Studies in South African Sociolinguistics, But, it still works. Since , the democratic majority government has avoided imposing a unified national identity from above instead of encouraging social integration through commitment to a common national future. Strong legislation and political rhetoric mandating and advocating programs to aid the formerly dispossessed majority women, children, and homosexuals , play a prominent role in the government's interventions in society. Participation in United Nations peacekeeping missions has been made questionable by high rates of HIV infection in some units.
With the dispossession of the African peasantry, many men have become migrant laborers in distant employment centers, leaving women to manage rural households. In cases where men have not sent their wages to rural families, women have become labor migrants. This pattern of female labor migration has increased as unemployment has risen among unskilled and semiskilled African men.
In urban areas, both women and men work outside the home, but women are still responsible for household chores and child care. These domestic responsibilities usually fall to older female children, who have to balance housework and schoolwork.
The Relative Status of Women and Men. Male dominance is a feature of the domestic and working life of all the nation's ethnic groups. Men are by custom the head of the household and control social resources. The disabilities of women are compounded when a household is headed by a female single parent and does not include an adult male.
The new democratic constitution is based on global humanitarian principles and has fostered gender equality and other human rights. Although not widely practiced, gender equality is enshrined in the legal system and the official discourse of public culture. Slow but visible progress is occurring in the advancement of women in the domestic and pubic spheres, assisted by the active engagement of the many women in the top levels of government and the private sector.
Pre-Christian marriage in black communities was based on polygyny and bridewealth, which involved the transfer of wealth in the form of livestock to the family of the bride in return for her productive and reproductive services in the husband's homestead. Christianity and changing economic and social conditions have dramatically reduced the number of men who have more than one wife, although this practice is still legal.
Monogamy is the norm in all the other groups, but divorce rates are above fifty percent and cohabitation without marriage is the most common domestic living arrangement in black and Coloured communities.
Despite the fragility of marital bonds, marriage ceremonies are among the most visible and important occasions for sociability and often take the form of an elaborate multisited and lengthy communal feast involving considerable expense.
In rural African communities, the domestic unit was historically the homestead, Women and children sit alongside a road with food. Women are responsible for the care of infants, and they typically carry their babies on their backs. By the mid-twentieth century, the typical homestead consisted more often of small kindreds composed of an older couple and the younger survivors of broken marriages.
The multiroom family house has largely replaced or augmented the multidwelling homestead, just as nuclear and single-parent families have supplanted polygynous homesteads. The nuclear family model is approximated in practice primarily in white families, whereas black, Coloured, and Indian households tend to follow the wider "extended family" model. A new pattern characteristic of the black shantytowns at the margins of established black townships and suburbs consists of households in which unrelated people gather around a core of two or more residents connected by kinship.
Inheritance among white, Coloured, and Indian residents is bilateral, with property passing from parents to children or to siblings of both sexes, with a bias toward male heirs in practice. Among black Africans, the senior son inherited in trust for all the heirs of his father and was responsible for supporting his mother, his junior siblings, and his father's other wives and their children. This system has largely given way to European bilateral inheritance within the extended family, but the older mode of inheritance survives in the responsibility assumed by uncles, aunts, grandparents, and in-laws for the welfare of a deceased child or sibling's immediate family members.
Recognition of lengthy family lines and extended family relationships are common to all the population groups, most formally among Indians and blacks. For Africans, the clan, a group of people descended from a single remote male ancestor, symbolized by a totemic animal and organized politically around a chiefly title, is the largest kinship unit.
These clans often include hundreds of thousands of people and apply their names to branches extending across ethnic boundaries, so that a blood relationship is not an organizing feature of clanship. Among the Nguni-speaking groups, it is against custom for people to marry anyone with their own, their mother's, or grandparents' clan name or clan praise name. Among the Basotho, it is customary for aristocrats to marry within the clan.
A smaller unit is the lineage, a kin group of four or five generations descended from a male ancestor traced though the male line. Extended families are the most effective kin units of mutual obligation and assistance and are based on the most recent generations of lineal relationships. Infant care is traditionally the sphere of mothers, grandmothers, and older sisters in black and Coloured communities, and females of all ages carry infants tied with blankets on their backs.
Among the social problems affecting the very young in these communities is the high incidence of early teenage pregnancy. Many whites and middle-class families in other ethnic groups have part-time or full-time servants who assist with child care, including the care of infants. The employment of servants to rear children exposes children to adult caregivers of other cultures and allows unskilled women to support their own absent children.
Child Rearing and Education. The family in its varied forms and systems of membership is the primary context for the socialization of the young. The African extended family system provides a range of adult caregivers and role models for children within the kinship network. African families have shown resilience as a socializing agency, but repression and poverty have damaged family structure among the poor despite aid from churches and schools.
