African Zulu Maiden Statue
The name Zulu means "the people of heaven." The Zulu people can be traced back to the 19th century hero, Shaka Zulu.
14 inches high (35.56 cm); Base 3.5 x 4" (8.89 cm x 10.16 cm)
This African Zulu maiden is shown with her water jar and hand painted in colorful garb. She is made of poly resin materials.
After the death of his father Senzangakhona, Shaka Zulu conquered many nations and combined them under his reign, thus creating a huge Zulu nation.
The Zulu are a Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa and the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated 10–11 million people living mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Small numbers also live in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Their language, Zulu, is a Bantu language; more specifically, part of the Nguni subgroup. They remain today the most numerous ethnic group in South Africa.
The Zulu formed a powerful state in 1818 under their King Shaka, an influential tribal leader. As commander in the army of the Mthethwa Empire, he became leader of his mentor Dingiswayo's paramouncy and united what was once a confederation of tribes into an imposing empire under Zulu hegemony. (ask.com)
The modern Zulu population is fairly evenly distributed in both urban and rural areas. Although KwaZulu-Natal is still their heartland, large numbers have been attracted to the relative economic prosperity of Gauteng province. Indeed, Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in the province, followed by Sotho. Zulu is also spoken in many rural and small-town areas of the Mpumalanga province, in addition to other parts of Southern Africa. There are Zulus in Zambia known as Abangoni, Mozambique known as Xigubo, and in Zimbabwe known as Amandebele.
Zulus also play an important part in South African cultural, political, academic and economic space. The African National Congress (Pixley KaIsaka Seme) and Inkatha Freedom Party (Mangosuthu Buthelezi) were both established by the Zulus. Pixley KaIsaka Seme's philosophy was to form a non-tribal political movement that would fight for the freedom of black people, whereas the Inkatha Freedom Party was initially a Zulu cultural movement but later became a political party.
Zulus wear a variety of attire, both traditional for ceremonial or culturally celebratory occasions, and modern westernized clothing for everyday use.
The women on the other hand dress differently depending on whether they are single, engaged, or married. An unmarried woman who is still eligible is proud of her body and is not ashamed of showing it. She only wears a short skirt made of grass or beaded cotton strings and spruces herself up with lots of beadwork. An engaged woman will let her traditionally short hair grow. She will cover her bosom with a decorative cloth which is done out of respect for her future relatives and to indicate that she has been spoken for. The married woman covers her body completely signalling to other men that she is taken.
In order to appeal to the spirit world, a diviner (sangoma) must invoke the ancestors through divination processes to determine the problem. Then, a herbalist (inyanga) prepares a mixture (muthi) to be consumed in order to influence the ancestors. As such, diviners and herbalists play an important part in the daily lives of the Zulu people. However, a distinction is made between white muthi (umuthi omhlope), which has positive effects, such as healing or the prevention or reversal of misfortune, and black muthi (umuthi omnyama), which can bring illness or death to others, or ill-gotten wealth to the user.
Users of black muthi are considered witches, and shunned by society.