Sunday, November 7, 2010

0

PAINTING OF A FINE LOOKING DEAD MASEKO NGONI WARRIOR

  • Sunday, November 7, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • Below is a painting of a dead Maseko Ngoni warrior as drawn by Sir Harry Johnston during the war against Yao slavers around  1890s. Below is a vivid description of the realities of war and the circumstances that led to the discovery of the body of this brave warrior.

    In a secluded part of the precincts amid the scattered vegetation of the village outskirts I suddenly came across the body of a fine-looking Angoni, not many minutes dead. He might have been fighting on our side; he might haven been hired by the Arabs as one of their raiders, but someone had killed him with a bullet  through the head and he had fallen in his tracks, in all his panoply of war, scarcely conscious of the object for which he fought. His right hand still grasped the stabbing spear, his left still held the ox-hide shield. His throwing spears had flown from his hand and were scattered on the ground. Grimmest sight of all — four vultures had already arrived on the' scene to examine him. Two birds promenaded up and down with a watchful eye, ready on noting any sign of returning consciousness to take their departure; another bird, somewhat bolder, stood on one leg and inspected him as might a thoughtful surgeon; and the fourth whirled in circles on out-spread pinions round the body, wishing to settle but frightened, in case after all it was a swoon and not a death.
    Read more...
    0

    NOTE ON CLICKS IN THE BANTU LANGUAGES

  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • Author(s): A. Werner
    Source: Journal of the Royal African Society, Vol. 2, No. 8 (Jul., 1903), pp. 416-421

    Note from moderator: Alice Werner worked as a Blantyre Mission missionary in Nyasaland in 1890s and was more acquainted with the Maseko Ngoni having worked among some Maseko Ngoni as a teacher

    IT is generally conceded that the clicks which occur in Xosa, in Zulu, and, to a limited extent in Sesuto, have been borrowed from the Hottentots. Accordingly we find a greater number of click-words, though not a greater variety of clicks, used by the Xosas than by the Zulus, the former having been more in contact with the previous occupants of the country than the latter. Dr. McCall Theal (History of South Africa, II., 196) says that the clicks "were introduced by females spared when the hordes to which they belonged were conquered, as is evident, not only from tradition, but from the words in which they occur being chiefly those pertaining to the occupations of women." This, however, scarcely holds good, at least as far as Zulu is concerned, as the following list of words (which might easily be made longer) will show. (It is scarcely necessary to point out that c stands for the dental click, q for the palatal, and x for the lateral).

    Read more...
    0

    Some Notes on Angoni by Alice Werner

  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • From 'The Natives of British Central Africa', 1906.

    The Angoni were originally a Zulu clan who came from the south, under Zwangendaba, about 1825, and incorporated with themselves large numbers of the tribes whom they conquered by the way, so that there are now few, if any, of unmixed descent remaining. The 'southern Angoni '—formerly known as 'Chekusi's people'—are mostly Anyanja ; but there were, in 1894, a few head-men and others, besides Chekusi's own family, who spoke Zulu, and some of the elders wore the headring, but of a different pattern from the Zulu isigcoco (which is a smooth, round ring), being more like a crown done in basket-work. The northern Angoni (Mombera's people) all speak Zulu, with considerable dialectic modifications, such as the gradual elimination of the clicks, and the substitution of r for l. But their speech is quite intelligible to Zulus from the south. As already stated, there is a great variety of types. The young warriors introduced to me under the name of 'Mandala's boys ' (Mandala was the brother of Chekusi or Chatantumba, at that time chief of the southern Angoni) were big, swaggering, long-limbed fellows, somewhat vacant of face, and, I think, somewhat lighter in colour than the sturdy little men who went to work on the Blantyre plantations. But whether the difference
    Read more...

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    0

    The History of The Angoni According to Alice Werner

  • Saturday, November 6, 2010
  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • Note: Alice Werner worked as a Blantyre Mission missionary in Nyasaland in 1890s and was more acquainted with the Maseko Ngoni having worked among some Maseko Ngoni as a teacher.

