Description of Figure/Doll

Cardboard cone-shaped Zulu female doll covered with beads. She has a large headdress that is trimmed in beads, and she has beaded earrings. Her facial features are created with beads also. Tag: “A Zulu girl qualifies to wear the traditional head-dress (Isiqoko) upon becoming officially married. She is now a matron (Makoti). In some areas her mother will present her with a small doll to ensure health, wealth and happiness in her new life as a married woman. Handmade in KwaZulu, Natal, South Africa.” The doll is designed to represent the Zulu culture.

South Africa

Location: Southern Tip of Africa

Capital: Pretoria

Main language: Afrikaans, English, Zulu

Currency: Rand

Figure/Doll

Construction: beads, cloth, and paper

Height in Centimeters: 15

Height in Inches: 6

The Zulu Kingdom of South Africa

Reading Level: 3.60

My name is Sipho and I am a Zulu. Many years ago, the Zulus moved to South Africa from the African Congo. The clicking sounds we make with our voices are similar to those who live in the Congo. Over the years, there were mighty Zulu kings who fought the British to defend their land.

My family lives a very simple life in the country. My father is a guide for tourists who visit the area. One day he asked me to help with a group of English school children. There were six children, and they were all about 12 years of age. I was thirteen. I showed them the round huts where we live. Our huts are all in a circle, and they look like beehives made of straw. One girl asked me about the furniture and I told her that most people had very little furniture. We use grass mats to sleep on.

As we walked, the kids noted that women were working in the fields.  “Where are the men?” someone asked. I explained that Zulu women and girls do all of the work with the crops. The women also do the cooking and cleaning. The men and boys are in charge of the cattle. The more cattle a man owns, the richer he was. 

As night began to fall, I took my group back to where we first met. My mom came out and showed them some of the beautiful beadwork and headdresses the women wear. As we said goodbye, they all added a click to their voices.


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