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  1. #1
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    South african cultures and life styles

    I thought I will due to the fact that I have been accused of spreading only negative propaganda, start this thread which will concentrate on the facts of all the different cultures and lifestyles in South Africa. This way people who are not familiar with the different cultures can get to know them a little bit better.

    I will try to post a different culture each and every week, that is if I have the time available.

    The first culture I will write about is the Zulu culture. They are wide spread over South Africa, but are more concentrated in the Kwazulu Natal Province. Underneath is a map showing all the provinces of SA.





    Above image shows how the Zulus dress. This is their traditional dress and they wear this whenever they have ceremonies.

    Women dress more or less the same but wear more beads. They also don't wear anything to cover their breasts and due to the nature of this site I can't post pictures of it here.

    LANGUAGE AND DOMOGRAPHICS

    PRONUNCIATION: ZOO-loo

    LOCATION: KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa

    POPULATION: 9.2 million

    LANGUAGE: IsiZulu; Zulu; English

    RELIGION: Mixture of traditional beliefs and Christianity

    The modern Zulu population is fairly evenly distributed in both urban and rural areas. Although KwaZulu-Natal is still their heartland, large numbers have been attracted to the relative economic prosperity of Gauteng province. Indeed, Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in the province, followed by Sotho. Zulu is also widely spoken in rural and small-town Mpumalanga province.

    Zulus also play an important part in South African politics. Mangosuthu Buthelezi served a term as Minister of Home Affairs in the government of national unity which came into power in 1994, when reduction of civil conflict between ANC and IFP followers was a key national issue. Within the country, South African President Jacob Zuma and former Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of the country are Zulu, in part to bolster the ruling ANC's claim to be a pan-ethnic national party and refute IFP claims that it was primarily a Xhosa party.

    The language of the Zulu people is "isiZulu", a Bantu language; more specifically, part of the Nguni subgroup. Zulu is the most widely spoken language in South Africa, where it is an official language. More than half of the South African population are able to understand it, with over 9 million first-language and over 15 million second-language speakers.[3] Many Zulu people also speak Afrikaans, English, Portuguese, Shangaan, Sesotho and others from among South Africa's 11 official languages.

    ZULU CEREMONIES, RELIGION, POLITICS AND FOLKLORE

    Birth, puberty, marriage and death are all celebrated. Zulus believe it is a blessing to die. Birth and puberty is also very much celebrated.

    Nowadays it is performed only for girls. It involves separation from other people for a period to mark the changing status from youth to adulthood. This is followed by "reincorporation," characterized by ritual killing of animals, dancing, and feasting. After the ceremony, the girl is declared ready for marriage. The courting days then begin. The girl may take the first step by sending a "love letter" to a young man who appeals to her. Zulu love letters are made of beads. Different colors have different meanings, and certain combinations carry particular messages.

    Ancestral spirits are important in Zulu religious life. Offerings and sacrifices are made to the ancestors for protection, good health, and happiness. Ancestral spirits come back to the world in the form of dreams, illnesses, and sometimes snakes. The Zulu also believe in the use of magic. Anything beyond their understanding, such as bad luck and illness, is considered to be sent by an angry spirit.

    The Zulu recognize the national holidays of the Republic of South Africa. In addition, they celebrate Shaka's Day every year in September. This holiday is marked by celebrations and slaughtering cattle to commemorate the founder of the Zulu Kingdom. On this important day, Zulu people wear their full traditional attire (clothing and weapons) and gather at Shaka's tombstone, kwaDukuza in Stanger.

    In order to appeal to the spirit world, a diviner (sangoma) must invoke the ancestors through divination processes to determine the problem. Then, a herbalist (inyanga) prepares a mixture to be consumed (muthi) in order to influence the ancestors. As such, diviners and herbalists play an important part in the daily lives of the Zulu people. However, a distinction is made between white muthi (umuthi omhlope), which has positive effects, such as healing or the prevention or reversal of misfortune, and black muthi (umuthi omnyama), which can bring illness or death to others, or ill-gotten wealth to the user.[6] Users of black muthi are considered witches, and shunned by society.

