Sunday, October 10, 2010

Zulu Emersion Experience!

So this weekend half of our group went to a Zulu homestead called Ecabazani. The Zulu people are one of the indigenous people groups of South Africa. Though it wasnt a real Zulu homestead, it was structured just like a real one and we got to interact with Zulu people who lived in a real homestead just down the road. While there we learned a ton about how the homestead functioned and what it took to keep up the homestead. The homestead is set up in a circular shape. It is culturally fine for a Zulu man to have multiple wives, in fact in there eyes it was necessary to keep up all the work that a homestead requires. The Zulu people didnt live in villages but these homesteads that i have been speaking of. The homestead is made up of a single male head and his wives and children. The homestead is set up very symmetrical and on a slight incline. At the tip of the homestead was the male heads hut, and along the outside were the huts for each of his different wives. At the center of the homestead was the cattle stable. They kept the cattle at the center because that was their wealth, and the cattle was used for many aspects of their livelihood.

So on the first day we were there we learned about much of what i have just told you and then later on in the night we had a traditional Zulu cermonial meal. There was some awesome beef and chicken and vegetables! It was so good! After dinner we went into the main hut and danced and drank some Zulu traditional beer. It was a really great night. The next day we learned how the Zulu people clean their floors. Since the floors are made out of compacted soil that is taken from termite mounds, you can't use water to clean. so what they do is they use cow dung and spread it along the floor to clean it. it sounds gross to us Westerners however it worked amazingly well! Then we went to the actual Zulu homestead where Zulu's live, and got to see their communal gathering hut, their medicine man's hut etc. The Zulu's were seriously brilliant people, and here is an example. The Zulu's take the cow dung and put it in a large cylindrical column that goes underground and from that column there are lines that go to each of the hut. What the Zulu's figured out long ago is that the cow dung excretes methane that can be used for gas. So the Zulu people have figured out a way to have free and unlimited gas power, and it powers all their stoves! Later on in the day we made traditional beaded bracelets and also clay pots. And we also got to stick fight with some of the Zulu men! it was so much fun!

Sorry for the lack of posts, school has been extremely busy for both katie and i but we will be done in 2 weeks and then we will be more consistent!


Katie's hut

Joey's hut

traditional Zulu clothing

traditional Zulu dancing
making a grass mat

smearing cow poop on the floor

making clay pots

Joey stick fighting

1 comment:

  1. That is soooo cool! What a neat experience; the thing about the methane gas is really neat, and you got to make clay pots and stick fight with Zulu men! what the heck? how cool! :) so glad it was a good experience. love you guys. :)