Saturday, October 30, 2010

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Notes on the Angoni and Achewa of Dowa District of the Nyasaland Protectorate

  • Saturday, October 30, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • Extract from 'Notes on the Achewa and Angoni of the Dowa District of the Nyasaland Protectorate. by A. G. O Hodgson, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 63 (Jan. - Jun., 1933) pp. 123-164.

    I. ENVIRONMENT.


    1. Geographical Introduction.

    THE Nyasaland Protectorate consists of a strip of land some five hundred miles in length and approximately seventy miles in width, lying around the southern and western shores of Lake Nyasa, which is the most southerly and the third in size of the great East African lakes. The hot, low-lying plain which forms part of the Rift valley rises gradually from an altitude of 130 feet on the Lower Shire River to 1,600 feet at the level of the lake. To the west of this

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    Thursday, October 28, 2010

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    THE CLANS OF THE NGONI ACCORDING TO GT NURSE

  • Thursday, October 28, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • By G. T Nurse , Clanship in Central Malawi pp 50-62 (1978)


    As might be expected, the clan structure of the central Ngoni of Malawi is one which has developed from the system current in the Nguni lands of Natal and Swaziland towards the end of Mfecane, the period of disturbances surrounding the rise of the Zulu power. It was as a consequence of the Mfecane that the two Ngoni migration which terminated in central and east Africa set out from their original homeland. Some of the modifications which have taken place in the clan structure of the Maseko Ngoni have been due to the exigencies of the migration, while others are recognizably the consequences of contact with the Maravi.


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    Friday, October 22, 2010

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    CLANS OF THE NGONI

  • Friday, October 22, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • By Margaret Read, Ngoni of Nyasaland (1956)

    Ngoni clans had a particular role in their political and social organization. These clans had certain characteristics which distinguished them from the clans of the local peoples, and which they had in common with the Nguni group of the South-eastern Bantu. The use of the clan name in address and in thanking for gifts, the strict exogamy in the clans, and the hierarchy of rank among the clans—these were all of southern origin. Mrs. Hoernle,1 writing of the social organization among the northern Nguni, said that the clan was called isibongo, 'a word referring more particularly to the name of the group'. The Ngoni spoke of their clan name as their cibongo, and they generally added 'that is my thanking name'. Dr. Kuper2  used the term clan for 'the furthest extension of kinsmen traced through the father or the mother'. She referred also to the sub-division of clans among the Swazi—a process of fission by which a
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    Monday, October 18, 2010

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    Some Ngoni words And Their Meaning Taken Down by A Werner in 1894 Among The Maseko Ngoni

  • Monday, October 18, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • In a list of Zulu words as used by Chekusi's Angoni, which I took down at Ntumbi (West Shire District) in 1894, I find the words amaqanda (eggs), isixwembe (a wooden ladle), and licansi (a mat), all written with a k, subsequently corrected to c. This is more probably because my ear failed to discriminate between the clicks, than because my informant (a very intelligent old woman, who had lived for a long time at Chekusi's kraal, but, I think, was not a Zulu by birth) pronounced them alike; but it is possible that, in the course of their northern wanderings, the Angoni have reduced the three sounds to one. M. Edouard Foa (Du Zambeze au Congo Francais, p. 74) says that Mpezeni's people called the head-ring (isigcogco) chijojo, which looks as though they had substituted/(probably the French sound as in jeune is intended) for the soft dental click gc; but it is also possible that M. Foa (or his Mang'anja boys, if he did not get the information direct,) failed, like myself, to catch the click.

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    Sunday, October 17, 2010

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    A White Missionary's Take On The British War on Maseko Ngoni and Killing of Gomani I

  • Sunday, October 17, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • By Miss A Werner, British Central Africa.

    The Angoni, also called Mazitu, or Mavitu, are an offshoot of the great Zulu nation. It appears that their ancestors revolted from Tshaka at the turn of this century, and gradually fought their way northward, probably incorporating with themselves a great part of the conquered tribes. The name Angoni is applied to a great number of people who are pure Mang’anja, as being vassals of the red Angoni. They have adopted a few Zulu words into their language, and learnt to use the shield and assagai, which, in the wars of the quite superseded the Mang’anja bow, and almost equally so the rubbishy firearms imported by traders I do not propose to trace thewanderings of the Angoni,or the history of their raids. Constant references to them, under the name Mazitu (or Mavitu),1 may be found in Livingstone’s “Last Journals ” and in Youngs “ Search for Livingstone,” and "Mission to Nyasa.”

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    Some Interesting Observation By a Sympathetic Missionary Observer on the Language and Manners of the Maseko Ngoni in 1894

  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • By Miss A Werner, British Central Africa.

