Uli von Kapff
In a single decade, between 1818 and 1828, Shaka transformed a modest chieftaincy into one of the most powerful kingdoms in southern Africa. His empire, whose heartland lay to the north of the Thukela River in present-day KwaZulu-Natal, was renowned for its military might and expansionist drive. But the sovereignty of the Zulu was short-lived, Their realm crushed in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, At the battles of Rorke’s Drift and Ulundi, despite trouncing the British at Isandlwana.
Although the mighty empire is long gone, many of the traditions and customs have survived. The Zulu – An A-Z of Culture and Traditions is packed with information about this heritage, covering more than 50 topics that include beadwork, pottery, carvings and basket weaving; ceremonial dances and stick fighting; rituals of courtship and marriage; Zulu dress; traditional homesteads and cattle kraals; ancestor worship; the role of sangomas and inyangas; and a variety of celebrations and ceremonial practices. This book is the perfect memento for anyone fascinated by the history and culture of South Africa’s largest ethnic society.