Raum, Otto Friedrich. The social functions of avoidances and taboos among the Zulu

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter One: Hlonipha Of Speech

I. Survey Of Zulu Names

A. Individual Names

B. Group Names

C. Kinship Terms

D. Names Of Rank Or Office

Ii. Name Avoidances In The Family Of Orientation

A. Father

B. Mother

C. Children

D. Siblings

1. Personal Name

2. Kinship Terms And Their Extended Use

3. Youth Name: Elobusha

4. Group Names Among Siblings

Iii. Name Avoidances In The Family Of Procreation

A. Wife (husband Speaking)

3. Concluding Remarks

B. Husband (wife Speaking)

Iv. Collaterals Among Consanguineous Kin

A. The Parents' Collaterals

1. Father's Brother

2. Father's Sister

3. Mother's Brother

4. Mother's Sister

B. Ego's Consanguineous Collaterals

1. Parallel Cousins

2. Cross-cousins

C. Contemporary Collateral Affines

1. Brother's Wife

A. Male Speaking (levirate In View)

B. Female Speaking

C. Brother's Wife's Sister

2. Sister's Husband

A. Male Speaking:

B. Female Speaking:

3. Wife's Brother

4. Wife's Sister

5. Husband's Brother

6. Husband's Sister

V. Name Avoidances Among In-laws

A. First Ascending Generation: Husband Speaking

1. Wife's Father

2. Wife's Mother

B. First Ascending Generation: Wife Speaking

1. Husband's Mother

2. Husband's Father

C. Collaterals Of Parents-in-law

1. Hfbr And Hfsi

2. Hmbr And Hmsi

3. Wifbr And Wifsi

4. Wimbr And Wimsi

D. Children-in-law

1. Son's Wife

2. Daughter's Husband

Vi. Alternate Generations

A. Ego's Cognates: Grandparents

1. Father's Father

2. Father's Mother

3. Mother's Father

4. Mother's Mother

B. Ego's Affines

5. Wiff And Wifm Also Wi's Great-grandfather And Wi's Great-grandmother

6. Hff And Hfm, Also Hmf And Hmm

7. Hfff And Other Old People

C. Second Descending Generation

Vii. Name Avoidances In The Royal Family

A. Name Avoidances In The Family Of Orientation

1. Father

2. Mother

3. Children

B. The Family Of Procreation: Husband (king) And His Wives

1. Royal Wives Speaking

2. Husband (king) Speaking

C. Affinal Relations In The Royal Family

1. Hbr (i.e. The King's Br)

2. Hf

3. Hm

4. Wif

5. Wim

D. King And Commoners In Name Avoidances

1. Commoners Speaking

2. The King Speaking

Viii. The Ritual Use Of Names

A. Naming Ritual Concerning Individuals

1. Spitting

2. Asseverations

3. Legal Oaths

4. Calling Names

5. Personal Names In Maleficent Ritual

B. Family Trees, Genealogies And Praises

1. Genealogies

2. Order Of Descent

3. Female Forbears

4. Family Tree

5. Praises

C. The Religious Significance Of A Substitute Kinship Term

Ix. Analysis Of Speech Avoidances

A. Linguistic

1. Tribal And Female Hlonipha Language

2. Name Avoidances And Special Vocabularies

3. The Morphology Of Avoidance Words

B. The Sociological Function Of Naming Usage

1. Theories

2. The Function Of The Personal Name

3. The Group Names

4. Kinship Terms

5. Rank Terms

6. Other Aspects Of Naming

7. Inversion

8. Selection Of Names

9. The Intensity Of Naming Avoidances

10. The Degree Of Consciousness

Chapter Two: Hlonipha Of Action

I. Parents And Children

A. Sociological Setting

1. The Sociological Setting Between F And Chn

2. The Relations Between M And Chn

B. Respectful Restraints In Parent-child Relationship

1. Reserved Area

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Speech And Gestures

4. Food

C. Sanctions

1. Educational Sanctions

2. Magical Sanctions:

3. Ordinary, Critical And Supplementary Avoidances:

Ii. Hlonipha Between Brs And Sis: Siblings

A. General

B. Brothers

Removal Of A Kraal