    It is not known when the Zulus moved southward into the territory they now occupy, and where they must have been settled for some generations before thebeginning of the nineteenth century, as the graves of at least four kings (some say eight), of earlier date than that epoch, are still to be seen at Mahlabatini, in the valley of the White Umfolozi. In 1687 they, and tribes allied to them, seem to have been in peaceful occupation of Natal and Zululand, living so close together that migration on a large scale was impossible. Yet, about the same time, the Amaxosa, or 'Cape Kafirs,' who are very closely related to them, seem to have been pressing on to the south ; and they reached the Great Fish River soon after the beginning of the eighteenth century. However this may be, the Zulu king Senzagakona had, about 1800, risen to a position of some importance, though still subject to Dingiswayo, chief of the Umtetwas in Natal. His son, Tshaka, succeeded in 1810, and,
    Read more...
    0

    Eye witness Account of the Funeral of Chief Mmbelwa I in 1891.

  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • The following is an account, by an eye-witness, of the funeral of the Angoni chief, Mombera, who died in 1891:—

    ' Men were there from all parts of the tribe, sitting in the cattle-kraal—an immense enclosure open to the sky. Before the grave was dug, one of his brothers jumped up, and placing his hands behind his head, advanced towards the place of burial, mourning all the time and performing a sort of waltzing movement. All the men at the same moment jumped to their feet and stood mourning. After this subsided, the digging of the grave was proceeded with. It was not finished till next day. Meanwhile, companies of people were coming and going, and on entering the village, stood mourning and crying at the top of their voice, "Baba be! Baba be!"1 Before the body was brought out, there was a curious procession of his wives on their hands and knees to the grave, decorated with great bunches of feathers that only the chief is allowed to wear. Soon after, the body was brought in, rolled in cloth, and deposited in the grave in a sitting posture with his face to the east. This was the signal for all jumping up, and closing round the grave in a big circle, and there mourning and rending the air withcries. Only men were allowed in the kraal at this time. (The Zulus never allow women in the cattle kraal at any time.) They stood with their shields over their heads, crying out. Afterwards the young men came marching in in companies and stood mourning for a little, then retired. Meanwhile they were depositing in the grave along with him an immense amount of calico, dresses, etc. — I dare say the accumulation of years; cooking-pots, drinking-vessels, mats, and pipes also went in. During this time, the women were mourning in their own style and causing a fearful din. They appeared as if bereft of their senses, catching one another, and going through some queer movements.'

    Note
    1. Baba ='father'
    Read more...
    0

    TOTEMISM IN CENTRAL ANGONILAND

  • Samuel Kadyakale
  • From the book 'Totenism and Exogamy,' 1910.

    The population of the Nyasaland Protectorate includes many tribes belonging to different stocks and speaking different languages, but they are all members of the great Bantu family. Of the various stocks the Nyanja-speaking the Bantu peoples are the most numerous and important. They include many tribes, amongst whom are the Amananja, the Ambo, the Anyanja, and the Achewa. The Angoni, who give their name to Central Angoniland, a district of the Protectorate lying at the south-west end of Lake Nyasa, are a Zulu people, who having rebelled against the despot Chaka were defeated by him and fled northward, crossing the Zambesi in 1825 and settling in the country to the west of Lake Nyasa. They have intermarried with other tribes, particularly with the Achewa, so that they are now a mixed race; but the northern Angoni still speak the Zulu language, though with some dialectical modifications. At present the Angoni are not so much a separate people as a ruling caste dwelling in the midst of British Central African tribes whom their ancestors conquered.1 The natives of British Central Africa live chiefly by agriculture. The chase is a subsidiary pursuit, and except among the Wankonde, at the north end of Lake Nyasa, the keeping of cattle is an accident or an appanage of chieftainship. Among the principal crops raised by the natives are maize, millet, rice, beans, sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins, and tobacco. The arts of weaving, pottery, and basketry are practised by the people, and they are acquainted with the working of iron and copper. Their houses are for the most part circular in shape with walls of wattle and daub and thatched roofs.2

    The Nyanja-speaking natives of Central Angoniland are divided into exogamous and totemic clans, some with descent in the male and others in the female line.Generally children take their clan from their father, but in some cases from their mother. The name of the clan is nearly always that of an animal, but sometimes it is that of a plant or other thing.3 The following are some of the animal names of clans :—4

    Read more...

    Subscribe