Monday, February 18, 2008

The Xhosa Cattle Killings (1856 - '57)

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
On this day in 1857, the Xhosa tribe in South Africa discovered that it had destroyed much of its food resources in vain. Fourteen-year-old female shaman Nongqawuse (pictured), who was part of the Gcaleka clan, had reported to her tribe a vision she had had.

Nongqawuse said she had seen, staring up at her from the waters of the Gxarha River, the faces of tribal ancestors. She said that the interpretation of this omen was that to retain the ancestors' favour, the tribe must slaughter all its livestock and destroy all its crops before February 18, 1857, on which date the ancestor spirits would bring the the Xhosa people many blessings. Unfortunately for the tribe, it followed the soothsayer's advice and tens of thousands of Xhosas died in the ensuing famine. Nongqawuse was arrested by the British authorities and sent to Robben Island.

Categories: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker