Showing posts with label ngoni Zambezi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ngoni Zambezi. Show all posts

Thursday, August 5, 2010


The Date of The Crossing of the Zambezi by the Ngoni

  • Thursday, August 5, 2010
  • Samuel Albert
  • E.H. Poole
    Journal of the Royal African Society, Vol. 29, No. 115 (Apr., 1930)

    THE crossing of the Zambezi River by the Ngoni, a tribe of Zulu descent, on their northern migration after their dispersion by Chaka, has a certain historical interest on account of its far-reaching consequences. Geographically, this migration extended as far north as the Victoria Nyanza; ethnologically it introduced into that part of Central Africa, which they finally occupied, a tribe of patrilineal descent and pastoral customs among peoples matrilineal and agricultural by occupation; historically it led to the extermination or reduction to servitude of a population computed to be a million in number.

    The exact narrative of this migration is, therefore, not without interest. The best-known authorities give as the date of the crossing of the Zambezi the year 1825. It is determined by the Ngoni tradition that the crossing, under the leadership of their Chief Zongwendaba, coincided with a total eclipse of the sun. There is no reason to cast any doubt upon this tradition: it obtains both among the Ngoni of Mombera occupying the highlands of Nyasaland, and among the Ngoni of Mpeseni in the south-east corer of Northern Rhodesia. The occasion, moreover, has been recalled by the Ngoni at subsequent and recent solar eclipses.