Nqobile’s Stories

A bride receives a blanket during a Zulu wedding
A bride receives a blanket during a Zulu wedding

Every month the Ulwazi team meets to discuss the stories that the fieldworkers have been researching. As a non-Zulu person I find the stories absolutely fascinating, and my questions to the team often lead to heated discussions about traditional Zulu culture and how it translates to modern day living.

One of the stories that we chatted about in our last meeting was the ritual of giving a blanket to your fiancee when there has been a death in the family. It would seem that this is one tradition which has lost some of its meaning over time. While the ritual should be reserved for engaged partners – the blanket is ‘given’ to the deceased because he/she will not be able to receive it when the couple marry – any couple who are dating (as opposed to engaged) seem to now follow this practice.

Click here to read the full story written by Nqobile Mdabe.

You might also want to read Nqobile’s other stories about the complex relationship of co-wives in a polygamous marriage, and the ceremony that’s performed when there is a clash between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Photo courtesy of Elaine’s World: A Zulu Wedding

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