Middle-class families of all races socialize their children in the manner of suburban Europeans. Historically, rural African communities organized the formal education of the young around rites of initiation into adulthood. Among the Zulu, King Shaka abolished initiation and substituted military induction for males.
These ceremonies, which lasted for several months, taught boys and girls the disciplines and knowledge of manhood and womanhood and culminated in circumcision for children of both sexes.
Boys initiated together were led by a son of the chief under whom those age mates formed a military regiment. Girls became marriageable after graduation from the bush initiation school. Christian missionaries opposed rites of circumcision, but after a long period of decline, traditional initiation has been increasing in popularity as a way of dealing with youth delinquency.
Christian and Muslim Coloured and Indian clergy introduced formal schools with a religious basis in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Apartheid policies attempted to segregate and limit the training, opportunities, and aspirations of black pupils. Today a unified system of formal Western schooling includes the entire population, but the damage done by the previous educational structure has been difficult to overcome.
Schools in black areas have few resources, and educational privilege still exists in the wealthier formerly white suburbs. Expensive private academies and schools maintained by the relatively wealthy Jewish community are among the country's best. Rates of functional illiteracy remain high.
There are more than twenty universities and numerous technical training institutes. These institutions are of varying quality, and many designated as black ethnic universities under apartheid have continued to experience political disturbances and financial crises.
Formerly white but now racially mixed universities are also experiencing financial difficulties in the face of a declining pool of qualified entrants and a slow rate of economic growth. South Africans are by custom polite and circumspect in their speech, although residents of the major urban centers may bemoan the decline of once-common courtesies.
Each of the quite different culture groups—corresponding to home language speakers of English, Afrikaans, Tamil and Urdu, and the southern Bantu Languages, cross-cut by religion and country of original origin—has its own specific expressive forms of social propriety and respect.
Black Africans strongly mark social categories of age, gender, kinship, and status in their etiquette. Particular honor and pride of place are granted to age, genealogical seniority, male adulthood, and political position.
Rural Africans still practice formal and even elaborate forms of social greeting and respect, even though such forms are paralleled by a high incidence of severe interpersonal and social violence. While the more westernized or cosmopolitan Africans are less formal in the language and gesture of etiquette, the categories of social status are no less clearly marked, whether in the homes of wealthy university graduates or in cramped and crowded working-class bungalows.
The guest who does not greet the parents of a household by the name of their senior child preceded by ma or ra Sesotho: The youngster who does not scramble from a chair to make way for an adult will draw a sharp reproof.
Comparable forms with cognate emphasis on age, gender, and seniority are practiced in Muslim, Hindu, and Jewish communities according to religious prescriptions and places of original family origin. South Africans of British origin insist on a Voters wait in line in the first all-race elections, All South Africans have had the right to vote since this landmark year. Afrikaners are rather more direct and sharp in their encounters, more quick to express their thoughts and feelings towards others, and not given to social legerdemain.
In general, despite the aggressive rudeness that afflicts stressful modern urban life everywhere, South Africans are by custom hospitable, helpful, sympathetic, and most anxious to avoid verbal conflict or unsociable manners.
Even among strangers, one of the strongest criticisms one can make in South Africa of another is that the person is "rude. Despite the socialist roots of the ruling ANC, South Africa is traditionally a deeply religious country with high rates of participation in religious life among all groups.
The population is overwhelmingly Christian with only very small Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu minorities. Apostolic and Pentacostal churches also have a large Black membership.
Indigenous Black African religion centered on veneration of and guidance from the ancestors, belief in various minor spirits, spiritual modes of healing, and seasonal agricultural rites. The drinking of cereal beer and the ritual slaughter of livestock accompanied the many occasions for family and communal ritual feasting. The most important ceremonies involved rites of the life cycle such as births, initiation, marriage, and funerals.
Indigenous African religious practitioners included herbalists and diviners who attended to the spiritual needs and maladies of both individuals and communities. In some cases their clairvoyant powers were employed by chiefs for advice and prophesy. Historically, Christian missionaries and traditional diviners have been enemies, but this has not prevented the dramatic growth of hybrid Afro-Christian churches, religious movements, prophetism, and spiritual healing alongside mainstream Christianity.
Other important religions include Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. For the Afrikaners, the Dutch Reformed Church has provided a spiritual and organizational foundation for their nationalist cultural politics and ideology. Rituals and Holy Places. All religions and ethnic subnational groups have founded shrines to their tradition where momentous events have occurred, their leaders are buried, or miracles are believed to have happened.
The grave of Sheikh Omar, for example, a seventeenth-century leader of resistance to Dutch rule in the East Indies who was transported to the Cape and became an early leader of the "Malay" community, is sacred to Cape Muslims.
