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The Zulu (amaZulu) are a Nguni people who live mainly in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province, with smaller numbers in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Mozambique. They form the largest South African ethnic population, estimated at 9 million. They have close cultural, ethnic-linguistic affinities with the Xhosa, Swazi, Basotho, and Matabele. Their language, isiZulu, belongs to the Bantu language stock. In the early 19th century, Chief Shaka (c. 1787–1828) united various Nguni peoples through new techniques of warfare and expansive conquest, thus forming a powerful Zulu nation. The Zulu kingdom has played a significant role in forming and shaping South African history. Today, the Zulu are one of the major players in South African politics.

The Zulu religious worldview is complex; it is tied to social, cultural, political, and ...

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