May 19, 2012

0212 SOUTH AFRICA (KwaZulu-Natal) - Two Zulu children

In 1879, at Isandlwana (now in KwaZulu-Natal province, at 169 km north by northwest of Durban), the Zulu warriors led by Ntshingwayo Khoza effectively annihilated the British Army, even managing to stop, for a short time, the British invasion of Zululand. Was the worst defeat of British Army against a technologically inferior indigenous force from its history. The assegai iron spears and cow-hide shields defeated the breech-loading rifle, the artillery, and the rocket battery. More about this battle when I will receive a postcard with Zulu warriors. Now I have only a picture of two descendants of these warriors.

The Zulu are the single largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated 10-11 million people living mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Their language, Zulu, a Bantu language, is one of the 11th official language in South Africa, in fact the most widely spoken language in this country. More than half of the South African are able to understand it, over 9 million as the first language and over 15 million as second language.

The Zulu believe that they are the direct descendants of the patriarch Zulu, the son of a Nguni chief in the Congo Basin in central Africa. In the 16th century the Zulu migrated southward to their present location, incorporating many of the customs of the San. Actually, they have close ethnic, linguistic, and cultural ties with the Swazi and Xhosa.

During the reign of King Shaka (1816-1828), the Zulu, only one of many Nguni clans before that, became the mightiest military force in southern Africa. The two kings who followed, Dingaan (1828-1840) and Mpande (1840-1872), have tried to reach an understanding with the English, and allowed the British control, but however in 1879 war erupted, and, after some initially success of the Zulu, the king Cetewayo was exiled to England, and the Zulu kingdom was divided. The last Zulu uprising against European domination was lead by Chief Bombatha in 1906.

Rural Zulu raise cattle and farm corn and vegetables. The men and herd boys are primarily responsible for the cows, while the women do most of the planting and harvesting, and also are the owners of the family house. Today the Zulu are practically divided in half, with about 50% living in cities and engaging in domestic work, and another 50% working on farms.

About the stamp
The stamp is the second that I received it of the series Where Modern Technology Meets Pre-history, and illustrates a skeleton of Jobaria. About the series, the first with a 3D effect using anaglyphs, I wrote here.

sender: Angeliqué Venter (direct swap)
sent from Krugersdorp (South Africa), on 13.02.2012
photo: John Hone

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