Afrikaners regard the site of the Battle of Blood River Ncome in as sacred because their leader Andries Pretorius made a covenant with their God promising perpetual devotion if victory over the vastly more numerous Zulu army were achieved. The long intergroup conflict over the land itself has led to the sacralization of many sites that are well remembered and frequently visited by a great many South Africans of all backgrounds.
Death and the Afterlife. In addition to the beliefs in the soul and afterlife of the varying world religions in South Africa, continued belief in and consultation with family ancestors remains strong among Black Africans. Among the important shrines where the ancestors are said to have caused People at a Zulu market. Zulu is the largest South African language group, with about nine million speakers, but it does not represent a dominant ethnic grouping.
Formal communal graveyards, not a feature of pre-colonial African culture, have since become a focus of ancestral veneration and rootedness in the land. Disused graves and ancestral shrines have most recently figured in the land restitution claims of expropriated African communities lacking formal deeds of title to their former homes. There is a first class but limited modern health care sector for those with medical coverage or the money to pay for the treatment.
Government-subsidized public hospitals and clinics are overstressed, understaffed, and are struggling to deal with the needs of a majority of the population that was underserved during white minority rule. A highly developed traditional medical sector of herbalists and diviners provides treatment for physical and psycho-spiritual illnesses to millions in the black population, including some people who also receive treatment from modern health professionals and facilities.
South Africa has a high HIV infection rate, and if successful strategies for AIDS prevention and care are not implemented, twenty-five percent of the country's young women will die before age thirty. Secular celebrations and public holidays are much more numerous than religious celebrations.
The old holiday calendar consisting of commemorations of milestones in the history of colonial settlement, conquest, and political dominance has not been abandoned. In the service of political reconciliation, old holidays such as 16 December, which commemorates the victory of eight hundred Afrikaner settlers and their black servants over four thousand Zulu at the Battle of Blood River in , is now celebrated as Reconciliation Day.
Holidays commemorating significant events in the black struggle for political liberation include Human Rights Day, marking the shooting to death of sixty-one black pass-law protesters by the police in Sharpeville on 21 March , and Youth Day, recalling the beginning of the Soweto uprising, when police opened fire on black schoolchildren protesting the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in township schools on 16 June Other holidays emphasize social advancements guaranteed by the new constitution, such as Women's Day, which also commemorates the march by women of all groups to protest the extension of the pass laws to women in Pretoria on 9 August Support for the Arts.
Pre-colonial African cultures produced a wide range of artistic artifacts for both use and beauty as clothing and personal adornment, beadwork, basketry, pottery, and external house decoration and design.
Today these traditions are not only continued but have been developed in new as well as established forms in exquisitely fashioned folk and popular craft work and even painting. Among the most famous of these is the geometric house painting design of the Ndebele people.
Urban South Africa has highly developed traditions in the full range of arts and humanities genres and disciplines, long supported by government and the liberal universities, among the most prominent in Africa. During the colonial period these traditions spread to the non-European population groups who also produced artists, scholars, and public intellectuals of renown despite the obstacles deliberately placed in their path by the White apartheid cultural authorities. Building on the work of artists in exile such as painter Gerald Sekoto, painters and graphic artists vividly expressed the struggles and sufferings of black South Africans during the s, s, and s.
Social dislocation and poverty along with rich evocations of a regenerated African folk culture have inspired graphic artists of all backgrounds in the transformational s. Most recently other pressing social concerns have taken priority over the arts and humanities and both public and private support have dwindled. While the government struggles to make the once racially exclusive arts and educational facilities accessible to all, arts councils have experienced severe reductions in funding and many once-vibrant arts institutions are closed or threatened with closure.
The government-sponsored Johannesburg Bienniale arts festival has yet to attract a significant audience. The country has long had important writers of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Black literature thrived under the adverse conditions of apartheid, but today there is no black writer, playwright, or journalist with the stature of E'skia Mphahlele and Alex la Guma from the s through the s.
The White population continues to produce world-class literary artists, however, including Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer, twice Booker Prize winner J.
Coetzee, and distinguished bilingual Afrikaans novelist André Brink. Graphic artists with a rural folk background who have made the transition to the contemporary art world, such as renowned painter Helen Sibidi, have found a ready international market. South Africa too produced a number of world-class art and documentary photographers in the second half of the twentieth century, whose works vividly evoke all aspects of this diverse, powerful conflictual and divided society.
Theater, during the s, s, and s a thriving formal elite and informal popular performing art, has recently fallen on hard times. Even Johannesburg, the urban cultural center of the country, has witnessed the closure of several major downtown theatre complexes that are now surrounded by urban decay, and the virtual disappearance of popular Black township theatre.