Contact With Ancestors

C. Brothers And Sisters


Iii. Hlonipha Relations Between Husband And Wife

A. Introduction

B. Reserved Area

C. Sexual Restraints

D. Speech Restraints

E. Food Restrictions

Iv. The Avoidance Customs Among In-laws

A. Daughter-in-law

1. Introduction

2. The Bride And Her Hf

A. Reserved Area

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food/work

3. Da-in-l Avoidances Towards M-in-l

A. Reserved Area

B. Speech

C. Food

B. The Avoidances Of A So-in-l

1. So-in-l And M-in-l

A. Reserved Area

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food

2. So-in-l And F-in-l

V. The Avoidances Between King And Commoners

1. The King's Social Position

2. Reserved Area

3. Sexual Restraints

4. Speech And Gesture

5. Food/work

6. Case Study: (schoeman P.j.: 1946: 23–4; 27–9; 79)

Vi. Hlonipha Of Outsider Or Stranger

1. Reserved Area

2. Sex

3. Speech And Gesture

4. Food

Vii. Hlonipha Relationship Grandparents-grandchildren

1. Reserved Area

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Food

Viii. Relationship Juniors-seniors

A. Basic Relationship

B. Modifications And Extensions

1. Reserved Area Of Hut

2. Use Of Spoon

3. Use Of Mat

4. Eating Of Reserved Food

C. Relationship Between Junior And Senior Generations In General

1. Reserved Areas

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Speech

4. Food

Ix. The Avoiding Of Ancestors

A. The Zulu And Their Ancestors

B. Respectful Restraints Towards Ancestors

1. Reserved Areas

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Speech

4. Food

C. Avoidances In Case Of Dreams And Sickness

X. Respectful Restraints Towards Atmospheric Phenomena

A. Storm, Hail

1. Reserved Area

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Speech And Gestures

4. Food

5. Lightning

B. Avoidances Towards Celestial Bodies And The Seasons

1. The Moon

2. Eclipse Of The Sun

C. Seasonal And Agricultural Restraints

1. Summer Restraints

2. Agricultural Restraints

3. Restraints Concerning Certain Crops

Xi: Analysis: Hlonipha Of Action

A. Reciprocity

1. Introduction

2. Parents — Children

A. Reserved Area

B. Speech

C. Food

3. Husband — Wife

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food

4. The Restrained Conduct Of Parents-in-law Towards Children-in-law

A. Hf And Da-in-l

B. Wim And Dah

5. Respectful Restraint Of Older Towards Younger Generations

A. Reserved Area

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food

6. Respectful Restraint Of Chief Towards Commoners

A. Reserved Area

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food

B. Positive Expression Of Restraints, Of The Avoidance Ideal


C. Hlonipha Of Action — A Language Of Respect Expressions

Chapter Three; The Spatial Expression Of Avoidance

A. The Kraal

B. The Hut

1. The Building Of A Hut

2. Doorway, Threshold And Door

3. Fire Place, Hearth-stones And Hut Fire

4. The Hut Posts

5. Floor And Sweepings

6. Furniture And Utensils

C. The Hut Sections

1. The Hut Halves

2. The Apse Or Back Part Of Hut

D. Graves

1. Historical Data

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech / Gestures

4. Sacred Places Of Zulu Nation

5. To Sum Up

E. Case Studies

F. The Differential Respect Towards Different Huts

1. The Great Hut

2. Residence

3. Family Hut

4. The Treatment Hut

G. Case Studies Of Zulu Kraals

1. Spatial Avoidances In Individual Kraals

Ntandakwela, Chief Mqiniseni Zungu (239): Kraal With Two Sections, One The Chief's, The Other His F's Ghost Kraal. (cf. Fig. 26);

Ezinyembezini, Heir-elect Gazanyane Xhulu. Kraal Without Ikhohlo (cf. Fig. 27).

