The anthropological concepts addressed in this journal article include; analysis to costume, the clothing of ritual from the culture of Swazi from South East Africa. Secondly, the description of Swazi Kingship and their political oral constitution which binds the people together. Animals figure in the costumes which are worn during important national annual kingship rituals of kingship. Animals are the symbols of cosmology and they encompass the natural and social orders (Kuper, P. 613-630). The Newala costumes describe straightforward social dissections in the Swazi community. One hand was between the male and the female while the other hand described various ranks in the royal subject’s hierarchy and twin rulers who were at the top of this hierarchy (Kuper, P. 613-630). There were different costumes which were worn by different individuals depending on their position in the Swazi culture.
The clothing ritual of the Swazi culture bring the people together and connects them to their common culture. The US society also have the Halloween costumes and performances to express their culture and this brings the people together in that day. The US individuals make decorations in their homes to display different plants such as fruits and vegetables, the figures of harvests, skeletons and paper witches while the Swazi culture uses different plants and animals to symbolize their culture and as a symbol of leadership. The Newala costume represents the basic Swazi theoretical classifications which describe political rank, sex and age. In US the history of Halloween is described in different books most especially in children books.
The Halloween day entails wearing various costumes as well as the decorations used. The activities performed describe a particular community situation and they are symbolic. It describes the continuity and change in the significance of the symbols used (Santino, P. 1-20). The animal symbolism used by the Swazi community describe several themes and they remain understood in the social interactions because they are comprehensively acknowledged and recognized (Kuper, P.613-630). The Swazi culture adopted different costumes with different meanings depending on individual’s position in the community. The Halloween costumes day involves two major activities the decoration of oneself and the decoration of homes.
The anthropological beliefs of the Swazi culture and the US Halloween costumes contribute to different behaviors in the two societies. People have strong beliefs about their culture and they follow what the society has been doing throughout the centuries. The anthropological concepts described in the two societies are different but are acceptable by the societies and they follow them as a way of remembering and respecting their culture. Then Halloween costumes used in US during the Halloween celebrations show individuals were decorating themselves and their houses during such activities in the past (Santino, P. 1-20). The decorations used are symbolic to the society as they uses various vegetables, fruits, pumpkins, ears of corn and squash to represent harvest and they are carved to represent various features that are placed in specific areas (Santino, p.1-20). The Halloween celebrations have become a custom which should be celebrated every year in America. This practices are related to various mumming practices and they involve whole families and also individuals from various races, different sexes and ages.
The contemporary behaviors during the Halloween day are rooted in the traditions and it is important for individuals in that study to study and practice them as a remembrance of their culture. The festivals are connected to the individuals agricultural lives, the passage of time and also they progression of every year. During this celebrations individuals combine their prehistoric symbolic customs to make modern statements with them (Santino, P 1-20). The history and origin of this customs is to show that old beliefs can still be practiced in the modern society for prevent their extinction.
The Swazi anthropological concepts contributes to different beliefs and behaviors in the society. The costumes used by individuals are symbolic are they represent the kingship of the society. Different costumes are available depending on individual’s position in that society. Men wore costumes from wild animal’s pelts which they got by hunting them while females wore costumes from the skin or hide of the domesticated animals which were associated with ancestral sacrifices as well as homes (Kuper, P 613-630). The headgear was used to differentiate between the political hierarchies and the ranks for both males and females were from high to low. The costumes used were symbolic and they represented different beliefs in the society and behaviors depending on individual’s position.
The animals used in making the costumes were symbolic and they represented different beliefs about the kingship of the society and the political structure. The Lourie represented the kingship beauty, different birds used were also symbolic of the Swazis leadership. Some represented strength, bravery and cleverness of the leaders and other known qualities which were symbolic (Kuper, P 613-630). The Swazi society appreciated the different qualities of both the domestic and wild animals that were used in making costumes. The relation between individuals and animals to their nature describes the various cultural classifications which are expressed in behavior and language of tat society. The differences in the clothing costumes was used to reveal and withstand the social variation depending on social class, ethical affiliation, political rank, age ,sex and occupation (Kuper, p. 613-630). Also, the type of animal that was used to make the costume represent different social divisions and powers which the individuals have in the society. Both cultures use costumes which are symbolic as a way of representing their cultural beliefs and behaviors.
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- Kuper H. Costume and Cosmology: The Animal Symbolism of the Ncwala (1973). Man, New Series, Vol. 8, No. 4,pp. 613-630. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2800744.