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Culture Sketches

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The name “Zande” which means “people who possess much land” (2009), refers to a nation living in southwestern Sudan. Despite the fact that their lifestyle was greatly influenced by European invasion, Zande’s social organization, culture and traditions are still utterly unique and peculiar.

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Zande families live in houses which are built around courtyards – a place where they gather to communicate. The size of a private territory depends on the status of people living there, so the biggest area goes to the chief. Their lifestyle seems to be somewhat troubled by a famous tse-tse fly which causes problems both for humans and animals. Therefore, the only domesticated animals there are chickens and dogs, and all the meat coes from hunting. Due to their location, Zande have enough rivers and streams in their disposal, and water is an important factor not only of their everyday life, but also of their culture and beliefs.

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Zande have strong family bonds. Marriage is preceded by a special “courting” and trial period. According to their traditions, a son-in-law has to do his best to always please his wife’s family. It should be mentioned that Zande have both monogamous and polygamous families. As to the type of relationships, they are not necessarily heterosexual – there are many cases of connection between soldiers or wives of a polygamous husband. Apart from that, Zande pay much attention to their cultural heritage. A perfect way to bring up culturally and socially aware children iss to educate them by means of tales. Therefore, there are multiple tales which show how one should behave in certain situation.

One more aspect which is absolutely essential to Zande is witchcraft and oracles. Despite the fact that Zande perceive all natural phenomena quite objectively, they are convinced that no mishap or luck would have place without magic. Similarly, oracles are those who can tell whether a war should be continued or a marriage to be taken.

In conclusion, Zande is an ethnic group living in Central Africa. The most popular aspect of their lifestyle is witchcraft which influences their social and family life. In recent years, they have been influenced by European policy, but Zande’s culture and lifestyle remain unique.

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