    Christianity had difficulty gaining a foothold among the Zulu people, and when it did it was in a syncretic fashion. Isaiah Shembe, considered the Zulu Messiah, presented a form of Christianity (the Nazareth Baptist Church) which incorporated traditional customs.[7]

    RELATIONSHIPS


    Polygamy is also in Zulu culture as it is in other cultures like N Sotho, Islam and Swazi culture. KwaZulu the king was and is still able to take more than 5 wives to bare him children.

    Zulu families use to choose a husband for the women, in most situations the girl is chosen to marry an older guy while she is still young, age16 and 45 and only to find that she is the 5th wife to husband.

    The families are the ones who decide on the Lobola and everything, they just tell the girl about the final arrangements of the marriage and the day she will be going to live with the husband.

    Other reasons why the Zulu people take more than two wives is because a women without children is looked down and loses her position of being a wife in a clan.

    Now the husband forced to marry another wife who will bare him children, and if the wife doesn't bare sons the husband takes another wife to bare sons for him in order to continue the family name.

    The Zulu family is patriarchal; a man is both the head of the family and the figure of authority. It is not unusual for young men to have as many girlfriends as they wish. If they can afford it, they can take more than one wife when they decide to get married. Traditionally, women were not supposed to go out and work, since they were a man's responsibility. Nowadays the status of Zulu women is slowly improving with more women receiving an education.

    Marriage is exogamous; marriage to any person belonging to one's father's, mother's, father's mother's, and mother's mother's clan is prohibited. If it happens, the ukudabula (literally, "cutting of the blood relationship") ritual is performed.

    ZULU HOUSES



    A more modern version of above house looks like this.



    HISTORIC EVENTS OF SIGNIFICANCE

    Conflict with the British
    Main article: Anglo-Zulu War

    On December 11, 1878, agents of the British delivered an ultimatum to 11 chiefs representing Cetshwayo. The terms forced upon Cetshwayo required him to disband his army and accept British authority. Cetshwayo refused, and war followed at the start of 1879. During the war, the Zulus defeated the British at the Battle of Isandlwana on January 22. The British managed to get the upper hand after the battle at Rorke's Drift, and win the war with the Zulu defeat at the Battle of Ulundi on July 4.

    The Zulus also fought with the Boers during the Battle of Blood River:

    The Battle of Blood River, so called due to the colour of water in the Ncome River (Blood River) turning red from blood, (Afrikaans: Slag van Bloedrivier; Zulu: iMpi yaseNcome) was fought between 470 Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius, and an estimated 10,000 - 15,000 Zulu attackers on the bank of the Ncome River on 16 December 1838, in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

    Casualties amounted to three thousand of king Dingane's soldiers dead, including two Zulu princes competing with prince Mpande for the Zulu throne. Three Trekker commando members were lightly wounded, including Pretorius himself.



    In the sequel to the Battle of Blood River during January 1840, the Mpande-Pretorius alliance finally defeated Dingane in the Battle of Maqongqe. Dingane's commander in both battles, general Ndlela, was strangled to death by Dingane on account of high treason.

    PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH ZULUS

    I know a few Zulus on a personal level and I can with confidence say that I consider at least one of them to be a better Christian than many white Christians I know.

    Zulus are extremely passionate about their tradition and don't marry easily out of their ethnic group.

    Source 1: The Zulu People, Their Culture and History
    Source 2: Wiki:Zulu
    Source 3: Countries and Their Cultures
    Source 4: Battle of Blood River
    Last edited by Aspoestertjie; May 7th, 2010 at 12:56 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    Thank you, Aspo..!!

    Very interesting and informative....
    "As long as I have a voice, I will speak for those who have none".

  3. #3
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    Agreed with Scarlett. I am taking a World History class now, and may even use some of the info for one of my papers. Hope you post more of these.

  4. #4
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    The second culture I will write about is the Sotho culture. They are wide spread over South Africa, but are more concentrated in the Limpopo Province and Lesotho. They are devided into two groups namely Nothern Sotho (Limpopo Province) and Southern Sotho (Lesotho). You can clearly see the provinces on the map below.





    Above image shows how some of the Southern Sotho people dress and at the background a typical Sotho house. Sometimes the Northern Sotho people are also referred to as the Bapedi or Pedi tribe.

    The origin and the way how Pedi became to refer to "Northern Sotho" is well eplained on this website. Warning...naked Bapedi women appears on this site.

