South Africa is well known for its different traditions and cultures. There are 11 official languages and there are different people from all parts of the world who have made South Africa their home. There are a lot of people who still live in villages and their lifestyle is completely different from the urban lifestyle. Tourists and South Africans who are curious about different cultures often travel all over South Africa to learn more about the different cultures and lifestyles.
The Shangaan people, who are also known as the Tsonga people, are a smaller ethnic group in the Nguni group. Together they are about 1.5 million in South Africa. There are other Shangaan individuals in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Shangaans are commonly found in Limpopo and in some parts of Mpumalanga. Tsonga people respect their culture and they believe in ancestors and doing rituals.
Traditionally, the Tsonga lived mainly by fishing for subsistence. Only a few goats and chickens were raised. As is the case in most villages in Africa, they are led by a chief. Most Tsonga people are organised into several small and independent chiefdoms which are inherited by brothers rather than sons. Times have changed and now women can also lead their community and make crucial decisions for the people of their village.
Submitting and respect are of the more important aspects of the Tsonga culture. Women are supposed to take care of their children and respect their husbands. Tsonga women have their own hut where they can prepare meals for their families. Tsonga men are known to have more than one wife. Having a big family is common in the Tsonga culture.
Tsongas are known for their creative clothing and the beautiful colours that they use. They like bright colours that bring out their diversity and creativity. Although times have changed and people are adapting to different styles, the Tsonga people are very strict about their culture and traditions and they haven’t really changed as they value their traditions above all else.
Timbavati Safari Lodge
If you would like to find out more about the Shangaan culture, why not stay at Timbavati Safari Lodge? We will take you on a tour to a Shangaan cultural village where you can experience the Shangaan lifestyle and culture for yourself.