See This Tribe In South Africa Where Marriage Is Dependent On The Number Of Cows The Suitor Can Buy!! • illuminaija
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See This Tribe In South Africa Where Marriage Is Dependent On The Number Of Cows The Suitor Can Buy!!

See This Tribe In South Africa Where Marriage Is Dependent On The Number Of Cows The Suitor Can Buy!!

The Zulu people of southern Africa are one of the biggest ethnic groups on the continent. Something close to 20 million Zulu people is present in about six countries, with a bulk of them in South Africa. 

Traditionally grain farmers, they also kept large herds of cattle on the lightly wooded grasslands, replenishing their herds mainly by raiding their neighbors. 

See This Tribe In South Africa Where Marriage Is Dependent On The Number Of Cows The Suitor Can Buy!!

European settlers wrested grazing and water resources from the Zulu in prolonged warfare during the 19th century, and, with much of their wealth lost, modern Zulu depend on wage labor on farms owned by individuals of European descent or work in the cities of South Africa. 

See This Tribe In South Africa Where Marriage Is Dependent On The Number Of Cows The Suitor Can Buy!!

Before they joined with the neighboring Natal Nguni (see Nguni) under their leader Shaka in the early 19th century to form a Zulu empire, the Zulu were only one of many Nguni clans; Shaka gave the clan name to the new nation. 

Such clans continue to be a basic unit of Zulu social organization; they comprise several patrilineal households, each with rights in its own fields and herds and under the domestic authority of its senior man. Paternal authority is so strong that the Zulu may be called patriarchal. They practice polygyny; a man’s wives are ranked by strict seniority under the “noble wife,” the mother of his heir. 

See This Tribe In South Africa Where Marriage Is Dependent On The Number Of Cows The Suitor Can Buy!!

The levirate, in which a widow goes to live with a deceased husband’s brother and continues to bear children in the dead’s name husband, is also practiced. Cattle are a measure of wealth for a Zulu or his family. It is, however, important to note that cows are not sacred animals in Zulu culture as they are among the Hindu. 

What is the case here is that they expect men to have so much cattle to boost their chances of marrying wives. A father can support his son too by giving him the opportunity to rear cows until the son has enough to marry the woman of his dreams. In effect, wealth and influence among the patrilineal and patriarchal Zulu are inextricably connected to the ability to have wives.

Power is seen in the material fulfillment of this social necessity. Thus, the essentiality of ilobolo is such that a man’s capacity as a provider for the home is measured by how many cattle he can give his bride at the wedding. But what a man gives is also determined by the social status of his bride.

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