    The history surrounding King Sekhukhune and the plot of his brother to murder him is quite an interesting story.

    In the summer of 1876, a Boer advance was stopped at Sekhukhune's fortress. The Boer soldiers fled across the Steelpoort River in the face of a Pedi charge, landing the aggressors a resounding defeat.

    The British annexation of the Transvaal followed in 1877, partly spurred by the Boers' failure to subjugate the Pedi. Sekhukhune claimed he did not fall under British rule, while the British argued that as the new rulers of the Transvaal Republic, they were entitled to rule the Pedi. One year later, Sekhukhune was at war once again.

    After a string of embarrassing defeats, the British gained the upper hand. In 1879, Sir Garnet Wolslely forced Sekhukhune to surrender.

    Sekhukhune's half brother Mampuru, saw this as an opportunity to regain the throne as the rightful King. In 1882 he murdered Sekhukhune, then fled for the safety of King Nyabela of the Ndebele.


    This hisotry and it's origin today is taken up very seriously and several Cultural events are arranged to commemorate this history and the events. Also, there is still a King Sekhukhune living today. Many areas are devided into what we call tribal authorities with Magoshis running those Tribal Authorities. Special legislation also ensure that Tribal Authorities are acknowledged and that Tribal land belongs to those Magoshis.

    LANGUAGE AND DOMOGRAPHICS

    PRONUNCIATION: Soh-Toh

    LOCATION: Limpopo Province of South Africa and Lesotho

    POPULATION: 5.6 million in SA and 1.9 million in Lesotho

    LANGUAGE: Sesotho/Sepedi

    RELIGION: Mixture of traditional beliefs and Christianity

    The Sotho language, or Sesotho, is a Bantu language closely related to Setswana. Sotho is rich in proverbs, idioms, and special forms of address reserved for elders and in-laws.

    The division between southern and northern Sotho people is based on the different dialects of the two groups. The southern form of Sotho is spoken in Lesotho, and the northern form is spoken in the Northern Province. The northern dialect is called Sepedi. Southern Sotho utilizes click consonants in some words, while Sepedi does not have clicks.

    Names in Sotho generally have meanings that express the values of the parents or of the community. Common personal names include Lehlohonolo (Good Fortune), Mpho (Gift), and MmaThabo (Mother of Joy). Names may also be given to refer to events. For example, a girl born during a rainstorm might be called Puleng, meaning "in the rain."

    SOTHO CEREMONIES, RELIGION, POLITICS AND FOLKLORE

    Sotho has a rich tradition of folktales (ditsomo or dinonwane) and praise poems (diboko). These are told in dramatic and creative ways that may include audience participation. Folktales are adventure stories which occur in realistic and magical settings. One of the best known of the folk-tales is about a boy named Sankatana who saves the world from a giant monster.
    The supreme being that the Sotho believe in is most commonly referred to as Modimo. Modimo is approached through the spirits of one's ancestors, the balimo, who are honored at ritual feasts. The ancestral spirits can bring sickness and misfortune to those who forget them or treat them disrespectfully. The Sotho traditionally believed that the evils of our world were the result of the malevolent actions of sorcerers and witches.

    Today, Christianity in one form or another is accepted by most Sotho-speaking people. Most people in Lesotho are Catholics, but there are also many Protestant denominations. Independent African churches are growing in popularity.

    Women give birth with the assistance of female birth attendants. Traditionally, relatives and friends soaked the father with water when his firstborn child was a girl. If the firstborn was a boy, the father was beaten with a stick. This ritual suggested that while the life of males is occupied by warfare, that of females is occupied by domestic duties such as fetching water. For two or three months after the birth, the child was kept secluded with the mother in a specially marked hut. The seclusion could be temporarily broken when the baby was brought outside to be introduced to the first rain.

    There are elaborate rites of initiation into adulthood for boys and girls in Sotho tradition. For boys, initiation involves a lengthy stay in a lodge in a secluded area away from the village. The lodge may be very large and house dozens of initiates (bashemane). During seclusion, the boys are circumcised, but they are also taught appropriate male conduct in marriage, special initiation traditions, code words and signs, and praise songs. In Lesotho, the end of initiation is marked by a community festival during which the new initiates (makolwane) sing the praises they have composed. In traditional belief, a man who has not been initiated is not considered a full adult.

