Most societies are fascinated by twins, particularly identical twins, as it’s strange to see two people who look so similar. As with other cultures, Zulu parents will often dress their children in identical clothing. According to the elders that Nqobile spoke to, Zulus also believe twins to be good luck, and treat them differently to other children. For example, where one twin becomes ill, medicine is administered to both children, even where one child remains healthy. Should one of the twins die in childhood, he/she will be buried just behind the house so as to be close to the other twin. Some people also believe that the surviving baby should be bathed on top of the grave, or that you should pour the baby’s bath water onto the ground where the twin was buried.
Click on the links below to read more about Zulu customs that are associated with twins, as well as other stories that Nqobile wrote about during the month of April:
- Indlela Ekukhuliswa Ngayo Izingane Ezingamawele (Traditional ways of caring for twins);
- Okwenziwa Uma Kushone Iwele Eselikhulile (Customs associated with the passing of an adult twin);
- Inhlawulo Ekhishwa Abakhongi Ekhweni (Fine that is due when lobolo is paid late)
Photograph courtesy of www.africanreporter.co.za