South African Culture

© Dr Peter Magubane
A person’s culture is an integral part of their fabric as a being, shaping many facets of their life and informing their understanding of the world. South Africa is home to a wide array of vibrant, rich cultures, each with their own deep history. tells the stories of these cultures. Through the works of established academics and writers we delve into history, customs and the blending of different ways of life in a cultural landscape that is uniquely South African.

Arts and Crafts in Rural South Africa

Using indigenous materials such as clay, wood and grass, they make beautiful, often richly decorated artefacts for ritual and household purposes....more

Ceremonies of South Africa

From birth to death, these rites of passage regulate and give expression to meaningful changes in people's lives...more

Dress and Adornment of Rural South Africa

Extravagant clothing and adornments are commonly adopted on special occasions such as weddings, the installation of chiefs, celebrations commemorating cultural and other heroes, the coming-out ceremonies of young women, and the joyous reception by friends...more

Homesteads of South Africa

Many rural communities in South Africa continue to build their homesteads from mud bricks and readily available materials like wood, stone and thatching grass....more

San Rock Art of South Africa

Rock Art can be described as the overlooked heritage on our doorsteps and South Africa has been called “the richest storehouse of prehistoric mural decoration in the world”, with 15 000 known rock art sites....more

The Tswana

The Tswana are part of the Sotho, with three broad divisions — Basotho (Southern Sotho), Pedi (Northern Sotho), and Tswana (Western Sotho)....more

The Venda

Many Venda see themselves as traditionalists, but their culture has been very dynamic and adaptable....more

The Xhosa

The name Xhosa is a general term, used for an assortment of noble clans of Nguni descent, the Pondo, Bomvana, Thembu and the Xhosa tribe itself....more

The Zulu

The origin of the Zulu, probably the largest single population group in South Africa, lies in a small Nguni-speaking chiefdom that emerged near the White Umfolozi River in what is today known as KwaZulu-Natal during the 16th century....more