    Initiation for girls (bale) also involves seclusion, but the ritual huts of the bale are generally located near the village. Bale wear masks and goat-skin skirts, and they smear their bodies with a chalky white substance. They sometimes may be seen as a group near the homes of relatives, singing, dancing, and making requests for presents. Among some clans, the girls are subjected to tests of pain and endurance. After the period of seclusion the initiates, now called litswejane , wear cowhide skirts and anoint themselves with red ocher. Initiation for girls does not involve any surgical operation.


    RELATIONSHIPS


    In Sotho tradition, the man is considered the head of the household. Women are defined as farmers and bearers of children. Family duties are also organized into distinct domains based on gender for all Sotho, but the Pedi maintain a stricter separation of living space into male and female areas. Polygynous marriages (more than one wife) are not uncommon among the elite, but they are rare among commoners. Marriages are arranged by transfer of bohadi (bride wealth) from the family of the groom to the family of the bride. Upon marriage, a woman is expected to leave her family to live with the family of her husband.

    FOOD THE SOTHOS EAT

    Sotho people share many food traditions with the other peoples of South Africa. Staple foods are corn (maize), eaten in the form of a thick paste, and bread. Beef, chicken, and mutton (lamb) are popular meats, while milk is often drunk in soured form. South African beer is made from sorghum rather than barley.

    PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH SOTHOS

    Most black people I know on a personal level are Sothos. They regard their tradition and their culture as very important and will fight hands and teeth to keep it alive. They are passionate about what they love and not so passionate about what they don't love.

    HISTORIC EVENTS OF SIGNIFICANCE

    I think the most interesting part of the Sotho culture is that of King Sekhukhune.

    Sekhukhune was king of the Marota people (commonly called Bapedi) who originated from the Bakgatia of the Western Transvaal. He built his empire by entering into diplomatic marriages with various "dichabas", by admitting "refugees" into his empire and by military conquest. By the middle of the 19th century the Marota empire had grown to unite all the disparate people in the area under a common loyalty. Externally Sekhukhune laboured incessantly to jpin forces with other peoples - Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa, Tswana and Mozambicans in a common struggle to defend their land and liberty against the colonialists. internally he allowed the door to the top of the Marota society to remain open to the best, even "outsiders" e.g. Swazi nationals.

    Wars of Resistance

    When Hendrick Potgieter and the Voortrekkers arrived in the Marota Empire in the middle of the 19th century, Sekhukhune's father, Sekwati (1775-1861), resisted them. In a famous battle at Phsiring in 1838 Sekwati defeated the Voortrekkers by the simple tactic of establishing his stronghold on a hill and rolling stones down to push back the advancing invaders.

    But Phsiring was insecure and so Sekwati moved his headquarters to Thaba Mosega (the fighting koppie) in the Lulu Mountains of the Eastern Transvaal from which his people were dislodged only by a series of bitter wars ending in December, 1879.

    In 1846 the Boers, claiming to have purchased the land from the Swazis, sought to expel the Marota from the land east of the Tubatse (the so-called Steelpoort) River. They were rebuffed.

    In 1865, Rev. Dr. Alexander Merensky (1837-1917), Superintendent of the Berlin Missionary Society and who had been welcomed among the Marota first by Sekwati and later by Sekhukhune, was expelled for activities that were deemed to be subversive of Sekhukhune's authority and favourable to the Pretoria Boers. He took refuge in Bochabelo, near Middleburg where he established a Mission station an5 a school of that name. Merensky continued to play a double game, hunting with the hounds and running with the hares, until Sekhukhune disappeared from the scene in 1879 when the Boers rewarded him (Merensky) by granting him land in Maandagshoek from which he carried on his dubious activities under the cloak of religion.

    Sekhukhune also had a battle against the British.

    SOTHO HOUSES



    Above is how traditional houses look like. Many Sotho speaking people however westernized and moved into the rich suburbs. Most of my colleagues drive expensive vehicles and live in flashy houses. They do however still value traditional life and will return to that way of living over weekends to visit family and friends.