2. Hl And Za At Splitting And Moving Homesteads.

3. Summary

Chapter Four: Occupational Taboo Regimens

I. The Work Of Smiths And Their Taboo Regimen

A. Introduction

1. Reserved Areas

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Speech

4. Food/work

B. Case Study

Ii. The Taboo Regimen Of Doctors

A. Introduction

B. Case Studies

C. General Survey

1. Reserved Areas

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Speech

4. Food/work

Iii. The Taboos Of Diviners

A. Case Studies

1. Nopendulo

2. The Whistling Diviner:

3. Case

4. Case

B. General Survey

1. Diviners Are Classified According To The Methods They Employ.

2. The Taboo Regimen Of An Apprentice Diviner Is Elaborate:

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Food/work

3. The Diviner In Action

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food/work

4. Companionship Taboos

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food/work

C. Summary

Iv. The Weather-maker's Taboo Regimen

A. Case Study: Laduma Madela (368)

Untitled Section: ...

2. The Capture Of Impundulu, The Lightning Bird

B. The Weather-makers In General

1. The Training Of A Heavenherd

2. The Taboo Regimen Of A Heaven Doctor

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food

C. The Lightning Doctor's Practice

1. Ukubethela, The Making Fast Of A Homestead Against Lightning,

2. Behaviour Of Lightning Doctor In A Storm

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Companionship Taboos

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food/work

E. When Lightning Strikes

F. Hail And Its Taboo Regimen

1. The Psychological Concomitants

2. Lightning And Taboo Regimen:

G. The Taboos Of Rain-making

V. The Taboo Regimen During Hunting

A. Individual, Neighbourhood And Group Hunting

B. Taboo Regimens

1. Reserved Areas

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Speech

4. Food

C. Royal Hunt

D. Honey Taking

Vi. Taboos In The Zulu Military Organization

A. Introduction

B. Joining Up

C. Taboo Regimen At The Barracks

1. Reserved Areas

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Speech

4. Food

D. Call To Arms

Argument Between Warriors And King

E. The Killing Of The Bull. The Strengthening Of The Army

F. The Sprinkling Of The Army

G. Companionship Taboos

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

H. The Army At The Front

I. The Taboo Regimen Of The Killer

K. The Return Of The Army

L. Case Studies

Vii. The Chief And His Officials

A. The Chief's Installation

B. The King's Body-attendant (inceku)

C. Officials And Headmen

Viii. Women's Occupations

A. Cooking

B. Beer-making

C. Potmaking

Chapter Five: Restraints In Diachronic Situations

I. From Childhood To Adulthood

A. Ear Piercing And Circumcision

1. Ear Piercing

2. Circumcision

B. The Puberty Rite (ukuthomba) Of Boys

1. Introduction

2. Reserved Areas

3. Sexual Restraints

4. Speech

5. Food

C. The Puberty Rite Of Girls (ukuthomba)

Untitled Section: ...

