Showing posts with label mabema. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mabema. Show all posts

Monday, September 6, 2010


Ngoni Wars and Regiments

  • Monday, September 6, 2010
  • Samuel Albert
  • Organization and  Tactics

    The Ngoni inherited a very strong military tradition from their origins as a migrating army. In the words of their historian YM.Cibambo, ‘To the Ngoni war was like work and his heart rejoiced to think of it.' At least some groups seem to have retained the Zulu system of organizing their warriors into regiments based on age, although most units were based on territorial divisions, and warriors tended to live in their villages  rather than in separate kraals as they did in the Zulu army. In Nyasaland, young men were often formed en masse into a new regiment known as a libandla, of which each large village or prominent chief might have several. Each libandla was divided into companies called libuto, which varied in strength up to 100 men or more, and would be allocated to one of the two maior divisions of the army - the younger men, or amajaha and the veteran amadoda. Each regiment and company was led by an officer known as an induna, who was responsible to the overall leader or 'war induna', appointed by the nkosi or chief.