    SOURCES

    http://www.nguni.com/culture/virtualafrica/sotho/
    http://www.ezakwantu.com/Tribes%20-%...%20Basotho.htm
    http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/histor...ekhukhune.html
    http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Japan-to-Mali/Sotho.html
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  5. #5
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    I like the first of the Zulu houses. The grass dome thingy. Very neat. Very....earthy.

  6. #6
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    The Xhosas



    Above image shows some Xhosa people outside their homes. They like painting there houses like that.



    Quite a nice picture of some Xhosa women smoking pipe. Kind of interesting because I never knew they like smoking pipe.

    I grew up in the Tswana area, and many of them actually rolled their own 'zolls' or sigarettes. They buy tobacco and roll it up inside newspaper and then smoke it.

    The Xhosas seems to do the smoking habit a bit differently.

    Today many black people like the Sotho people I work with smoke sigarettes they buy in a store as they can afford it.



    British Land Aquistions, 1800s
    Yellow--4th Frontier War (1811)
    Orange--5th Frontier War (1818)
    Red--7th Frontier War (1846)
    Purple--"Cattle Killing" Relocations (1858)
    Green--9th Frontier War (1878)
    Blue--Mpondoland Campaigns (1894)

    Above picture shows the British Land Aquisitions during the 1800s.

    The most known Xhosa of all time is of course old President Nelson Mandela, who is known world wide.

    DEMOGRAPHICS

    Population: Botswana 9,900; Lesotho 22,000; South Africa 7,529,000; Zimbabwe 29,000 (Joshua Project 2008)
    Religion: Christianity 88% (South Africa); African Traditional Religion 12% (Joshua Project 2008)
    Registry of Peoples code: Xhosa: 110893
    Registry of Languages code (Ethnologue): Xhosa

    LOCATION AND LANGUAGE

    The Xhosa people are generally found in the areas known as the Ciskei and Transkei.

    Their language is quite complex (at least for me) as it is one of the 'click' languages. There is no way I can get myself to actually pronounce it the way they do and tried but failed each time.

    Xhosa is a Bantu language in the Nguni family of southeastern Bantu languages. Bantu languages are a part of the Benue-Congo division of the Niger-Kordofanian language group. Xhosa is one of the 11 official languages of the Republic of South Africa. Many Xhosa speakers also understand Zulu, Swati, Southern Sotho.

    Linguists identify the folloiwng dialects of Xhosa speech: Gealeka, Ndlambe, Gaika (Ncqika), Thembu, Bomvana, Mpondomse, Mpondo, Xesibe, Rhathabe, Bhaca, Cele, Hlubi, Mfengu.

    The Nguni languages are unique among the Bantu languages in the use of click sounds as consonants. These sounds were borrowed from the Khoisan languages of the original inhabitants of the area, the Khoikhoi and San families. Xhosa is very close to Zulu and the two are largely mutually-intelligible.

    The x in Xhosa represents a click like the sound used in English spur a horse on, followed by aspiration (a release of breath represented by the h). In English the name is commonly pronounced with an English k sound for the x.


    CUSTOMS

    The Xhosa people have a very rich heritage of which they are proud. Traditionally they are mostly known as cattle herders and live in beehive shaped huts in scattered homesteads ruled by chiefs.

    Children are usually named by their fathers or grandparents and all names have special meanings. It is important to greet everyone as you arrive and as you go. If for some reason you are not able to greet everyone, you should greet the oldest person present. You may not greet someone older than you by their first name. You should always use titles such as "Father", "Mother", "Pastor" or "Aunt". You must also ask permission to leave. Likewise, when serving food, you would serve the oldest person present and men are usually served before women. Children are always served last.

    A boy becomes a man when his father determines that he is ready to go to the "hut". He is set apart for a period of up to 6 weeks in which he is circumcised and taught the traditions of his tribe. Honor to the ancestors is an important focus. This is typically done between 12 and 18 years of age. After this time, he is free to get married.

    Marriages are arranged by the families. The family of the boy approaches the family of the girl and begins "negotiations". The lobola, or bride price, must also be agreed upon. It is typically 10 cows or the equivalent in money. The bride is captured by the groom's family and taken to live with them. In secular settings, they are considered married. In Christian settings, they proceed to the church for a two day service in which one day is spent at the groom's village and the other at the bride's village.