2. A Review Of The Literature

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

D. Food

3. Companionship Taboos

A. Reserved Areas

B. Sexual Restraints

C. Speech

4. The Coming Out (ukwemula)

D. Restraints In Love-making

1. Individual Reports

2. General Survey

3. Case Studies

Ii. The Uniting Of Two Families In Marriage

A. Marriage Negotiations

B. The Wedding Ceremony

1. Introduction

2. The Bride's Journey To Her New Home

3. The Day Of The Dances (first Day Of Wedding)

4. The Day Of Aggregation (consummation)

5. The Day Of Presentation (third Day)

C. Behaviour Patterns At Weddings Related To Hl And Za

Iii. A Woman's Life In Her Husband's Home

A. Release Rites Incorporating Bride Into Husband's Family

B. Woman's Menstrual Period (ifindo, Ukuphothela, Ukuqaka)

C. Pregnancy

1. Reserved Areas

2. Sexual Restraints

3. Speech

4. Work/food

D. Birth

Iv. Death And Burial As Paradigm Of Taboo Regimens

A. Funeral Ceremonies

1. The Burial

2. Getting Down To The New Situation

3. Washing The Hoes And The Spears (ihlambo, Isipheku, Isidlo)

4. The Bringing Home (ukubuyisa) Also Great Washing (ihlambo Elikhulu)

5. The Remarriage Of The Widows

B. Mourning Taboo Regimen

1. The Isolation Of The Mourners

2. Sex Restraints

3. Speech And Expressive Behaviour

4. Food And Work Prohibitions

5. Companionship Taboos In Mourning

C. Case Studies

1. Report On The Mourning For A Fbr:

2. Modifications In The Case Of Chn's Death

3. Mourning For Women

4. Mourning For Royalty

A. The Burial Of Dinizulu: Informants: (409), Dinizulu's Widow, And (410), Her Co-wi's So.

B. The Funeral Of Mathole Buthelezi. (informants: Two Buthelezi Widows.)

C. The Washing Of The Spears (for Mathole Buthelezi, And Mshiyeni Zulu) Informant: Princess Magogo.

5. The Fifth Type Of Deviation In Mourning Customs Is Tribal. Since The Examples Given Are Recorded Of The Hlubi In The Last Third Of The 19th Century, They At The Same Time Represent Historical Deviations.

