha Buthelezi is currently the leading voice of more than three million Zulu raising a voice against any discrimination against Zulus.

Economic Organization

Zulus are traditionally considered as settled pastoralist having a livestock or cattle cult; lacking interest in crop cultivation.

Prior to the mid- nineteenth century, Zulus were dependent completely on horticulture for their subsistence. Raising of cattle, poultry and goats were the most substantial livestock. However, at the end of nineteenth century the means of subsistence depend on the market economy too. In order to pay for taxes, small scale agriculture is insufficient therefore Zulus are now engaged in ...
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