RUSSIAN HISTORICAL JOURNAL
THE LORD OF AFRICA RITUAL MURDERS
In the royal houses of the Nguni, the birthright was not considered and the successor was usually appointed the beloved son of the leader or king. Chaka had four important advantages: 1) he was the eldest of all the surviving sons of the leader; 2) no one doubted his courage in battle and the ability to command others; 3) the father gave him preference; 4) he enjoyed - and this was most important of all - the support of Dingiswayo, who wished him success.
The King has appointed Chucka as commander-in-chief of the military and a member of his council. The new commander-in-chief made it a rule to visit all the military kraals in turn in order to strengthen discipline and train soldiers in forced marches. In fact, he became the general inspector of the army.
One of the first assignments that Chaka received as commander-in-chief turned out to be very pleasant: it was necessary to return his old comrade-in-arms Ng'oboke to the throne of the Sokulu clan. Many years ago, Ng'oboka was deposed by his brother Nondlovu and took refuge with the mtetwa. Now Nondlovu disobeyed the order to appear at the court of Dingisvayo, and therefore it was decided to remove him and replace him with Ng'boka, at whose disposal a sufficiently strong detachment was transferred for this. After a short but fierce battle in which Nondlovu died, Chaka confirmed the power of the new leader. At that time, the kraal of the vanquished had not yet been "eaten" completely, as it was ruthlessly done later. Before the departure of the commander-in-chief and his detachment, Ng'obo-ka arranged a great celebration in their honor. He and Chaka remained the closest friends all their lives.
By the end of the year, Senzangakona began to weaken rapidly and died early in 1816. Before his death, the exhausted old man succumbed to the harassment of his eighth wife, Bibi, and appointed her son Sigudzhana as his successor.
When one of the Nguni chieftains dies, the subjects are told that he is "sick." This makes it possible for the heir to assert his power, and, if necessary, to eliminate the "opposition". The body of the deceased is wrapped in a black bull's hide and kept for some time in his hut in front of a lit hearth, which the guards do not allow to go out. In order not to smell the terrible stench, the sentries plug their nostrils with the fragrant plant Lippia asperifolia.
Although in everyday life the Nguni were good-natured and courteous, their social order retained numerous remnants of primitive barbarism. When Senzangakona died, a cruel ancient ceremony took place in the kraal: his personal servants were captured and killed, and the bodies were placed in the chief's grave so that their spirits remained with him. The murder was committed by the sorcerers accused of serious crimes, for whom the death penalty was replaced by exile in the wilderness, where they were forever deprived of the society of other people.
When the day of the burial came, the citizens of Senzan Gakona dug a hole nine feet deep. Then a niche, three feet long and four feet high, was pulled away from her. The grave was located in the Mpenbeni Valley, known as Makosini (Place of the Chiefs), where the seven ancestors of Senzangakona were already buried.
Meanwhile, two of Senzangakona's servants sat bound in his hut, facing their dead master. When night fell and the magnifying glass rose, the executioner Khlati gave both of them the strongest beer used as an anesthetic (however, completely insufficient). The executioner was to break their bones and kill them without damaging the skin.
After a while, a group of people entered the hut without any decorations. They brought a crudely knit stretcher and laid the king's corpse on top of it. When they left, Khlati appeared again with his assistants. The last hour has struck for the servants. With their hands tied on their backs, they were led behind the funeral procession. Ahead of the doomed, but also at the end of the procession, marched a new leader - Sigudzhana. The mourners reached the grave and placed a stretcher on the ground next to it. Then they were lowered on ropes into the grave. Senzangakona's corpse, which was tied up in a sitting position immediately after his death, was placed in a niche in the same position, with his back to the wall, with his feet along the niche. The weapon of the deceased leader was placed next to him and at his feet. Stove pots and beer were placed in front of him.
The funeral procession froze in silence. The new leader of Sigujan stepped forward and signaled to Khlati. Those who carried the stretcher put them on their ribs and held them in this position. The executioners grabbed the first victim, put her knees on the edge of the stretcher, and threw a heavy load on her legs to break them at the knees. The same fate befell the arms: they were also broken at the elbows, in the direction opposite to the natural bend. The moaning victim was laid on the ground, holding its mouth.
