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Changes In Lifestyle And Cultural Practices Of A Relocated Pondo

646 words - 3 pages

I propose to study a Xhosa woman (Florence) with no specific tribal ties, who married a member of a prominent, albeit poor, Pondo family. After living in Pondoland (Transkei) they eventually moved (± 1990) to a farm is Swellendam (our farm), along with 2 other families. This move brought about many changes, in both lifestyle and the way in which their traditions and culture are practiced. I propose to firstly, look at the way in which their lifestyle has changed, or in some cases, have opposed western or modern changes because of cultural beliefs, e.g. Upon arriving in Swellendam they promptly refused electricity, believing that the Tokoloshe would follow the electrical lines to their house. However, after a few years of reasoning they agreed to have electricity installed if they could bury the power lines themselves, thereby ensuring that the Tokoloshe ...view middle of the document...

However, the return to the original rites could signify a return to their roots and a need for belonging and association for the younger Pondo generation growing up in Swellendam.I would also like to refer to their tribe's custom of severing the first phalanx of the left hand ring finger in infants. Florence, of course does not have this, as she was married into the tribe, and after her second child suffered many complications and infection due to this practice, she refused it to the rest of her children. Her husband objected but later gave in to the new idea. Since then other Pondo families with the same practice (only the choice of finger differs from tribe to tribe) living in the Swellendam area have also stopped this, or have it done at the hospital to avoid complications, either way completely ignoring tradition. Could it once again be that they have given this up because they are not in an environment were they will be pressured, or are they following them because they are the most important family in the area. There are many contradictions in what I have observed, when compared with works on the Pondo, yet hopefully explanations will arise in the course of my research.BibliographyDavenport, T.R.H. 1991, South Africa: a modern history, Macmilllan, London.Dilika, F. & Afolayan, A.J. & Meyer, J.J.M. 1997, 'Male circumcision in South Africa', South African Journal of Botany, vol. 63, no. 3, pp.158-159.Kuckertz, H. 1990, Creating order: the image of the homesteadin Mpondo social life, Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg.Redding, S. 1996, 'Government witchcraft: taxation, the supernatural', African Affairs, vol. 95, no. 381, pp. 555-579.Tyrrell, B. 1968, Tribal peoples of Southern Africa, Books of Africa, Cape Town.

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