D. Analysis

1. Individual Fear

2. Gloom Or Contagion Of Death

3. Structural Duplications

4. Kindred's Actions

5. Taboo Regimen As Index Of Social Position

6. Different Taboo Patterns For ‘minors’

7. Rules

Chapter Six: Restraints In The Three Communions

I. The Sour Milk Avoidance

A. The Milk Order

1. The Assignment Of The Milch Cows

2. The Milking

3. The Preparation Of The Curds

4. The Consumption Of Sour Milk

5. Commensality

6. Detailed Description

7. An Unconfirmed Hypothesis

B. Eating Sm With Strangers

1. Sm At Mf's Homestead

2. The Sm Bond

3. The Recognition Of Good And Bad

4. The Bride's Sm Taboo

5. The Eating Of Sm At Affines'

C. Sm Consumption And Incest

1. Sm Commensality Defines Forbidden Degrees

2. Comparison Of Incest Indices

3. Sm Avoidance In Family Alliances

4. Sm As Symbol Of Virility

D. Case Studies: Milk Distribution Avoidances

1. Msenteli Zulu, Dakwakusutha, (423) (cf. Fig. 50)

2. Chief Manyala Biyela, At His Emahlayizeni Kraal

3. Milk Distribution At (412)'s Kraal

4. Sm At Royal Kraal Nobamba

5. (414–421) Chief Phumanyova Zulu And His Councillors

6. Sm Distribution In Gomba Shezi's Kwahlumehlupeka Kraal (cf. Fig. 51).

E. Sour Milk Consumption At Court: A Historical Reconstruction

1. Problem Of Historical Method

2. The General Rule

3. Historical Evidence And Sketch Maps

4. Commoners' Evidence

5. The Evidence Of Nobility

Ii. The Taboos In Sacrifice

A. The Ritual Situation In Sacrifice

1. Introduction

2. First Day

3. Second Day

4. The Third Day

5. On The Fourth Day

B. The Taboo Regimen Of The Patriarch

1. The Family Head's Taboo Regimen

2. Companionship Taboos

3. Zulu Explanations For Avoidances And Abstentions During Sac

4. Is Sacrifice Gift, Communion Or Share?

C. Animal Parts Round Which Taboos Centre

1. The Bones

2. The Stomach Contents

3. Gall-bladder And Bile

4. Cowdung

D. Case Studies: Sacrifice

1. Langalishona Dhludhla

2. Princess Magogo

3. Sacrifice At The King's Grave (an Example Of Inversion)

4. Sacrifice At The Making Of The Hoop Of Power

5. Eating Of Meat At Chief Manyala Biyela's Kraal Emahlayizeni (cf. Fig. 54).

E. Snuff

1. The Toba C Co Farmer

2. Diviners

3. Hl Of Snuff Consumption

Iii. The Taboo Regimen At The First Fruits

A. Historical Survey

1. Introduction

2. Official Reports

3. Colenso's Report

4. Shooter

5. Leslie

6. The Abandonment Of The First Fruits

B. Lugg's Account And Terminology

1. The Licking Of The Hoe

2. Entering The New Year

3. The Great Royal Ceremony

4. A Note On Terminology

C. The Main Features

1. Small Royal Rite

2. The Great Royal Rite

D. The Taboo Regimen

1. Companionship Taboos

2. The King's Taboos

E. Zulu Explanations

F. Sociological Analysis

G. Release Rites

H. The First Fruits As Remembered By (286)

Iv. The Essence Of Ukuzila

A. Differences Between Hl And Za.

B. Characteristics Of Taboos

1. Purpose

2. Isolation

3. Companionship

C. Taboos Connected With The Creation Of Life

D. Taboo Regimens Connected With The Maintenance Of Life

Chapter Seven: The Conceptual Background

I. The Techniques Of Administering Restraints

A. General Lack Of Sanctions

B. Magical Sanctions

1. Their Nature

2. The Emergence Of Magical Sanctions

A. The Guarding Of The Kraalhead's (father's) Symbols

B. Magical Sanctions Securing The Wi's Functions

C. Royalty Symbols

3. Symbolical Gestures Or Actions

4. The Presence Of Fear In Hl And Za Situations

C. Educational Sanctions

1. Their Nature

2. Teaching Of Avoidances

3. Cultural Orientations

A. True Man

B. Shame

C. Disgrace

4. Taboo Breakers

D. Settlement Of Avoidance And Abstention Breaches By Composition

1. Settlement Within Kindred

2. Settlement Before Courts

Ii. Zulu Categories

A. Misfortune; Good And Bad Luck

1. Ummnyama: Condition Of Attracting Misfortune

2. Untoward Events Isinyama, Inyama-embi, Isehlelo, Isisila, Ishwa, Umswazi:

3. Good And Bad Luck

B. The Social Definition Of Moral Responsibilities

1. Insila (body-dirt, Family Unity)

2. Igazi: Blood

C. Pure And Impure

1. Usuku: Sexual Stain

2. Ngcolile: Unclean

3. The Zulu Ideal Of Purity

A. Cleansing Rites

B. Ritual Fitness

Iii. The Individual Factor

A. The Self-imposition Of Restraints

B. Authorities Imposing Taboo Regimens

1. Kraalhead

2. Doctors

3. Chief Or King

C. Changes In Restraints

1. Fashion

2. Education

3. Public And Private Standards

4. Class Standards

5. Culture Contact

D. Power Of Individuals To Alter Restraints

E. Release Rites From Single Restraints And Regimens Of Restraints

1. Introduction

2. Puberty

3. Wedding

4. Mourning

Iv. Restraints And Their Inversion

A. Contrasted Behaviour Of Correlated Statuses

1. Family

2. Chief And Commoners

3. Diachronic And Occupational Roles

B. Inversions With Ritual Function

C. Contrasted Behaviour Patterns And Their Cultural Function

Chapter Eight: Conclusions

I. Semantics

Ii. The Essentials Of Hlonipha

Iii. The Essentials Of Zila

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: The social functions of avoidances and taboos among the Zulu

Published By: Berlin, New York: de Gruyter, 1973. xiv, 576 p.: ill

By line: von O. F. Raum

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2005. Computer File

Culture: Zulu (FX20)


Abstract: This source presents an exhaustive analysis of the sociological function of UKUHLONIPHA (Hl) (avoidance) and UKUZILA (Za) (abstention or taboo) in Zulu social organization and institutional activities. The framework for the tables appearing in this work were drawn up by the author in 1940 and filled in from the literature on the Zulu as well as fieldwork in Mapumulo District. This information was further verified and supplemented in consultation with approximately 100 students and teachers at the Umpumulo Training College. During the summers of 1952-1953, 1955-1956, and 1956-1957 (a total of nine months in all), the author visited the districts of Eshowe, Mahlabatini, Nongoma, and Nkandla to further supplement his data (p. 1). From Raum's original survey, it was determined that the avoidance and taboo patterns covered a very wide range of phenomena in those specific situations in which such behavior was obligatory. later fieldwork '…revealed that the whole gamut of Hl and Za observances is never found implemented in any one family, in any particular individual. Each Zulu, and each lineage makes a selection which is determined by historical, cultural and economic circumstances and individual predilections' (p. 1).

Document Number: 15

Document ID: fx20-015

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Errata slip inserted. Includes bibliographical references (p. 548-554)

Field Date: 1940, 1952-53, 1955-56, 1956-57 (9 months)

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: John Beierle ; 1979

Coverage Date: ca. 1800-1957

Coverage Place: Mapumulo, Eshowe, Mahlabatini, Nongoma, and Nkandia Districts; KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

LCSH: Zulu (African people)


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