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Encyclopedia > Mfecane

Mfecane (Zulu), also known as the Difaqane or Lifaqane (Sesotho), is an African expression which means something like "the crushing" or "scattering". It describes a period of widespread chaos and disturbance in southern Africa during the period between 1815 and about 1840. Zulu (isiZulu in Zulu), is a language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority (over 95%) of whom live in South Africa. ... Sesotho is a language spoken in southern Africa. ... World map showing location of Africa A satellite composite image of Africa Africa is the worlds second_largest continent in both area and population, after Asia. ... Categories: Africa geography stubs | Southern Africa ... April 5-12: Mount Tambora explodes, changing climate. ... 1840 is a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


The Mfecane resulted from the rise to power of Shaka, the Zulu king and military leader who conquered the Nguni peoples between the Tugela River and Pongola River in the beginning of the nineteenth century, and created a militaristic kingdom in the region. The Mfecane also led to the formation and consolidation of other groups — such as the Matabele, the Mfengu and the Makololo — and the creation of states such as the modern Lesotho. For the Shaka era, see Hindu Calendar. ... Languages Zulu Religions Christian, African Traditional Religion Related ethnic groups Bantu Nguni Basotho Xhosa Swazi Matabele Khoisan The Zulu (South African English and isiZulu: amaZulu) are a South African ethnic group of an estimated 17-22 million people who live mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. ... Nguni people speak Nguni languages. ... The Tugela River (also known as Thukela) is the largest river in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. ... The Pongola River is a river in South Africa. ... Militarism or militarist ideology is the doctrinal view of a society as being best served (or more efficient) when it is governed or guided by concepts embodied in the culture, doctrine, system, or people of the military. ... The Matabele are a branch of the Zulus who split from King Shaka in the early 1820s under the leadership of Mzilikazi, a former general in Shakas army. ... Mfengu are an african ethnic group of South Africa who were forced off their land in 1977 and 1978. ... The Makololo are a people of Southern Africa, closely related to the Basotho, from which they separated themselves in the early 19th century. ...

Contents

Causes of the Mfecane

There are varying theories on the ultimate causes of this catastrophic, bloody migration of many different tribes in the area. Populations had increased greatly in Zululand. The introduction of maize (corn) from the Americas through the Portuguese in Mozambique was a factor. Maize produced more food than indigenous grasses on the same land, and thus could sustain the larger population, at the price of greater water usage. It also allowed Shaka to raise a standing army, growing crops not being a part of their duties. By the end of the 1700s much of the arable land was now occupied. Declining rainfall, and ten-year drought in the early 1800s meant that a battle for land and water resources began in earnest. Zululand was the Zulu-dominated area of what is now northern KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. ... “Corn” redirects here. ... Events and trends The Bonneville Slide blocks the Columbia River near the site of present-day Cascade Locks, Oregon with a land bridge 200 feet (60 m) high. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... // Invention of the Jacquard loom in 1801. ...


Other possible causes are the new tactics and weapons develeped by the Zulus during this period. Instead of using throwing spears, the Zulus started to use broad bladed stabbing spears known as iklwa, which could be used very efficiently in close combat. The Zulus also instituted a form of conscription were every man had to serve the king as soldier in special age regiments, known in English as Impis. Not all peoples affected by the Mfecane adopted this practise, but many of the Nguni peoples did. An Askari guards an Allied air training school at Waterkloof, Pretoria, South Africa. ... An Impi is an isiZulu word for any armed body of men. ...


Rise of the Zulu

In about 1817, Dingiswayo of the Mthethwa group in the south near the Tugela River, entered into an alliance with the Tsonga controlling the trade routes to Delagoa Bay (now Maputo). This alliance encroached on the existing routes used by the Ndwandwe alliance, who occupied the region in the north, near the Pongola River. Battles between Dingiswayo and Zwide of the Ndwandwe probably mark the start of what became the Mfecane. 1817 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... -1... The Mtetwa Empire was a kingdom that arose in the 1700s south of Delagoa Bay and inland in eastern southern Africa. ... The Tugela River (also known as Thukela) is the largest river in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. ... The Shangaan (Vatsonga or Vitsonga) are a large group of people living mainly in southern Mozambique in Maputo and in Gaza Province; there is also a large Shangaan grouping in Limpopo Province in South Africa. ... Maputo Bay, formerly Delagoa Bay (Port. ... Maputo is the capital of Mozambique. ... The Ndwandwe clan are a subgroup of the Nguni people who populate sections of Southern Africa. ... The Pongola River is a river in South Africa. ... King Zwide was the chief of the Ndwandwe clan from about 1805 to around 1820. ... The Ndwandwe clan are a subgroup of the Nguni people who populate sections of Southern Africa. ...


