Swazi Tribe in Swaziland



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Origin The Nguni clans, which originated in East Africa in the fifteenth century, moved into southern Mozambique and then into present-day Swaziland; the termabakwaNgwane(“Ngwane’s people&

Swazi Tribe in Swaziland Description

Origin

The Nguni clans, which originated in East Africa in the fifteenth century, moved into southern Mozambique and then into present-day Swaziland; the termabakwaNgwane(“Ngwane’s people”) is still used as an alternative toemaSwati. Sobhuza I ruled during a period of chaos, resulting from the expansion of the Zulu state under Shaka. Under Sobhuza’s leadership, the Nguni and Sotho peoples as well as remnant San groups were integrated into the Swazi nation. “Swazi” eventually was applied to all the peoples who gave allegiance to the Ngwenyama.

Leadership Hierarchy

The Swazi nation is named for Mswati II, who became king in 1839. The royal lineage can be traced to a chief named Dlamini; this is still the royal clan name. About three-quarters of the clan groups are Nguni; the remainder are Sotho and Tsonga. These groups have intermarried freely. There are slight differences among Swazi groups, but Swazi identity extends to all those with allegiance to the twin monarchs Ngwenyama “the Lion” (the king) and Ndlovukati “the She-Elephant” (the queen mother).

Popular Cultural Events

Swazis have inherited a rich tradition of music and dance.SiBhacadance music has been adopted from the Xhosa-speaking people of South Africa. SiBhaca dance is performed by teams of men, and features stomping of feet in unisom while chanting rhythmic traditional chants. The SiBhaca dance often lasts two or three hours.

Women sing together as they work; men sing together as they pay tribute to their chiefs or kings. Special songs are performed at weddings, royal rituals, coming-of-age ceremonies, and national Independence Day festivities.

Location and Size

The Swazi reside primarily in Swaziland. It is a small landlocked country of 6,704 square miles (17,363 square kilometers) in southern Africa. There are four distinctive levels of terrain: the highveld, middleveld, lowveld, and the Lubombo mountain range. (A veld is a grassland.)

The total number of Swazis is about 1 million people. The two major cities are Mbabane and Manzini.

 


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