Answer to Question #192528 in History for Lindokuhle Mtshwen

Question #192528

Discuss the role of lobolo and mafisa in the late mixed farming communities of Southern Africa

Expert's answer

Lobolo and Mafisa were significant customs in the late mixed farming communities of Southern Africa. Cattle, which were at the center of both customs, were very important to these communities. In addition to being a source of food and leather products and being a symbol of wealth and status, they were also imperative for key events. In the Mafisa system, cattle were lent to other community members for breeding purposes. Men with huge droves of cattle therefore displayed their might in the community by lending cattle and the borrowers had to accord respect to these owners. The cattle owners had the privilege of asking for milk from their cattle and could take back their animals if and when they so pleased. Lobolo referred to bride wealth, where a husband paid dowry to his wife’s family in form of cattle. In addition to being a sign of respect, Lobolo officiated marriages in the late mixed farming commutes of Southern Africa. 

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