RUSSIAN HISTORICAL JOURNAL
THE LORD OF AFRICA BRITISH IS COMING!
Thus, it was not Chaka, but Zvide who initiated the era of terrible tribal migrations, which the reader will now learn about.
Mativan's army (followed by all the women and children of the tribe) attacked the headquarters of the Khlubi leader without warning and razed this village to the ground, destroying everyone who was in it, including Mtimkula. Before the tribe could organize resistance, the attackers burned and cut out everything and everyone and left, driving in front of them both the captured cattle and their own, which they managed to find. However, a significant part of the Khlubi fled to the west. Mpangazita, brother of the slain leader, made a formidable horde out of them. She overcame the Drakensberg Mountains and in turn fell on the Basuto domains that now make up the Orange Free State. Here the Hlubi entered into a mortal struggle with the Batlokwa tribe, which was ruled as regent by Mantatizi - the mother of the minor leader Sikopiela.
Mantatizi became an outstanding warlord of her time, a real Boadicea. After a collision with the Khlubi, led by Mpangazita, she turned southwest and moved along the Caledon River valley, sowing death and destruction. And Mpangazita, who captured all the cattle of her tribe, went north-west, leaving behind him the same terrible traces. They brought grief, death and devastation to the west of Basutoland and much of the Orange Free State.
The ferocious Mantatizi acted so successfully that in one or two years she scattered the Bafukengs, forced the Bakwen to retreat, robbed the Mahwahwa and even defeated Mshveshwe (Moshesh) himself. She won a victory over Mshveswe at Batabuta, during the "war of pots" (this name is explained by the fact that during the battle all the dishes of the Mantatizi tribe were broken).
Making all this devastation, Mantatizi and Mpangazita, without knowing it, approached each other, describing a semicircle, and near Mabolele collided again. After a fierce battle, Mantatizi retreated, crossing the Caledon below Kolonyama, and there defeated Mpangazite. In the difficult years that followed, the brave leader saved her tribe from extermination, but other tribes had to pay a terrible price for this. The tricks and tricks that Mantatizi resorted to, not to mention her unparalleled courage, are worthy of a separate story.
As for Mpangazita, after countless victorious battles and the defeat of many clans, he eventually faced Mativan again. This happened in 1825, near Mabolele, when Matiwaan tried to get as far away from Chaka as possible. For five days the Ngwaans, led by Matiwaan, fought for life and death with Mpangazita and his hlubi. After the first clash with the Khlubi in their homeland, Matiwaan abandoned the pursuit of the remnants of the tribe that crossed the Drakensberg Mountains. Instead, he devastated all of the northern, central, and western parts of present-day Klip River County in Natal. He destroyed the Bele tribe - the closest relatives of the Khlubi - and made his way to the south, everywhere mercilessly burning villages and exterminating indiscriminately children and women, the elderly and the sick.
Whenever Matnvaan managed to find the body of the slain leader, he cut out the gall bladder from it and greedily drank the contents, believing that the courage and ferocity of the fallen enemy would pass to him. Having crossed the Tugela River, he settled in present-day Bergville County, at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains, which reach their highest elevation here - twelve thousand feet. Here he found peace, for only four years. Then Mdlaka - the commander of Chaki - overturned his troops and pushed Mativaan and his tribe beyond the Drakensberg Mountains. They took refuge in the Orange Free State but lost all their livestock. The remnants of the tribes, trying to rebuild their lives after the bloody pogrom perpetrated by Mpangazita and Mantatizi, were defeated and scattered. A hungry horde of Ngwaap plundered the grain supplies and drove away the remaining livestock.
Devastating tribal wars have been accompanied by indescribable atrocities. In this Mativan, Mpangaznta, Mantatizi and other leaders were not one iota inferior to each other.
