The political, social, and economic organization of the Swazi state

The political, social, and economic organization of the Swazi state

Political organization

  • It had a centralized monarchy headed by the king called Ngwenama.
  • The king was advised by a small private council called Liqoqo which had his close relatives and friends.

  • There was also a General Council called Libandla which was made up of all chiefs and important men of the Swazi tribe.
  • A regular general meeting was held where all adult males in the state were free to attend. This was large than the meeting of chiefs and had the powers to criticize the king.
  • The state was divided into chieftainships since it was a confederacy. The chiefs of the chieftainships had power over their local people.
  • The queen mother was highly respected and was to be consulted in all state affairs. She could also become a regent in case the hire to the king was very young
  • The home of the queen mother was the capital of the state.
  • The Swazi state did not have a standing arm but they had young men in regiments who could be called upon in times of war.
  • Some regiments who stayed at the king’s place acted as a standing arming.

Social organization

  • The kings of the Swazi state were generally polygamous. They married from different clans to promote unite.
  • The king was a religious leader in the state.
  • The family was a basic social unit and it was very important because it started life.
  • Initiation ceremonies were carried out to mark entre into
    adult hood. The society was organized on the age regiment system

Economic organization

  • They practiced mixed farming that is they kept animals and grew crops.
  • Iron smith was practiced that is they made iron tools and implements

  • Hunting and fruit gathering were part of the economic organization of the Swazi.
  • Trade was another form of organization. For example they bought guns and horses from the Europeans at the cape.


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