    The Angoni Zulu are like their congeners in the south, a fine, manly, warlike race. Dr. Elmslie says of Chekusi’s people, “There are now no Ngoni among them, and their language is Nyanja” (ie Mang'anja), but I think this is too sweeping. Certainly, in 1894, I saw and talked with an old woman from Chekusi’s kraal,who knew Zulu; and I was given to understand that the language was still spoken by some of the older headmen.

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    The Stabbing of Shaka and Ndwandwe War that Led to the Movement of The Ngoni and Others From Zululand

  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • by A.T Bryant, a Missionary in Zululand and Natal 

    The evening was come, and brought an agreeable transformation of the scene. The bright variegated gaiety of the day had now become set in a background of jetty darkness, and, lit up by the lurid glow of bonfires of dried reeds, presented a weird and fascinating study in light and shade. It was a serenade in which the great chief was himself taking a part. Suddenly a terrifying shriek rent the air; and the fires went mysteriously out! The multitude was plunged in darkness, and confusion reigned supreme. Shaka the Terrible, Shaka the Divine, had himself been stabbed! Verily now hath come the end for many there present. What shall be done? The gathering wrath must be appeased somehow, else unhappy are they whose misfortune it must be to have to come near the wounded despot; for, says the adage, the wild-beast bites those who approach it. Now, the enemy whom Shaka just at that moment had uppermost in his mind was the Ndwandwe king, Zwide, whose power had not yet been broken and whose adherents, under Sikunyana, were even then threatening the
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    Saturday, October 9, 2010

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    SONGS OF IZANUSI (DIVINERS)

  • Saturday, October 9, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • From: Songs of the Ngoni People by Margaret Read 1937


    When trouble or sickness attacked the Ngoni their first act was go to the isanusi and ask him to divine for them the cause of the trouble. There were several grades of izanusi, from those in " private practice " to those consulted by the chiefs in big state affairs and in time of war.

    The first of these songs is an initiation song of an isanusi. The second refers to a very old prophecy among the Ngoni that their final downfall would " by way of the sea," and which they interpreted as the coming of the Europeans. The next two songs (3 and 4) are those of a famous isanusi called Manyonkolo Camango, and the second one reflects the general despair at his death. The last two (5 and 6) I took from an old isanusi who still practises his art.

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    SONGS OF INQWALA

  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • From: Songs of The Ngoni People by Margaret Read 1937. When describing their songs and dances the Ngoni say " We had many beautiful dances but the best of all were those of inqwala." This took place in February at the time of the first ripening of certain crops, and seems to have a first fruit and fertility ceremony, as well as a general gathering of the tribe. These inqwala songs could be sung only at the time of the ceremony which lasted about one month. Before the inqwala was announced, and after it had been declared closed, no one could sing inqwala songs on pain of death. The ceremony was abandoned so long ago that most of the songs are forgotten, and the meanings of the fragments which are remembered are not at all clear. In this selection the third song refers to the invasion by the Ngoni of the Bemba country, and the fourth to the village of the father of Zwangendaba where the inqwala was danced.

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    Thursday, October 7, 2010

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    Native Characteristics, Customs, And Beliefs (Mainly Angoni)

  • Thursday, October 7, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • From the book, 'Wild Life In Central Africa' by Denis D. Lyell  published in 1913

    (From the moderator:  Please watch out for 18th and 19th century European biases and contempt of african traditions and lifestyle. )

    Most noticeable characteristics of the natives—Internecine war in olden days —Witchcraft and the things it can do—A strange custom with children —Boiling water ordeal—Charms against death—Dead returning in the shape of animals—Digging up corpses—Cooking children of enemies— Names given to commemorate events—Old name for the Angoni race— Distribution of the Angoni tribe—Marriage customs—Women workers Polygamy defended for natives—The " White Father's" Mission— Strange legend about the Angoni trek—Putting not-wanted people out of the way—Strange custom to get a case heard—Kindness of natives to others of same tribe—Superstitions about planting crops—Hardihood under painful wounds—Bible not suitable for natives—Untruthfulness of natives—Civilisation not beneficial to natives—Fondness of hunting and meat — Natives good servants — Patience with natives best — Atrocities practised by natives—Mild justice inadequate at times—Love of children — Natives as soldiers—Adaptability in learning quickly— Liking for music—Cruelty to animals—Splendid porters—Staunchness at times—Mission boys—Missions discussed—A strange custom with pigeons—A funny native woman—Old Mpseni—Peculiar ideas with regard to births—Child murder—Impossibility of natives reasoning as do Europeans.

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