South african paintings

People and culture

South africans and tradidtions

The black communities of South Africa have got their ethnic divisions we can consider as distinct societies. We can clearly distinguish each other thanks to their customs, their social system and their mother tongue.
Those different societies are : The Zulus, the Xhosas, the Swazis, the northern Sothos, the southern Sothos, the Tswanas, the Ndebele, the Vendas, the Lembas and the Shangaan-Tsongas.
Given the large number of ethnic groups, we might think that South African black communities are strongly attached to their traditions, but it's not the case. Only a few typical African villages remain in rural aeras.

The first ethnic group we met was the N'debele.
You can easily spot their villages thanks to the colourful geometrical paintings decorating their houses. Ndebele women wear narrow necklaces made of several metal rings as well as bracelets they 'll never be able to remove.

Close to Kruger park, between Hoedspruit and Acornhoek, is located a wonderful Shangaan-Tsonga village. The inhabitants warmly welcomed us by the welcoming dance.
Then we visited the village, with a view to discovering their living, their customs....

Finally, further south, in Zululand, we discovered several zulu villages.

But traditional Africa is not only black communities. As a matter of fact, everybody knows that white people colonized South Africa.
This colonization started in Cape town and its vicinity, and notably the city of Stellenbosh. The first settlers (Dutch people) built churches, schools and houses with whitewashed walls and stinkwood roofs. Everything has been kept.