Xhosa birth death and marriage rituals

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xhosa birth death and marriage rituals

The World and the Word: Tales and Observations from the Xhosa Oral Tradition by Nongenile Masithathu Zenani

A master storyteller of the Xhosa people of South Africa, Nongenile Masithathu Zenani gives us an unprecedented view of an oral society from within. Twenty-four of her complex and beautiful tales about birth, puberty, marriage, and work, as told to the renowned collector of African oral tradition, Harold Scheub, are gathered here. Accompanying the stories are Zenani’s detailed commentaries and analyses and Scheub’s striking photographs of her in performance.  The combination of these historical and cultural observations with a richly symbolic collection of tales from a single traditional storyteller make The World and the Word a remarkable document.
    “The storyteller’s materials are simple,” Zenani told Scheub, “the world, and the word.” She presents to us the entire world of the Xhosa people, how they first came to be, the origins of their customs, how they order their world and deal with transgressors, how they manage all of life’s transitions from birth to death. She depicts both the world as it exists and as it is shaped in the words of the storyteller. Inheriting tales from the Xhosa tradition, Zenani has transformed them into imaginative new stories marked by her own artistry.
    Scheub’s introduction to The World and the Word discusses Xhosa oral tradition and Zenani’s particular characteristics as an artist within that tradition; Zenani’s personal history and her work as both a storyteller and a healer; and Scheub’s friendship with her and his role in recording her legacy.
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Published 19.12.2018

Medieval Lives Birth, Marriage, Death Episode - A Good Marriage (Part 2 of 3)

In other words, your wardrobe plays an important part in establishing your identity. In many countries, style of dress is to some extent influenced by culture and tradition: although with the world becoming a global market, the thin boundary between clothing styles is becoming increasingly blurred. Most Xhosa traditions and rituals concerning life, marriage, childbirth and death are closely related to what people wear.
Nongenile Masithathu Zenani

Deciphering The Language of a Traditional Xhosa Bride’s Clothing

There is a small but significant Xhosa-speaking Mfengu community in Zimbabwe , and their language, isiXhosa, is recognised as a national language. The Xhosa people are divided into several tribes with related yet distinct heritages. In addition, there are other tribes found near or among the Xhosa people such as abaThembu , amaBhaca , abakoBhosha and amaQwathi that are distinct and separate tribes which have adopted the isiXhosa language and the Xhosa way of life. The name "Xhosa" comes from that of a legendary leader and King called uXhosa. There is also a fringe theory that, in fact the King's name which has since been lost among the people was not Xhosa, but that "xhosa" was a name given to him by the San and which means "fierce" or "angry" in Khoisan languages.

Despite the growing influence of Western culture, many Xhosa people still practice their traditions and cultural customs. The Xhosa were originally cattle herders who are traditionally very hard-working and resilient people. Many families have ancestral homesteads in areas like the Eastern Cape of South Africa, but work in more developed towns and cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg. Another practice is lobola, which is the payment made by a man who seeks to marry a woman. The marriage itself also involves rituals and ceremonies that many Xhosa people still adhere to. Deaths and funeral proceedings are also done in a very traditional manner. More modernised Xhosa people tend to be less strict on certain customs, while the elders are usually adamant on keeping traditions and customs ongoing in the family.

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Although the world will mourn his loss for years to come, with the event of his passing, he gave us one last gift by opening up our eyes to the unique funerary traditions upheld by his people. The Xhosa people are a South African Bantu ethnic group that is about 7 million people strong., Nguni Marriage Rules Marriage was traditionally exogamous - marital partners were sought outside the kin group, which was a distinguishing trait of the Nguni in general. Every Nguni child is born into a patrilineal clan and marriage within the clan is a heinous offence and strictly prohibited.

The word Xhosa refers to a people and a language of South Africa. The Xhosa-speaking people are divided into a number of subgroups with their own distinct but related heritages. One of these subgroups is called Xhosa as well. Unless otherwise stated, this article refers to all the Xhosa-speaking people. Well before the arrival of Dutch in the s, the Xhosa had settled the southeastern area of South Africa. They interacted with the foraging food-gathering and pastoral nomadic herding people who were in South Africa first, the Khoi and the San.

4 thoughts on “The World and the Word: Tales and Observations from the Xhosa Oral Tradition by Nongenile Masithathu Zenani

  1. Among the Xhosa, who were particularly fastidious in this regard, marriage was position - chief or household head as the case may be after his father's death. Relatives accompany a bride to the groom's home for the wedding ceremony.

  2. The marriage itself also involves rituals and ceremonies that many Xhosa people still adhere to. Deaths and funeral proceedings are also done in a very.

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