Africa (Cultures and Costumes) by Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey

By Charlotte Grieg, Robert Lee Humphrey

Booklet by means of Grieg, Charlotte

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57 Africa p50-59 CH05 19/09/02 16:12 Page 58 AFRICA Young Xhosa girls wear a short, plain skirt and go bare-breasted. They also wear head cloths as a mark of respect to older tribe members. Girls of marriageable age wear longer skirts and turbans; married women are expected to cover their breasts and wear a bigger head wrap. The bigger and more elaborate the head wrap, the higher the woman’s status in the tribe. Ndebele Beadwork The Ndebele, another Nguni people, are renowned for their beautiful beadwork, which is quite different in style from that of the other tribes of South Africa.

Her sexual organs and brain were preserved and displayed in Paris until 1985. Recently, her remains were returned to the South African government in a gesture of apology for her cruel treatment at the hands of the colonial Europeans. 55 Africa p50-59 CH05 19/09/02 16:11 Page 56 AFRICA Shields and Spears For ceremonies, warriors traditionally carry bold, dramatic shields in an oblong shape, curved into a point at either end. The shields feature oblong slits in two rows down the middle. Assegais (spears) and knobkerries (walking sticks) are also carried.

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.

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