Essay on The Xhosa People of South Africa

Essay on The Xhosa People of South Africa

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With eight million people spread across South Africa, amounting to fifteen percent of the population, the Xhosa people are a large cultural group. The Xhosa had a harsh history, full of violence and relocations across the country. Their diverse culture has a major impact on how they live their lives, and on the proper ways to perform ceremonies, such as marriage. There is also a Xhosa language, and is one of the eleven official languages of the South African people. Leaders such as Nelson Mandela were from the Xhosa cultural group, so it is possible future leaders may come from this group. The vast topic about the Xhosa can be divided into four topics: language, customs, history, and beliefs.

To understand Xhosa from all aspects, a few facts about South Africa should be obtained. According to Xhosa by South African History Online, written by knowledgeable people who understand South Africa and its culture, “the four major ethnic divisions among black South Africans are the Nguni, Sotho, Shangaan Tsonga and Venda”(Xhosa South 1). These four divisions have cultural groups within them and Nguni is the division with Xhosa. The Nguni form two thirds of the South African population and is divided into four groups, each having a different cultural group. The Southern Nguni is primarily Xhosa, and Xhosa originated from here. Another important piece of information to know is the presence of whites in South Africa. They had caused violent disputes with South Africans over land, and had wormed their way into the government. These events were the starting of Apartheid, and had changed how all South Africans lived. Knowing this background information helps to comprehend the Xhosa people.

The origins of Xhosa have dated back to late sixt...

... middle of paper ... different but similar languages, there would be some level of comprehension. It is like a conversation between a person speaking Hindi and a person speaking Punjabi. They are similar languages, so the conversation can be understood by both people. IsiXhosa is one of the largest languages in South Africa, and can be understood by many South Africans.

Works Cited

Ngqulana, Nelisa. "10 Facts about Xhosa culture to help you understand Mandela's burial."

Yahoo News South Africa. N.p., 13 12 2013. Web. 6 Apr 2014.

"Some Xhosa Traditions." Rough Guides. N.p.. Web. 7 Apr 2014.

"Xhosa." South African History Online. N.p., 20 10 2011. Web. 6 Apr 2014.

"Xhosa." Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. Ed. Timothy L. Gall and Jeneen

Hobby. 2nd ed. Vol. 1: Africa. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 587-592. Gale Virtual Reference

Library. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.

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