    In most of the black cultures the weddings are more or less the same. The major difference between their ceremonies and that of white people is that they don't send out official invitations. They let everybody know from wide and far that they are going to get married. Everybody who does get invited that way should bring a present. The bride and groom and their families never know how many people will actually pitch for the wedding, so they slaughter cattle and other live stock to ensure there is enough food over two days for everybody who attends. Financially I think it costs them a lot more than the westernized weddings we are used to.

    RELIGION

    Veneration of the ancestors, sometimes called "ancestor worship," is very prominent among the Xhosa people. The ancestors are still considered part of the community of the lineage. They believe the ancestors reward those who venerate them and punish those who neglect them. Many mix ancestor worship with their Christian faith. There is a strong sense of loyalty among the tribe or community. Most things are shared and those that have more are expected to share more.

    I can't say or can remember that I have ever knew a Xhosa person on a personal level. What I do know is that President Nelson Mandela was one of the best presidents SA ever had.

    Sources:

    Xhosa
    Xhosa History and Culture
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    The Tswanas

    I love the Tswana people because they are generally peace makers and I grew up amongst them.

    I had many Tswana children who were my friends when I was small and we played together in the open grass lands many times.

    From what I can remember is that they are soft spoken and generally is less violent in nature. In fact, a Tswana lady practically raised me because my mother had to work. I was carried on her back many times and when I was bigger I ate with her marog and other food they used to love making.

    Some History and Facts

    The Tswana, or West Sotho, people make up about 8% of the Sotho-speaking population of South Africa. Their main industry is cattle farming and they live mainly in the Northern Cape Province, North West Province, central and western Free State and in neighbouring Botswana.

    As the Tswana lived in inhospitable country inhabited by many wild animals, they sought the security of close settlement around the central authority of their chief. These towns, surrounded by satellite villages or wards are sometimes several kilometres across and may house up to 20 000 people. The cattle kraal is central to most Tswana villages and is the focus of life.

    For many decades the Tswana tribes migrated to new lands, setting up chiefdoms at will until the governments of White settlers made boundaries, obliging them to settle permanently in certain areas. In 1971 defined borders were given to the fragmented territories of the Tswana. This homeland ultimately became the national state of Bophuthatswana, which means literally `the tying together of the Tswana'. This state was not recognised by the international world and ended with the fall from power of President Mangope in 1994, and the re-incorporation of Bophuthatswana into the Republic of South Africa.

    Setswana is spoken across South Africa and is one of the country’s 11 official languages. It was the first written Sotho language, with Sotho being a sub-group of the Nguni, or Bantu, languages. About 3 301 774 people in South Africa use it as their home language.

    The Tswana tradition lies deep in the roots of Africa. The Tswanas are divided in tribes each with their own Kgosi or head. In Mafikeng we are talking about the Barolong. During the siege Mafikeng was only one and a half kilometers from the center of the Barolong stadt, traditional capital of the Tshidi Barolong tribe. It was here that the Molema section of the tribe settled in the early 1850's while the senior section of the tribe under Montshiwa remained at Machaneng in the Kanya district.

    The Barolong were in many skirmishes e.g. when the Goshenites raided Barolong cattle posts north west of Mafikeng and drove off over 3000 head of cattle. The Tswanas is a peaceful nation and always willing to a peace treaty e.g. with Gey von Pittius and Joubert.

    As all independent nation the Barolong were also not willing to let the land that rightfully belong to them be taken. The English knew it was for their own good to have the Barolongs on there side. Warren offered to help Montshiwa by erecting a chapel for his Wesleyan subjects to replace the one built by Molema and wrecked during the war of 1881-1884 against the Goshenites. Three Barolong regiments made bricks and supplied unskilled labour while the Royal Engineers did the masonry and skilled work. The church was opened on December 5, 1885 and continued to be in use until recently.

    The Tswanas mainly lived from what the land could offer them and kept a lot of livestock, They regarded family and extended family life very high.

    Sol Plaatje was one of the most well known Tswana people.

    Tswana House



    Tswana Dancers



    I grew up in the North West Province where there is a higher percentage of Tswana speaking people. I had to take Tswana as a third language when I was in school and had to learn about their culture.

    Tswana is to me less complicated than most other languages, probably because I grew up with it.

    Sources:

    Tswana Culture
    Cultural Groups - Tswana
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    I'm kinda shocked how in some cases these people are wearing fairly heavy looking extensive clothing.

