chapter  2
29 Pages

The Sociocultural System

WithAlan R. Booth

Swazi society places great emphasis on traditionalism and conservative values, partly in response to the stresses that have confronted it. This chapter describes the basis of Swazi traditional life and examines how modern values are influencing change. It focuses on Hilda Kuper's original study and subsequent analyses to describe that traditional society. The Swazi have great respect for age. Children are taught to honor their elders, for the aged are the repositories of experience and wisdom. It is the old men and women to whom people turn for advice and guidance in times of doubt and difficulty. As Swaziland remains largely agricultural, the cycles and the divisions of work that dominate life are those that prevail in the countryside. Mixed farming is predominant in the rural economy, the main subsistence crops being maize and millet, the stock being cattle, supplemented by goats and to a lesser extent sheep.