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HIST 3410 Pre Colonial Africa November 11.docx

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HIST 3410
Femi Kolapo

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November 11, 2013 HIST 3410 HIST 3410 Pre Colonial Africa November 11, 2013 19 century transformations: the Mfecane - Period of widespread chaos and warfare among indigenous ethnic communities in southern Africa (about 1815- 1840) Mfecane a Nugni term meaning time of “the crushing” — (lificane or dificane in Sotho/ Swana languages) When the social and political geography of southern Africa was changed fundamentally in the 19 century by the Mfecane What went to define the Zulu warrior Characterization - Characterized by warfare, banditry and depopulation and their ripple effects throughout the region o “Jihad” o Banditry: not warfare because criminalities are involved o Depopulation: effect to banditry and warfare - Some characterize is positively and some negatively Significant political and social transformations; migrations, and overall, positive revolutionary changes that reshaped society - Cannibalism, mass killing etc. - Associated to ethnicity Transformations - Concentration and centralization of power in the hands of the chief - Militarization of Nguni age set— o Better to stress that the age set into which the Nugni and Bantu societies were organized for the purposes of socialization and transformation of culture were transformed into a “standing army” - Enlargement of political scale and ruse of new cohesive nations o Get many people together to get a larger geographic space to engage in economic activities to have a better life  Larger states preferred to smaller states  Links people together o Result of Mfecane(some argue that it was vise versa) Historiographical significance of the Mfecane - South African historiography is infamous, at least to foreign neophyte academics giving their first seminar at a South African university, for the vociferous nature of debates about the past. This stems, in part, from the ways in which apartheid apologists invoked Disputes explanations - Military and demographic chaos produces as a result of European encroachment on African societies via slave trading and settlers o Caused by Europeans - European have used the Mfecane as an “alibi” for colonialism and apartheid by blaming the chaos, on the Africans and thereby excuse their nefarious slave trading and colonialism of African land. 1 November 11, 2013 HIST 3410 - Julian Cobbin - Associated with the career of Dingiswayo, a prince chief of the Mtethwa - The bigger northern Nguni stats, Mtethwa, Ngwane, Ndwandwe were said to have restructured o be in a better position to profit from trade with Delagoa Bay. o Show that Africa had powerful leaders to equal any in the apartheid states. Africa did not require European colonialism Trade: Slavery and Ivory - Ivory trading was said to have been very important to Dingisw
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