    The Xhosa women, but especially the Sotho. Those are thick looking poncho type things.
    Excuse my ignorance, but isn't it usually viciously hot there?

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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSparrow View Post
    I'm kinda shocked how in some cases these people are wearing fairly heavy looking extensive clothing.

    The Xhosa women, but especially the Sotho. Those are thick looking poncho type things.
    Excuse my ignorance, but isn't it usually viciously hot there?
    It pretty much depends on where you are in Africa. Certain parts, like the Orange Free State can get very cold in Winter and you have to actually cover up. Some areas can even get snow in Winter. The Drakensberg mountains are also covered with snow during Winter.

    I grew up in the North West Province where it can get pretty cold too. It doesn't get cold enough for snow, but it does get cold enough for water to freeze inside pipes so that you don't have water when you wake up in the morning.

    I currently live in the Limpopo Province where you almost don't have a Winter sometimes, but it doesn't mean we don't feel cold. We acclimatized to the conditions. I believe if someone from America should visit me in my Winter time, it will feel like their summer, but it doesn't feel like that to me. I still feel cold even though it is hot for people who are not used to it. Our summers are extremely hot. We have about 3 months of really cold weather in Winter and the rest of the time it is Summer.
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    Fair enough.

    I just carried around this idea in my head that everywhere in Africa it was 35C during the day, and 28 at night.

    Hey, lots of American's think we all live in igloos up here in Canada.

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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    There are other reasons why people also cover up, and that is the sun. Some of them where heavy clothes to protect their skin from the deadly sun. It really is the only way to make sure you don't get burned.
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    Great series of articles Aspoestertjie

    And yes it does help me see your other posts in a different light.

    I like the way some of the tribes paint their traditional homes.

    Is there much of an effort to take tribal customs and integrate them into a more urban/modern lifestyle? Among native american cultures I often find that those who are most successful at preserving their culture are those who are willing to see it evolve in a changing world.

    Another though I had was the challenge they must have enforcing law and running government when there are so many differently languages spoken.
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    Re: South african cultures and life styles

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Great series of articles Aspoestertjie

    And yes it does help me see your other posts in a different light.

    I like the way some of the tribes paint their traditional homes.

    Is there much of an effort to take tribal customs and integrate them into a more urban/modern lifestyle? Among native american cultures I often find that those who are most successful at preserving their culture are those who are willing to see it evolve in a changing world.

    Another though I had was the challenge they must have enforcing law and running government when there are so many differently languages spoken.

    There are many people who get influenced and/or inspired by the tribal customs of all the different cultures. It especially shows in interior decorating and even how some people prepare their food.

    I must admit that the cultures in SA all realize how important it is to preserve their cultures. As much as we all want to be one nation, we all feel that we belong in a certain group and culture. All of us, black and white try to preserve it as much as possible. I know the Sotho people have several cultural festivals. The Boers have their cultural festivals. Sometimes all these cultural differences bring along very unique challenges, but it is not challenges that can't be overcome.

    Yes, we have eleven different languages, but government is run on English and it is the language mostly used for communication. There is however a challenge when it comes to service delivery as every member of community has the right to be served in their own language. Like you already saw, there are certain areas where certain groups are more prominent. In Kwazulu Natal where the Zulus are more concentrated, their language is incorporated into the languages that should form part of service delivery in that area. Notices will appear in those official languages for that particular area etc.

    __________________________________________

    The Khoisan People

    For me these are probably the most special group of people in SA. They are really amazing people and live very close with mother nature. There is nothing you can teach the Khoisan about animals and living of only what nature can provide.

    I have met a view Khoisan in my life and I can with honesty say they are delicate. I even think they are precious and very very vulnerable.

    Khoikhoi Culture: A Brief Introduction

    The word 'Khoisan' is used in a broader term to describe both the Khoikhoi as well as the San or 'Bushmen' as if they were one people sharing a common culture. These were, however, two distinct cultural groups. The Khoikhoi called themselves 'the real people' or Khoi-na, to distinguish themselves from other groups such as the San (SoaQua or SonQua), named Bushmen by the colonists. The 'Bushmen' were smaller groups of hunter/gatherers who lived off the veld and had no cattle. The Khoikhoi, on the other hand, were nomadic herders who owned vast herds of cattle and sheep and lived in large groups based on an exogamous clan system. Exogamy entails choosing a marriage partner from a social group of which one is not a member, as such a marriage brings certain benefits by establishing alliances between the groups. It can also be regarded as necessary for the groups' survival.