After the Mthethwa were beaten by Zwide, and Dingiswayo killed, many of the Mthethwa leaders formed a confederation with the Zulu clan, under the leadership of Shaka. The Zulus conquered and assimilated smaller clans in the area, and the Battle of Gqokli Hill marked the start of his conquest of the Ndwandwe. Languages Zulu Religions Christian, African Traditional Religion Related ethnic groups Bantu Nguni Basotho Xhosa Swazi Matabele Khoisan The Zulu (South African English and isiZulu: amaZulu) are a South African ethnic group of an estimated 17-22 million people who live mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. ... For the Shaka era, see Hindu Calendar. ... The Battle of Gqokli Hill was conducted in 1818, a part of the Zulu Civil War, between Shaka of the Zulu nation and Zwide of the Ndwandwe, in Shakas territory. ...


Only the women and young men of a clan or village were welcomed by the Zulus. The elderly and men of fighting age were often either killed or escaped. Escapees quickly learned the tactics of the Zulus, and in turn descended upon more distant clans unfamiliar with the new order.


Consequences of the Mfecane for the Nguni tribes

In 1821 the Zulu general Mzilikazi defied the Zulu king Dingane, and set up his own kingdom. He quickly made many enemies, not only the Zulu king, but also boers, Griqua and Tswana. Defeats in several clashes convinced Mzilikazi to move north of the Limpopo River and establish an Ndebele state there in an area now known as Matabeleland, in an area which is today in the south Zimbabwe.He set up his new capital in Bulawayo.[1] Year 1821 (MDCCCXXI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Mzilikazi (meaning the path of blood) (ca. ... Dingane kaSenzangakhona Zulu (ca. ... The Griqua (Afrikaans Griekwa) are a subgroup of South Africas heterogeneous and multiracial Coloured people. ... Tswana (Motswana, plural Batswana) is the name of a Southern African people. ... Course and Watershed of the Limpopo River The Limpopo River rises in the interior of Africa, and flows generally eastwards towards the Indian Ocean. ... This article relates to the Ndebele people of Zimbabwe. ... Matabeleland is a region in the west and south-west of Zimbabwe, between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. ... The City of Bulawayo is highlighted in this map of Zimbabwe. ...


Soshangane, one of Zwide's generals, fled to Mozambique with the remainder of the Ndwandwe after their defeat by Shaka at the Battle of Mhlatuze River in 1818. There they established the Gaza kingdom. They oppressed the Tsonga living there, some of whom fled over the Lebombo Mountains into the Northern Transvaal. In 1833 Shoshangane invaded various Portugues settlements, and were initially succesful. A combination of internal disputes and war against the Swazi lead to the downfall of the Gaza. [2] Rje 00:33, August 23, 2005 (UTC) Categories: Possible copyright violations ... The Battle of Mhlatuze River was a battle fought between the Zulu and Ndwandwe tribes during the Zulu Civil War in 1820. ... 1818 (MDCCCXVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar. ... The Shangaan (Vatsonga or Vitsonga) are a large group of people living mainly in southern Mozambique in Maputo and in Gaza Province; there is also a large Shangaan grouping in Limpopo Province in South Africa. ... The Lebombo Mountains are a range of mountains in Southern Africa stretching from Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal in the south to Punda Maria in the Limpopo Province in South Africa. ... Year 1833 (MDCCCXXXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


The Ngwane people lived in present-day Swaziland, settled in the southwest, and warred periodically with the Ndwandwe. Ngwane leader Sobhuza led his people to higher elevations around 1820 to escape Zulu attacks. In this period the Ngwane became known as the Swazi, and Sobhuza established the Swazi kingdom in what is now central Swaziland. Sobhuza can refer to: Sobhuza I of Swaziland Sobhuza II of Swaziland This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Zwangendaba of the Jere or Gumbi clan, a commander of the Ndwandwe army, fled north with Soshangane after his defeat in 1819. Zwangendabas followers were henceforth called Ngoni and continued north of the Zambezi river, where they formed a state in the region between Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika. Maseko lead another part of the Ngoni people and founded another state to the east of Zwangendabas kingdom. [3] Zwangendaba (c. ... The Ndwandwe clan are a subgroup of the Nguni people who populate sections of Southern Africa. ... 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... The Ngoni people are a dispersed ethnic group living in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, in east-central Africa. ... Lake Malawi (also known as Lake Nyasa, Lake Nyassa, Lake Niassa, and Niassa in Mozambique), is the most southerly lake in the Great African Rift Valley system. ... Lake Tanganyika is a large lake in central Africa (3° 20 to 8° 48 South and from 29° 5 to 31° 15 East). ... The Ngoni people are a dispersed ethnic group living in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, in east-central Africa. ... Zwangendaba (c. ...


To the east, escapees were assimilated into the Xhosa-speaking groups in present day Eastern Cape Province, becoming the Mfengu. They were subjected to successive waves of attack, and were pressed from the West by the British. The Xhosa (IPA ( )) people are speakers of Bantu languages living in south-east South Africa, and in the last two centuries throughout the southern and central-southern parts of the country. ... The Eastern Cape is a province of South Africa. ... Mfengu are an african ethnic group of South Africa who were forced off their land in 1977 and 1978. ...


