South Africa, there are several different cultures that have different
ways of life. Today, one of the largest tribes is called the Zulu tribe.
The men and
of these tribes wear a wide variety of clothing, though the clothing
that women wear differs to that of men. The majority of the Zulu people
still wear their traditional clothing, and live a very traditional life
full of rituals and dances. They have a very specific way of life and
clothing has to do a lot with this.
Women have a very colorful variety of clothing, usually
decorated with beads and other materials such as feathers. The women
have different rules as to what they can wear depending on if they are
married or not. Women who are not married wear very little amounts of
clothing. They do not wear any form of a top, and a small form of a
skirt usually made out of beads. Though they do not wear a lot of
clothing, accessories is a big part of their outfit. They usually wear
headbands, necklaces, bracelets, and rings made out of beads and
feathers, as well as grass or wheat. Their form of clothing is very
revealing and would seem uncomfortable to some, but to them it is
The young women of the tribe.
The married women of the tribe wear different clothes to
those that are not married. They cover their bodies much more than the
unmarried women, as well as covering their heads with a hat. These are
signs to show that they are married and not available. Other things such
as the colors and bead patterns that the women wear show a lot about
herself. It can show if she is married, unmarried, engaged, pregnant, or
grieving. As everyday things the women make clay pots, weave
baskets, and bead clothing. During ceremonies the women dance and sing
which is a major part of their life. They usually wear matching
clothing, lots of colors and accessories. A main part of a women’s life
in a tribe has to do with how she dresses and presents herself. Each
article of clothing and every color that they wear distinguish their
part in the tribe and can tell people a lot about them.
The women weaving baskets and beading clothes.
The men of the tribe also have very particular clothing to
wear depending on things such as their ranking in the tribe. They
usually wear a small piece of animal hide
around their waist. The type of animal hide can tell a lot about their
status in the tribe. Hides like leopard skin can only be worn by the
higher class of the tribe, such as the king. To make the Zulu warriors
look more intimidating they use the tufts of a cows tail to wear around
the upper arm and knees. As an accessory, the warriors carry around a
shield made out of animal skin. Depending on how much white is on the
shield it tells how skillful of a warrior he is. Though it seems odd to
many but a way to determine how much of a man they are has to do with
the amount of children they have. One of the Zulu traditions is
polygamy, which is having more than one wife. Therefore the more
children they have, the more they are seen to be ‘more as a man’ in
The men learn how to fight using their traditional shields.
During ceremonies the men drum and dance in energetic
rituals. During these ceremonies, the men wear rattles around their
ankles made out of dried cocoons to make noise as they stomp their feet.
The men of the Zulu tribe are very noble, and much of their life is
competition. The Zulu tribes are highly traditional, and are very proud
of their people.
The men of the tribe performing their rituals.