The impact of trade with Europeans on the creation of the new Zulu sociality in the early nineteenth century

E.G. Valieva


There is hard problem for South African anthropology to find real causes for large-scale social changes in the Zulu society in the early nineteenth century. The goal of this article is to find a place for trade with Europeans in the set of estimated causes.

On the territory of Zululand in the early nineteenth century Dingiswayo, the chief from Mthethwa clan (gen), started a creation of chiefdoms union; after his death power was brought to the chief from Zulu clan – Shaka. During their reign the new "regimental" age-class system was created, in which military unions and strong army was forming on the base of age groups. Zulu accepted unknown for neighbors war tactics and the new weapon – assegai. Zulu authority was expanded on almost all Zululand and many chiefs in Natal southward were involved in subordinate relations.

These and other large-scale social changes, including polito- and ethnogenetic, in the first half of nineteenth century happened in South Africa are including by historians in the Mfecane period, which is one of the most important periods for the south-African ethnic history. The forming of such Nguni-speaking peoples as Zulu, Swazi, Matabele (Zimbabwean Ndebele) and Ngoni ethnic identity was arising from this point on.


Nguni; chiefdom; paramountcy; inkosi; Zulu; KwaZulu-Natal; Mfecane; trade.

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