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The chief is frequently buried in a sitting position in his cattle kraal, sown into the skin of a black bull killed that day. Should he die elsewhere, a delegation takes a small branch of the buffalo thorn tree to the location where the chief's spirit enters the branch.
The branch is then taken to the home kraal whilst being reassured the whole distance so that the spirit is not lost. Arriving, the branch is placed in the cattle kraal where it is eaten. A similar procedure occurs if the kraal is moved.
Other members are often left to the wild animals after death. To the Zulu, it is the spirit that is important, not the body.