    San HuntIn the hunting and foraging society of the San, all people are equal. Khoikhoi society was hierarchial. Those who owned stock were regarded as 'wealthy'; there were servants (without stock) and those who would work as herdsmen as a form of hired labour. A herdsman would receive a lamb in payment for service. The Khoikhoi lived in villages which consisted primarily of members of the same patrilineal clan. Each village recognised the authority of a headman which was a heriditary position passed on from father to eldest son. Several villages were usally united into a much larger unit called a tribe, which could range in size from a few hundred to several thousand individuals.

    Local clans could move around and use pasture, water resources, game, wild fruit and vegetables within the tribal area. Unrelated clans from another tribe, however, had to obtain permission from the local chief to use local resources. A good water supply was essential for the Khoikhoi herders, since adequate grazing is of little value without water. It was understood that outsiders could move into another tribal area, as long as they requested permission and paid some form of tribute to the chief. The chief "owned" neither land nor the resources on it, as land could not become the property of individuals. The rights granted to outsiders were temporary. (We can now see why there were so many misunderstandings when the first Europeans arrived).

    Water and livestock, particularly cattle, played a central role in the culture of the Khoikhoi people. Their religious, political, economical and social life was intricate; strict rules and social control governed every individual. Birth, puberty, adulthood, marriage and death were accompanied by rituals and rites of passages as important to the Khoikhoi as to any other people. Yet, these facets of Khoikhoi existence were often misunderstood and even ignored by the early explorers, who saw only a savage people no better than animals.



    These people are really small. I feel like a giant when one of them are standing next to me. And I am not a big or tall person at all.

    Physically the Khoisan, with their short frames (149-163 cm/4'9-5'4, copper brown skin, tightly coiled "peppercorn" hair, high cheekbones, and epicanthic eye folds are quite distinct from the darker-skinned peoples who constitute the majority of Africa's population, though both population are usually dolichocephalic (Huxley, 1870). They have moderately long legs with long muscle bellies, which is a trait that sharply distinguishes them from surrounding Pygmy and Bantu populations having muscles with short bellies and long tendons (Coon 1965). Two distinguishing features of some Khoisan women are their elongated labia minora and tendency to steatopygia.[2][dubious discuss] features which contributed greatly to the European fascination with the so-called Hottentot Venus. However, the physical differences between Khoisan and other peoples may be diminishing due to intermarriage.



    Here is how the Kalahari Desert look like where the Khoisan is found today. My own mother actually grew up in these parts of South Africa and there is still a family farm there to which I return from time to time. It is a harsh world, with very little rain fall. It is unique and beautiful in it's own way.

    Food

    The San have been in South Africa for at least 750,000 years. They are traditionally nomadic hunters, gatherers of wild plants and collectors of maritime resources. Traditional San are experts at recognizing indigenous wild vegetables (known in South Africa as veldkos). Key San veldkos ingredients include Waterblommetjies the chestnut flavoured bulb, Bloublommetjie-uintjie (Moraea fugax) and the wild fig (Carpobrotus edulis). Khoisan food and ingredients have been incorporated into boerekos recipes (e.g. Waterblommetjie bredie) which reflects a history of Afrikaner and San communities living in close proximity to each other and sharing culinary techniques and ingredients.

    By contrast the Khoi were traditionally cattle herding people with a high dairy intake. Reports from 17th century Dutch settlers state that the Khoi baked pancake like flat breads (their flour was made of dried ground bulbs and tubers) which was baked on flat stones on top of coals. Fish were roasted on coals or hot ashes on an earthen-ware plate. Meat was either dried or slow cooked in clay pots within earth ovens (this method allowed for the meat to cook in its own juices and remain succulent). Dutch settlers reported seeing Khoi cooking food inside seaweed tubular stems.


    I personally went on a 'hunting' trip with a Khoisan before and it is amazing how these people can give you a whole story of what an animal did by simply looking at their tracks.
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