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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ZULU (article first published : 1999-04-15)

Published last year by Struik, Zulu is a superbly-produced book written by Sue Derwent and consultant author Barry Leitch with magnificent photography by Roger and Pat de la Harpe. "It is far from easy to record a culture since no culture remains static for long," they say in the preface. But what they have produced is a highly respectful and in-depth look at a proud and fascinating people.

The book deals with past and present life and times of the Zulus. It discusses cattle, homesteads and marriage as well as rituals, praises, war cries and traditional healers.

The informative glossary, accompanied by explanatory pictures, explains words such as inkosi (chief), amashinga (mavericks) or iklwa (the short stabbing spear introduced by King Shaka) as well as ilala nyathi, the sleeping buffalo tree which provides a wood favoured for making fighting sticks.

Apart from being a marvellous addition to a personal or corporate library, the book makes a perfect gift for special overseas visitors. In English, it is available from leading stores at R189.95.


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