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Zulu people (/zuːluː/; Zulu: amaZulu), are a Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa. The Zulu people are the largest ethnic group and nation in South Africa with an estimated 10–12 million people living mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. They originated from Nguni communities who took part in the Bantu migrations.
- 10,659,309 (2001 census), to 12,559,000
- A Bit of History…
- Where Are The Zulus?
- Zulu People and Their Holiday
- The Zulu Family Structure
- Rural and Urban Settings
- Religion, Beliefs, and Rituals
First off, to get a better understanding of the Zulu people, it is important to know how the Zulu tribe came to be. The Zulus are the descendant of the Nguni people. As part of what is called the Bantu migrations, the Nguni people migrated to the east coast of Africa to reach South Africa. As a result, around the ninth century AD, a small Zulu clan settled down in South Africa. During the 1800s, the Zulus were a powerful enemy, mainly because of their leader, King Shaka Zulu. Under his reign that spanned from 1816-1828, all the Zulu tribes were united into one mighty Zulu Nation with the most potent military force of the time in Southern Africa. After the death of King Shaka Zulu, who incidentally was murdered by his brothers, the Zulu nation ceased to exist and was divided into many tribes by the British. To this day, the Zulu never regained their independence.
The largest concentration of Zulu people is in South Africa, and more precisely in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, where their numbers range between 10-11 million. Smaller clusters of Zulus population are present in the following countries: Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland.
The language of the Zulus is the isiZulu that is part of the Bantu language. The Zulu language has many click sounds and harbors many respect terms. For instance, it is considered to be a lack of respect when younger people address their elders by their first names! Therefore, it is viewed as a good practice to use the following terms, Baba (father) and Mama (mother) when talking to the elders of the Zulu community. The isiZulu constitutes one of the 11 official languages of South Africa. Many Zulus are also able to converse in other languages that include English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, and Portuguese.
Apart from all the National Holidays in South Africa, there is one holiday that is dear to the Zulu people, and it is called Shaka Day. In recent years, this holiday was renamed the Heritage Day and takes place each year on the same date, which is September 24. The Heritage Day commemorates the founder of the Zulu Kingdom, King Shaka Zulu. The Zulus wear their traditional clothing for the occasion and gather at the KwaDukuza in Stanger where the tombstone of the famous King is located. There are much dancing and singing during the Heritage Day to honor the founder of the Zulu Kingdom as well as all the kings that came after Shaka Zulu.
The Zulus are very patriarchal. Therefore, the head and authority figure of the family is always a man. The family unit is as follows, a man with his wife or wives (if he can afford it) and their children. Sometimes the family unit also includes the man’s parents who end up being in charge of the household. There is a division of labor between the men and women of the Zulu community. The men are mainly in charge of providing for the family as well as taking care of all the physical tasks, such as, building houses and taking care of the livestock if they are living in the rural area. Whereas the women are responsible for all chores, taking place inside the house, such as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the children. Furthermore, in the rural area, the women are in charge of planting and harvesting the crop. Nowadays, women can join the workforce just like men. However, they are still in charge of all the household chores! As a result, if a wife wants to work outside the home, s...
Nowadays, most of the Zulu people are still living in the rural communities of the KwaZulu Province. Moreover, their subsistence relies primarily on agriculture and livestock. They do not have the luxury of the essential amenities, such as clean water and electricity. Their houses are either of circular shape (rondavels) or rectangular. The materials, mostly used to build their homes are mud or concrete blocks, and a thatched roof made of grass or iron sheets. The town of Durban located in the KwaZulu Province has the largest concentration of Zulus living in an urban setting. The urban Zulu are found mostly in the so-called ‘black townships’ set up by the government in the 1950s and 1960s.
Many Zulus are facing a duality when it comes to their religion. Most of the Zulu people are Christian, but at the same time, have kept a strong belief in ancestral spirits.
For the Zulu tribes, there is a supreme being or a creator God called an “Unkulunkulu.” The creator God does not interact directly with people. The ancestral spirit (Amadlozi) is the entity with whom the people interact with to help them to resolve their everyday problems. The way to communicate with the Amadlozi is through divination processes. To do so, you will need a diviner and a herbalist. The diviner will call upon the ancestral spirit whereas the herbalist prepares a mixture of herbs...
Rites of Passages
There are four critical stages in the Zulus’ life: 1. Birth 2. Puberty 3. Marriage 4. Death A ceremony commemorates each of these milestones. Offerings and sacrifice of animals to the ancestral spirits are made to ensure a successful passage to the next stage in their lives.
The Zulu people are the largest ethnic group in South Africa. Moreover, the Zulu language: the isiZulu, is one of the official languages of South Africa. Most of the Zulus live in the KwaZulu-Natal province in the rural communities and still rely on agriculture and livestock for their subsistence. However, many Zulus looking for a different life, have chosen to move into the black townships in the town of Durban. Even though a large number of Zulu will tell you that they are Christian, many of them retain a firm belief in ancestral spirit and use this system based on ancestor worship to help them solve various issues in their lives. If you have any questions or stories that you would like to share about the Zulu People of Africa, please leave a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you.
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Archaeological evidence shows that the Bantu-speaking groups, that were the ancestors of the Nguni, migrated down from East Africa as early as the eleventh century - see South Africa's general history timeline. Language, culture and beliefs: The Zulu language, of which there are variations, is part of the Nguni language group.
Aug 27, 2018 · Zulus – the warrior tribe of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Known for their military exploits in the 19 th century and their long drawn-out war against the British supremacy, the Zulus are the soul of South Africa. Their roots lie in the Nguni community of Central Africa that migrated southwards along the East Coast.
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Clans fleeing the Zulu war zone included the Soshangane, Zwangendaba, Ndebele, Hlubi, Ngwane, and the Mfengu. A number of clans were caught between the Zulu Empire and advancing Voortrekkers and British Empire such as the Xhosa . East of the green area was the land of the Mpondo under their king Faku and their brother clan the Mpondomise.
2 days ago · Current local time in “Zulu” Military Time. See a clock with the accurate time and find out where it is observed.