Swazi Concepts of intelligence: The Universal versus the Local



The Swazi concept of "intelligence " is analyzed in this article from both a historical and a contemporary perspective. It investigates the meanings of hlakaniphile (the closest translation for "intelligence") and how and why perceptions of this term have changed throughout the 20th century and continue to vary today. Utilizing historical and anthropological sources with contemporary local parental ethnotheories regarding intelligent behaviors, the article analyzes the impact of Western culture on meanings of the Swazi concept. Throughout history, as Swazi and Western societies have influenced each other, hlakaniphile continues to include a local perception of social skills. However, the definition has begun to incorporate more Western notions of intellectual competence, as reflected in academic achievement