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10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Ndebele People

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Ndebele People

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The Ndebele live in parts of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and are descended from one of four major African tribes, the Nguni. Known for being patriarchal, and practicing polygamy, many Ndebele also use traditional healers. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Ndebele people.

Sources: Buzz South AfricaKruger National ParkSouth African History Online 


www.en.wikipedia.org
www.en.wikipedia.org

1. Descended from Nguni tribe

It is believed the Ndebele people originated from one of the Nguni tribes, which settled in Southern Africa and evolved into a number of different tribes over the centuries including South Africa’s Zulu and Xhosa tribes.

www.kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com
www.kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com

2. First Ndebele chief

The origins of the Ndebele date back to the early 1600s and Mafana, who was the first identifiable Ndebele chief. His tribe first settled in the Gauteng hills near what is today Pretoria.

www.en.wikipedia.org
www.en.wikipedia.org

3. Three main groups today

There are three main groups of the Ndebele: the Southern Ndebele are in the South African provinces of Mpumlanga and Gauteng, while the Northern Ndebele are based in South Africa’s Limpopo province and also in parts of Botswana. The third group is known as the Ndebele Zimbabwe and they live throughout Zimbabwe.

www.en.wikipedia.org
www.en.wikipedia.org

4. Ndebele in Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe the Ndebele represent the second-largest ethnic group after the Shona. Bulawayo is their hub city.

www.en.wikipedia.org
www.en.wikipedia.org

5. Each branch is distinct

The three groups are not only separated by geographic location, but some parts of their language and culture are also different from each other.

www.en.wikipedia.org
www.en.wikipedia.org

6. Tonal language

Ndebele in a tonal language with different dialects between the tribal branches. It is known for it’s “click” sounds.

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www.south-africa-tours-and-travel.com

7. Patriarchal society

The Ndebele tribe have always been patriarchal in nature, and even today women are expected to practice respect towards their husbands and in-laws in particular but also to men in general.

www.cradeljournals.net
www.cradeljournals.net

8. Polygamy is allowed

Although most modern day Ndebele live in monogamous relationships, polygamy has always been allowed and still exists in some rural areas.

www.kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com
www.kwekudee-tripdownmemorylane.blogspot.com

9. Traditional medicine

Some members of the Ndebele tribe still believe in ancestral worship and will seek out the advice of a traditional healer or “witch doctor” when sick. Traditional Ndebele people believed that illness was caused by an external force like a curse or spell and the traditional healer would battle the force to cure the disease.

www.en.wikipedia.org
www.en.wikipedia.org

10. Arts and crafts

The Ndebele have long been known for their artistic skills, particularly for the colorful designs on the exterior of their homes and also their beadwork.