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The Swazi Tribe

African Tribe Research Project
by

Rachel Faries

on 15 April 2011

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Transcript of The Swazi Tribe

History The Swazi tribe The Swazi tribe developed in the late fifteenth century. The tribe descends from a group of Bantu-speaking people. This tribe has been flourishing for over two hundred years. Although Swaziland has rapidly become modernized,
the Swazi have preserved their age-old culture and traditional ceremonies. Population and Location The Swazi tribe has appoximately 1.6 million members. The Swazi mainly live in Swaziland, but also live in surrounding areas of the country. Housing The Swazi people live in straw huts. The basic social unit is known as the indlu (a husband, wife and their children). Each hut houses one indlu. Several indlu make up an umuti, which is similar to our neighborhoods. Food and Lifestyle The majority of Swazi are farmers. The main crops grown are: corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, groundnuts, and beans. Women generally wear a brightly-colored body wrap called an emahiya. Men also wear this. Other traditional styles of dress include animal fur. Traditional clothing has largely been replaced by Western-style clothing except on ceremonial occasions. Rituals, Traditions, Rites of Passage, and Culture The Swazi people have two main traditions: the Reed dance and the Incwala. The Sibhaca is also popular. The main religion is Christianity, but a minority still practice the Swazi religion. Which believes in a creator God, spirits of their ancestors, and witches. A religious authority figure is paid to "smell out" witches. Some men have more than one wife but as many Swazi are Christian this is not common. Marriage can either by arranged or chosen. The language of the Swazi tribe is Swazi (siSwati). A few members can also speak English. Social Roles Men usually travel for work. This gives women opportunities to run the household. There is an appointed leader of each clan. This is usually a male, but can also be a female. Women mainly do household chores. When a boy is transitioning into a man, he dyes his hair blonde. Fun Facts King Mswati III has 24 wives and 14 children. His father died with 70 wives. The average life expectancy is 32 years old.
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