On August 26, 1828, near Mount Basia in the Eastern Province of the Cape Colony, Colonel Somerset, at the head of a thousand Europeans, supported by eighteen thousand scythe and tembu, defeated Mativan. Initially, the expedition was directed against Chaki, whose troops infiltrated the area. However, skillfully maneuvering, Chaka managed to get away with a lot of prey. If you measure the distance traveled by Matiwaan from the beginning to the final point, excluding countless zigzags, it turns out that he has traveled almost a thousand miles in uncharted terrain. After leaving his ancestral homeland, he transformed his tribe into the nomadic Sons of Wrath and skillfully led them through the crucible of innumerable dangers and hardships. Only the guns and horses of the white people, who were joined by a horde of other Nguni, who had an overwhelming numerical superiority, finally broke the power of Matiwaan. Constantly accepting refugees into his army, this talented commander created a much more formidable striking force than that which he had at the beginning of his campaigns. The nomadic Sons of Wrath committed the most bloody atrocities, but they died courageously, and even a deadly thunder and smoke could force them to retreat.
Mativaan himself with a handful of soldiers escaped death and decided to surrender at the mercy of Chaka. On the way, he again passed the Mountain of Night (Taba Bossiu) and took over the possession of the Basuto, with whom he treated in the most barbaric manner for several years. “Mshveswe (Moshesh), a man of unsurpassed nobility and magnanimity, has forgotten and forgiven everything. The ruler of the Basuto will mercifully invite Matiwaan to settle in his domain. But Mativan, leaving in his care one of his wives and sons, driven by longing for his homeland, went on with a broken heart. "
RUSSIAN HISTORICAL JOURNAL
THE LORD OF AFRICA DEATH OF DINGISWAYO
Dingiswayo dispatched several messengers to Zvida, authoritatively demanding an explanation and damages. The insidious leader cleverly made excuses, putting forward a plausible explanation: he was afraid that in connection with a dispute over cattle, the Ngwaans might attack the Khlubi, old friends of Dingiswayo. Further events showed that his fears were well founded.
Dingiswayo, however, did not believe the hypocritical explanation. Then Zvide sent his sister Ntombazapu, daughter of the notorious Ntombazi, owner of the skull museum, to Dingiswayo as an ambassador. He hoped that his sister, accompanied by an attractive cousin - the daughter of Malusi, would be able to win Dingiswayo's love.
The mission had another, incomparably more important purpose: to obtain some particle of Dingiswayo's body in order to be able to bewitch him. It was believed that the more intimate this particle is, the stronger the effect of the enchantment. After the recent victory over Mativan, Zvide became extremely ambitious and dreamed of defeating Dingisvayo and taking the throne of the supreme leader of the Nguns. And this, in his opinion, could be achieved only with the help of witchcraft. Therefore, he instructed Ntombazapa to obtain and bring with him some of the king's sperm. The women set off and the way. Ntombazana successfully completed the assignment and returned on time with "him" (Dingisvayo).
The Ndwandwe witch doctor accepted the "contraband" from Ntombazana and began making a witch's potion.
Through skillful diplomacy and gifts, Zvide kept Dingiswayo from attack. This was also helped by the fact that it was time for sowing and weeding, and then the harvest festival. Finally, Zvide fully prepared himself to try his luck in the fight against Dingiswayo, using both witchcraft and weapons. At the very beginning of 1818, he ordered the assassination of Maluzi (the latter was married to Dingisvayo's sister, Nomatuli) in order to create a casus belli. Zvide was sure that the widow would undoubtedly be able to restore her brother against Zvide. Dingisvayo really flew into a rage and began to prepare for a war against the rebellious Zvide. He mobilized one brigade (Nyelezi) and ordered his retainer Chaka to follow his example. Both brigades were to invade the Ndwandwe country at the same time.
