By Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey
Booklet through Grieg, Charlotte
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Additional resources for Africa (Cultures and Costumes)
When a man dies, his wife is expected to marry her husband’s brother. 56 Africa p50-59 CH05 19/09/02 16:12 Page 57 SOUTH AFRICA Among the Zulus, military traditions were once strong. The young men were initiated into age sets, groups of warriors who lived and worked together away from their families. Each age set became a unit of the Zulu army, controlled by the king. The men from an age set, or regiment, could only marry when the king gave them permission. The king was also responsible for the nation’s spiritual well-being, performing rain-making and other ceremonies in accordance with the Zulus’ religious beliefs.
Is paramount. The Zulu man is allowed several wives, who are ranked in order of importance. The “great wife” is the most senior, being the mother of the man’s heir. When a man dies, his wife is expected to marry her husband’s brother. 56 Africa p50-59 CH05 19/09/02 16:12 Page 57 SOUTH AFRICA Among the Zulus, military traditions were once strong. The young men were initiated into age sets, groups of warriors who lived and worked together away from their families. Each age set became a unit of the Zulu army, controlled by the king.
When she marries, the Ndebele girl wears an even bigger collar, called a rholwani, made of twisted grass and beads. Above this, several tight copper bands are worn around the neck; copper bands also adorn her arms and legs. In addition to wearing the rholwani, married women also cover their shoulders and their heads; to do this, they wear imported striped blankets and headbands of beads in many different styles. For males, there are few rules about clothing until the age of circumcision, when they have to wear an apron beaded in geometric designs.