Did you know?
Zulu women crafters will only pass an artefact to you using their right hands. This custom serves to assure you that you have nothing to fear from them.
DumaZulu Cultural Village is a traditional Zulu Village where you can watch beaders at work, learn about the art of basket weaving and see how men craft the spears, shields and drums for which this warrior nation is famous.
The Zulu are also famous for their beadwork, basketry, pottery and weaving and these skills are preserved and practised in cultural villages like DumaZulu. As well as being beautifully made, Zulu artefacts have cultural significance because of the way in which Zulu social values are integrated into their arts and crafts.
At DumaZulu Cultural Village in KwaZulu Natal, you are invited to discover something of the deep cultural significance of Zulu arts and crafts. For example, the colours, colour combinations and patterns found in traditional Zulu beadwork are more than simply decorative.
Traditionally, they are a means of communication, helping to regulate social behaviour and teach young girls about how to behave in relationships. Some designs are only worn at weddings or other social rituals. Some designs are messages of love, grief or uncertainty; emotions that are conveyed through the selection of colours and patterns.
Basket weaving is similarly complex and is linked to a wide range of domestic, social, and religious roles. Traditionally Zulu women weave the African Zulu baskets using techniques that are passed down from generation to generation. The patterns vary from decorative bands to intricate triangles, diamonds, zig-zags and other motifs, each with their own meaning.
For example, points round the outside of a diamond design are associated with weddings and show how many cattle were paid as bride wealth. Other complexities of this design have other meanings, and indicate things like the bride's position in the new family (as first, second or third wife) and her status within the community.
A visit to this Zulu cultural village also give you an opportunity to learn about Zulu customs around food and beer brewing, the role of the ancestors and traditional healers known as ‘inyangas', the significance of traditional dress, the importance of a man's cattle, and courtship and marriage rituals.