The mtetwa army crossed the Mkwapazp area, passed along the mountain range and at a point located near the Nongoma-Somkele trail, a few miles east of the present district center of Nongoma, waited for Chaka's arrival. In a hurry, it could not connect with it earlier, thereby violating the basic rules of the art of war, as it exposed part of its forces to the enemy's blow. Undoubtedly, Dingiswayo had at first a reasonable plan, anticipating Moltke's aphorism: "On the march separately, in battle together" - this plan was not carried out. Dingisvayo stopped in the vicinity of the kraal Zvide - Kva-Dlovupga, from where the most destructive spells rained down on him. They, apparently, had an effect, for only having lost his mind, the supreme leader could decide to continue the offensive, accompanied by only a personal guard, consisting of several girls. He left the army in place, without telling anyone where and why he was going. At Mbuzi Hill, he met an Ndwapdvs patrol who took him to Kwa-Dlowungu. There he was given royal honors. In his honor, a bull was slaughtered and a feast was held, at which a lot of beer was drunk.
Witch Ntombazi - mother of Zvide - tried to persuade her son not to show weakness now that the king is in his hands. Zvide, however, did not need persuasion. He sent Dingisvayo to say: "Leader Zvide is calling you!", To which Dingisvayo angrily objected: "Is the king called?"
A squabble ensued. The armed messengers of Zvido tried to break into the hut where the leader of the mtetwa was sitting. The king's Amazons blocked the entrance, and there was a fight. After keeping his royal guest under house arrest in the kraal for several days, Zvide yielded to his mother's insistence and ordered the king to be put to death. Dingiswayo was taken away to execution. He went to his death with regal dignity. The Amazons made a desperate attempt to recapture him from the armed guards that surrounded the convict, but Dingiswayo, walking with a firm step with unbound hands, kindly asked them not to try to do the impossible and not to upset him with unnecessary sacrifices.
RUSSIAN HISTORICAL JOURNAL
THE LORD OF AFRICA BATTLE OF THE PRESITORS
Three days later, almost all adult men living in Chaka's domain, including warriors, were ordered to report to Bulawayo. They lined up in the parade square, leaving wide passages between the ranks. The system resembled a horseshoe, the opening of which was directed towards Chuck. Surrounded by his advisers, he sat on a large artificial clay hill, from where there was an excellent view of the whole assembly.
People stood motionless, seized with fear of what awaited them. The silence was broken only by eerie, shrill screams and howls emanating from a group of five ridiculously dressed women. They approached from behind a clay hill to the opening of the horseshoe, now bending down to the ground, now jumping up and down.
Nobel went first. Her face, smeared with white clay, which also covered her arms and legs, looked like a terrible mask. A whole set of dried and inflated bubbles and snake skins adorned the head and arms. From the neck hung the claws and teeth of leopards and hyenas, as well as goat horns. The skulls of two baboons grinned on dry breasts. A cowhide skirt, softened by a special treatment, covered the lower part of the body - from the waist almost to the knees. In her hand she held the tail of a wildebeest or wildebsost. Four of her companions were also dressed in the same way.
Finally, a writhing line of isangomas led by Nobela appeared in front of Chaka and the Zulu line. Here the "witch-seekers" formed a circle, which began to rotate slowly. From it all the time there was a low, hissing whistle, which grew louder as the pace of rotation accelerated. The eyes of the five women also began to rotate, and their bodies, which did not stop moving in a circle, twitched more and more. Gradually the Isangomas drove themselves to a frenzy. Like demons, they spun, jumped, grimaced disgustingly, giggling and letting out screams that made the blood cold in their veins.
Looking at isangomas, the horrified people were numb. No one, except the leader himself, was safe from "sniffing"), which immediately entailed a painful death. The most cruel thing was that if the "sniffed out sorcerer" turned out to be the head of the kraal (and this was usually the case), then they killed, - however, mercifully, stabbing with assegai - all his relatives. The warriors surrounded the kraal and annihilated all of its inhabitants, old and young, set fire to huts, and stole cattle. He replenished the herds of the chief, who distributed part of the booty as a reward to seekers of sorcerers and executioners.
This has been the custom of all Nguni and related races since time immemorial. His justice was never questioned, for it was believed that even an innocent person, without knowing it, could serve as an instrument of some sorcerer, and therefore a source of evil for the entire community. For this reason, he was subject to destruction with all children and households.
