Berglund, Axel-Ivar. Zulu thought-patterns and symbolism

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter I Introduction

Scope Of The Study

Field Work

Some Informants

Literature On Zulu



Ceremony, Ceremonial And Ritual, Rite

Sacrifice, Offering And Communion


Shades, Elders, Seniors And Survivors

Traditional, Traditionalist And Pagan


Chapter Ii Divinities

The Lord-of-the-sky

The Lord-of-the-sky And Creation

The Lord-of-the-sky And The Shades

The Praise-names Of The Lord-of-the-sky

The Lord-of-the-sky, Thunder And Lightning

The Worship Of The Lord-of-the-sky

The Lord-of-the-sky And The Heaven-herds

The Lord-of-the-sky, Black And White

The Lord-of-the-sky, Rain And The Rain-maker

The Heavenly Queen

The Princess And Her Cult


Chapter Iii The Shades




Umufi, Isidumbu And Umzimba




Shade Names








Unkulunkulu, Inkosi, Abakithi

Isithonga And Isithoza, Isithinzi


Shade Manifestations



The Hut

1. Umsamo

2. The Hearth

3. The Doorway Arch

Cattle And The Cattle Enclosure

The Earth, Imphepho And Imphephotshani



The Shades And Kinship


Chapter Iv The Shades Brood Over Men


Chapter V Diviners—servants Of The Shades

A Diviner's Call

Accepting The Call


Coming Out

A Diviner's Equipment—symbolic Associations

The Hut And Its Equipment

Diviner's Dress

Diviner's Calabash And Carrying-ring


Snake-fat And Snake Vertebrae

Diviner's Switch

Classification And Numbers Of Diviners


Chapter Vi Communion With The Shades


Ihubo, The Clan Song


Inkomo Yamadlozi

Ukwendisa Or Imbeka Cattle

Izinkomo Zemzimu

Ritual Beer-drinking

Ritual Killing

A Ritual Killing

Analysis Of A Ritual Killing

1. The Occasion And Participants, The Homestead

2. Technical Terms And Occasions Of A Killing

3. The Promise

4. Washing

5. The Officiant And Helpers

6. The Choice Of Animal And Slaughter

7. Communion With The Shades

The Invocation

Burning Of Isiko

Closing Devotion

8. The Ritual Dance

9. The Carcass—symbolic Associations


Chapter Vii Anger And Fertility As Expressions Of Power


The Channels And Character Of Power

The Lord-of-the-sky

The Clan And Lineage

Material Substances

Legitimate Use Of Power

Illegitimate Use Of Anger

Ubuthakathi And Its Reality

Through Anger To Ubuthakathi

Becoming A Witch

Being A Witch


1. Umkhovu

2. Impaka

3. Tikoloshe

4. Snakes

5. Baboons, Dogs And Owls

6. Lovers

The Techniques Of Ubuthakathi

1. Witchcraft

2. Ukudlisa, Sorcery

3. Ukuphonsa


Chapter Viii Resisting Evil

The Field Of Operation And Destruction Of Abathakathi

The Field Of Operation

The Destruction Of Abathakathi

The Defenders

The Shades

The Diviners

Seniors And Authority




The Confession

Occasions And Those Concerned

The First Fruits Festival

Christmas Celebrations

Expelling Fluid

As A Purification From Evil

1. Vomiting And Emetics

2. Spitting

3. Male Emission

As A Symbol Of Innocence

As A Symbol Of Healing And Fertility


Chapter Ix Medicines

Medicine And Manipulators

Medicines And Morality

Medical Treatment And Symbolism

Antagonistic Associations

Sympathetic Associations

Symbols Accepted

Visually Suggestive Symbols

The Symbol In Treatment


Chapter X Inversions And Funerary Reversals


Funerary Inversions

Reversals And The Underworld

Shades, Diviners And Inversions

Analysis Of Funerary Inversions

Reversals And Rites Of Passage


Chapter Xi Conclusion

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Zulu thought-patterns and symbolism

Published By: Original publisher Uppsala: Swedish Institute of Missionary Research. 1976. 402 p. ill., map

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication [by] Axel-Ivar Berglund

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2005. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Zulu (FX20)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121); Domesticated animals (231); Alcoholic beverages (273); Pharmaceuticals (278); Personal grooming (302); Elimination (514); Lineages (613); Sorcery (754); Medical therapy (757); Medical personnel (759); Life and death (761); Cult of the dead (769); Religious beliefs (770); Religious practices (780); Magicians and diviners (791); Organized ceremonial (796); Ideas about nature and people (820);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This source is a study of Zulu ritual beliefs and practices presented from the Zulu point of view. In order to present the Zulu point of view, the author quotes extensively from conversations and interviews he had with Zulu diviners and others and presents materials in a descriptive rather than analytic fashion. The main topics covered by the study are beliefs about spirits and divinities, diviners and divination, witchcraft and sorcery, ritual practices, and symbolism and dualism in Zulu thought.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 8

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. fx20-008

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Originally presented as the author's thesis, University of Cape Town Includes bibliographical references (p. 390-396) and index Footnotes appear at the end of each chapter and have only been indexed for categories when they contain important information. The footnotes may be found in Information Sources Listed In Other Works (113).

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1959-1970

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnographer, Missionary-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Eleanor C. Swanson ; Martin Malone ; 1979

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1959-1970

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Mapumulo Village, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Zulu (African people)


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