The grand State Theatre complex in Pretoria has recently been closed due to insolvency and mismanagement. New opportunities and interesting choreographers are appearing in the field of contemporary Black dance, but audiences and budgets are still painfully small. South Africa's four great symphony orchestras too have either dissolved or are threatened with dissolution.
Alternatively popular music, particularly among Black South African musicians and audiences whether in live performances, recordings, or the increasingly varied broadcast industry, is thriving in the new era and holds out great potential for both artistic and financial expansion.
South Africa is possessed of video and digital artists with excellent professional training and great talent, but there is only a limited market for their works within the country.
Local television production provides them with some employment, but the South African film industry is moribund. The very slow pace of economic growth and the high and increasing levels of unemployment and taxation have created an unfavorable environment for artistic and intellectual development in the new nonracial society. One sector in which both artistic and financial progress is occurring is in the growth of arts and performance festivals.
The greatest of these is the National Arts Festival held every year in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, drawing large audiences to a feast of the best new work in theatre, film, serious music, lecture programs, and visual arts and crafts. Other local festivals have sprung up after the example of Grahamstown, and all have achieved some measure of success and permanence in the national cultural calendar. Since the s, the universities have graduated world-class professionals in the physical and social sciences.
Rapid democratization has stressed the higher education system, and public and private funding for the social sciences has declined at a time when the society is facing a social and economic crisis. The physical sciences have fared better, with the opening of new technical institutions and the expansion of professionally oriented science education programs at the universities.
The crisis in primary and secondary education has lowered the quality and quantity of entrants to institutions of higher education, and a lack of economic growth has created an inability to absorb highly trained graduates and a skills shortage as those graduates are attracted by better opportunities abroad.
Post-Liberation Politics in South Africa, Atkinson, Brenda, and Candice Breitz, eds. Bhana, Surendra, and Bridglal Pachai, eds.
Cape Town in the Twentieth Century: An Illustrated Social History, Bonner, Philip, and Lauren Segal. Boonzaier, Emile, and John Sharp, eds. South African Keywords, The Black Homelands of South Africa: Essays and Interviews, Elphick, Richard, and Rodney Davenport, eds.
Christianity in South Africa: A Political, Social and Cultural History, Fine, Ben, and Zavareh Rustomjee. From Minerals-Energy Complex to Industrialization, Fox, Roddy, and Kate Rowntree, eds. Living in Hope and History: Notes from Our Century, Harker, John, et al. Human Resources for a New South Africa, Redistribution and Affirmative Action: Working on the South African Political Economy, Bridewealth and Marriage in Southern Africa, History of Muslims in South Africa: Language and Social History: Studies in South African Sociolinguistics, A Country Study, Foundations of the New South Africa, The Real Story, Advancing Human Rights in South Africa, The Authorized Biography, South Africa through the Lens: Social Documentary Photography , A History of South Africa, No Blood on Our Hands: Political Violence in the Natal Midlands —Mid, Unterhalter, Elaine, et al.
Apartheid Education and Popular Struggles, Van Graan, Mike, and Nicky du Plessis, eds. The Politics of Difference: Log In Sign Up Cart 0. You have no items in your shopping cart. View as Grid List. Sort by Best selling Name: A to Z Name: Z to A Price: Low to High Price: High to Low Most Recent.
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African clothing is the traditional clothing worn by the people of Africa. In all instances except rural areas these traditional garments have been replaced by western clothing introduced by European colonialists. In Northeastern Africa, particularly in Egypt, styles of traditional women's clothing have been influenced by Middle Eastern culture, this can be exemplified by the simply embroidered Jelabiya which are similarly worn in the Gulf states..
The Djellaba worn in Northwest Africa shares similar properties with the Grand boubou , the Dashiki , and the Senegalese kaftan. In Nigeria, women wear head ties. The dashiki is highly stylized and is rendered with an ornate V-shaped collar.
In contrast the grand boubou is simpler, even more so than the djellaba , though the color designs reach impressive proportions, especially among the Tuareg , who are known for their beautifully dyed indigo robes. In East Africa , the kanzu is the traditional dress worn by Swahili speaking men.
Women wear the kanga and the gomesi. In Southern Africa distinctive shirts are worn, like the long dresses they wear. For instance, South Africa is known for the Madiba shirt , whereas, Zimbabwe is known for the safari shirt.
African clothing is the traditional clothing worn by the people of Africa. In all instances except rural areas these traditional garments have been replaced by western clothing introduced by European colonialists. Pre-colonial African cultures produced a wide range of artistic artifacts for both use and beauty as clothing and personal adornment, beadwork, basketry, pottery, and . South African clothing fact South Africa climate is hot and the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are directly opposite to those of the Northern Hemisphere. The best clothes for summer months in South Africa are: lightweight clothes possible made of cottons and linens and short-sleeved clothes.