Culture and Customs of Zimbabwe

Culture and Customs of Zimbabwe

Culture and Customs of Zimbabwe

Culture and Customs of Zimbabwe

Synopsis

Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia, won its independence from Great Britain in 1980 yet continues to feel the impact of Western lifestyles and prejudices. This rich, accessible overview freshly examines Zimbabwe, evoking the contemporary ways of life in a largely homogenous and agricultural country. Students and general readers will discover an engaging narrative that ranges from an explanation of the beer culture to a powerful discussion of marriage, family, and gender roles from the Zimbabwean perspective. Owomoyela also authoritatively conveys the coexistence of traditional and Western forces today in such areas as religion and music. A chronology and glossary accompany the text.

Excerpt

Africa is a vast continent, the second largest, after Asia. It is four times the size of the United States, excluding Alaska. It is the cradle of human civilization. A diverse continent, Africa has more than fifty countries with a population of over 700 million people who speak over 1,000 languages. Ecological and cultural differences vary from one region to another. As an old continent, Africa is one of the richest in culture and customs, and its contributions to world civilization are impressive indeed.

Africans regard culture as essential to their lives and future development. Culture embodies their philosophy, worldview, behavior patterns, arts, and institutions. The books in this series intend to capture the comprehensiveness of African culture and customs, dwelling on such important aspects as religion, worldview, literature, media, art, housing, architecture, cuisine, traditional dress, gender, marriage, family, lifestyles, social customs, music, and dance.

The uses and definitions of “culture” vary, reflecting its prestigious association with civilization and social status, its restriction to attitude and behavior, its globalization, and the debates surrounding issues of tradition, modernity, and postmodernity. The participating authors have chosen a comprehensive meaning of culture while not ignoring the alternative uses of the term.

Each volume in the series focuses on a single country, and the format is uniform. The first chapter presents a historical overview, in addition to information on geography, economy, and politics. Each volume then proceeds to examine the various aspects of culture and customs. The series highlights the mechanisms for the transmission of tradition and culture across generations: the significance of orality, traditions, kinship rites, and family property distribution; the rise of print culture; and the impact of educational . . .

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