Raiding was an important part of the Zulu Economy.Image credit distractify.com

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Zulu State: Economic Organisation of the Zulu State

  • The economy was centralized and controlled by the king. He was the sole distributor of war booty and food production.
  • The most important economic activity in the Zulu kingdom was cattle rearing
  • Cattle rearing was only done by men
  • Cattle provided meat and milk which was the main diet of the Zulu
  • They also provided skins which were used for making shields and clothes
  • In the Zulu culture a man normally would not keep his cattle but would give to someone to look after them and this was called ukusisa.
  • The Zulu also reared sheep, goats and fowls and these animals were used for meat and skins
  • They also domesticated the dog and used it for hunting
  • The Zulu women and old men practiced agriculture
  • They grew maize, water-melons, calabash, pumpkins and different kinds of edible tubers and beans
  • The king was responsible for the official opening of the hoeing season and he planted and harvested first
  • The Zulu had a special ceremony for planting to begin called licking of the hoe
  • Iron smelting was another economic activity of the Zulu and it was done by blacksmiths.
  • They smelted tools like assegais, hoes, various kinds of knives, axes and ornaments such as rings
  • The Zulu practiced internal with the locals and eternal trade with the Portuguese at Delagoa Bay
  • They traded in goods like grain, iron tools and baskets locally and gold, ivory and silver externally
  • The Zulu people also did craftwork such as basketry, pottery and weaving
  • They also collected tributes from vassal states
  • Raiding was also an important part of the Zulu state

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.


Quick NetOne, Telecel, Africom, And Econet Airtime Recharge

If anything goes wrong, chat with us using the chat feature at the bottom right of this screen