Kissing Cousins

This morning we met with the Ulwazi fieldworkers to discuss the stories that they had researched over the past month. Mbusiswa’s stories are always the quickest to report on, but form one of the topics that we receive the most queries about.  Mbusiswa focuses on clan names, and his report normally just entails a list of the names that he’s been investigating, but today we got into a discussion of ukuqeda ubuhlobo, the ritual that takes place when two people whose family names stem from the same clan, get married. As in Western culture, the Zulus acknowledge that if people who have close blood connections have children, there is a chance that their babies might be deformed. The Zulus, however take this a step further and say that the same might be true if they share a clan name, not necessarily close blood ties. To appease the ancestors a goat is slaughtered, and the process that’s followed is called ukuqeda ubuhlobo.

Click on the links below to read about the histories of the following clans:

Photo courtesy of Ngonyama Photography

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