Consequences of the Mfecane for the Sotho-Tswana peoples

Moshoeshoe I gathered the mountain clans together in an alliance against the Zulus. Using a combination of fortifying the easily defended hills and cavalry raids, he fought against his enemies with some success, despite not adopting the Zulu tactics, like most of his neighbours. The territory of Moshoeshoe I became the kingdom of Lesotho.[4] King Moshoeshoe I Moshoeshoe (1786?-1870) was born at Menkhoaneng in the Northern part of present-day Lesotho. ...


Sebitwane gathered the Kololo tribe somewhere near modern Lesotho and wandered north across what is now Botswana, plundering and killing many of the Tswana villages on the way. They finally settled in Barotseland, where they made themselves rulers of the Lozi people. [5] Sebetwane (d. ... The Makololo are a people of Southern Africa, closely related to the Basotho, from which they separated themselves in the early 19th century. ... Tswana (Motswana, plural Batswana) is the name of a Southern African people. ... Barotseland is a region in western Zambia which is the homeland of the Lozi people. ... Lozi, also known as Silozi and Rozi, is a Bantu language (of the Niger-Congo language family) that is spoken by the Lozi people primarily in southwestern Zambia and also, to a lesser extent, in surrounding countries. ...


The Tswana were pillaged by two large invasion forces set on the move by the Mfecane. The first of these were the Kololo, which reached what is now Botswana in 1826. The second was the travel of Mzilikazi across Tswana territory in 1837. Neither of these invasion forces managed to create a state within Tswana territory, and continued north instead. [6] Tswana (Motswana, plural Batswana) is the name of a Southern African people. ... The Makololo are a people of Southern Africa, closely related to the Basotho, from which they separated themselves in the early 19th century. ... Mzilikazi (meaning the path of blood) (ca. ...


Controversies

In 1988, Rhodes University professor Julian Cobbing advanced a controversial new hypothesis on the rise of the Zulu state, which contended the 'Mfecane' to be a self-serving constructed product of Apartheid politicians and historians. According to Cobbing, the Mfecane has been mischaracterized by Apartheid historians as a period of internally-induced black-on-black destruction. Instead, argued Cobbing, the roots of the conflicts can be found in the actions of European slave traders. Year 1988 (MCMLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar). ... Rhodes University is one of South Africas oldest and most famous university institutions. ... Julian Cobbing is a British-South African historian, and professor of History at Rhodes University, known best for his groundbreaking research into 19th century Zulu history. ... A segregated beach in South Africa, 1982. ...


Cobbing's hypothesis (now known by many historians as the "Cobbing Controversy") remains controversial, although many agree that Cobbing's analysis offered several key breakthroughs and insights into the nature of early Zulu society. Some critics assert that revisionist theories like Cobbing's place too much weight on environmental factors and ignore the key roles played by dynamic human actors like the Zulu king Shaka. For the Shaka era, see Hindu Calendar. ...


A balanced view of the massive upheaval of the Mfecane would certainly point to Zulu expansion as a major factor. It seems clear that aggressive Zulu military activities sparked a trememdous ferment of change. Other factors must be added into the mix, including population pressures; corn crops from Europe; and white encroachment and expansion in the general area, including slaving and Portuguese activities in Mozambique.


See also

Gazaland is the historical name for the region in southeast Africa, in modern day Mozambique and Zimbabwe, which extends northward from the Komati River at Delagoa Bay in Mozambiques Maputo Province to the Pungwe River in central Mozambique. ... The military history of South Africa chronicles a vast time period and complex events from the dawn of history until the present time. ... For the Shaka era, see Hindu Calendar. ...

Sources

  1. ^ Cambridge History of Africa, vol. 5
  2. ^ Cambridge History of Africa, vol. 5
  3. ^ Cambridge History of Africa, vol. 5
  4. ^ Cambridge History of Africa, vol. 5
  5. ^ A history of Ngamiland. 1750-1906. Thomas Tlou.
  6. ^ A history of Ngamiland. 1750-1906. Thomas Tlou.

One outstanding example of the traditional view of the Mfecane is J.D. Omer-Cooper's "The Zulu Aftermath".


A convincing refutation of the idea of Mfecane can be found in Norman Etherington's The Great Treks: The Transformation of Southern Africa, 1815-1854


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mfecane - definition of Mfecane in Encyclopedia (538 words)
Mfecane (isiZulu), also known as the Difaqane or Lifaqane (Sesotho), is an African expression used about chaos and disturbances.
Declining rainfall, and ten-year drought in the early 1800s meant that a battle for land and water resources began in earnest.
After the Mthethwa were beaten by Zwide, and Dingiswayo killed, the power vacuum was filled by the Zulus, under the ambitious leadership of Shaka.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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