Zulu Identities:Being Zulu, Past and Present

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Zulu Identities:Being Zulu, Past and Present

With close to 20 million members, the Zulu are the largest single ethnic group in all ofSouthern Africa. Their culture is known all over the world. However, defining what lies at the core of a Zulu identity remains a source of great controversy. What does it mean to be Zulu, and therefore African, in today's world? Is being Zulu different now than in the past?

This comprehensive and wholly up-to-date reference wrestles with these and many other questions. The book features a stunningly diverse group of close to thirty contributors, universally acknowledged to be the world's leading experts of Zulu culture and history. They discuss the characteristic traditions of a preindustrial people and how they evolved different cultural expressions of "Zulu-ness." They examine the legacies of Shaka, the social and political intrigues of Zulu royalty, gender and generational struggles, cultural and symbolic projections, and Zulu spirituality. The book also highlights the debates raging in contemporary South Africa over the manipulation of Zulu heritage and whether it is being exploited for political purposes or for the promotion of eco- and battlefield-tourism. In conclusion, the book contemplates the future of Zulu identity in a unified South Africa, a country that hopes to embrace the forces of globalization. Truly comprehensive and authoritative, "Zulu Identities" is the definitive volume on the Zulu people, history, and culture.

Publication Date: 
October 20, 2009