It was useless to appeal to the leader: witchcraft was considered a sacrament hidden from the eyes of the uninitiated and accessible only to healers alone. Only they could understand and interpret it. If, however, the condemned man nevertheless managed to escape from the executioners who followed the seekers of the sorcerers (this was extremely rare for him), and to throw himself at the feet of the leader, he could ask for and receive asylum and then was no longer persecuted.
When the screams, screams and convulsive movements reached their climax, Nobel and her sinister companions froze with dramatic suddenness, and the whole group turned to Chuck. Everyone present, including the advisers who surrounded Chaka, sang softly as custom required. Only one leader was supposed to sing along.
The five Isangomas with the Nobels at the head quickly ran through the middle of the horseshoe-shaped formation and reached the extreme point of the arc, two hundred yards from Chucky. Here, in each line, a passage was left for the isangomas. As they ran, they jumped about every ten steps, wildly rolled their eyes and uttered frantic screams and screams. From time to time, the seekers of sorcerers got down on all fours and sniffed at the ground and the feet of the unfortunate people. Sometimes they crawled forward, never for a second stopping to sniff. Grimacing and grimacing, they looked at the petrified warriors, who, panting with fear, still tried not to stop singing. From time to time, like dogs following a trail, they turned back, as if in search of a lost scent, and lifted the deadly tail of a wildebeest, as if about to hit a person with it as a sign that he was a sorcerer "sniffed out" by them.
RUSSIAN HISTORICAL JOURNAL
THE LORD OF AFRICA, THE WILD ELDERS ON THE MARCH
Meanwhile, Chaka reached the isthmus of Ama-Yvans with his army (esi-kaleni sama Ivane is a ridge of low hills at the source of the Ama-Yvane river, two or three miles from the present district center of Ma-Khlaba-tini) ... There, a messenger from Donda, one of the leaders of the Kumalo, who was also late for an unsuccessfully appointed meeting with the mtetwa army, came to him. Donda's message read: “Where are you going? Dingisvayo has already been killed, and the mtetwas are retreating. " Then Chaka returned home.
Although Chaka did not take part in the fighting of this campaign, the fact that significant forces of his troops were threatening Zvida from the flank prevented the Ndwan Dwana leader from using his victory over the Mtetwa army and invading their country. While Chaka's army stood ready, Zvida had to keep his forces gathered in a fist. This deprived his warriors of the opportunity to burn huts and capture livestock, so they turned back and returned home almost empty-handed.
Meanwhile, Ngomaan - an elder in the kraal of the late Dingiswayo - joined Chaka with the second regiment of Izi-ts'we. His example was followed by many mtetwas who came alone. At the disposal of Chaka was also a Sokulu detachment, led by a friend of his youth, Ng'oboka, which was joined by many mtetwas who were left without a leader. These replenishments, as well as the constant influx of recruits caused by the fact that Chuck put Nobel in place, brought the number of his troops to almost five thousand people. Every day, the recruits were ruthlessly drilled.
Nevertheless, Chaka's position remained dangerous, for he was between the powerful and ambitious Zvide in the north and the formidable G'wabe clan in the south. The G'wabe watched with envy and suspicion the growing strength of the Zulu clan, whose members were considered their younger brothers. In the west, the Chaki's possessions bordered on the territory of the equally dangerous Tembu (their leader was Ngoza). Zvide tried to involve the G'wabe and Temba in the war against the Zulus, promising them Zulu lands as a reward. Chaka, on the other hand, sought to conclude an alliance with the g'wabe and themba against the "Eater of Leaders" Zvide.
While diplomatic maneuvers were taking place, Zvide learned that the leader of the Kumalo Donda, whose territory was located between his possessions and the country of the Zulu, warned Chuck, when he was in a hurry to help Dingisvayo, that he was threatened with a trap. Zvide then decided to destroy Doida and his tribe, resorting to deception for this. He suggested that Donde arrange a small hunt in his domain, after which the girls with cabbage leaves in their hands will perform, as usual, a dance of love. At the same time, Zvide asked Donda not to worry if the Ndwandwe came with military weapons, for they always have to beware of a sudden attack by Chaka. On the appointed day, the gullible Donda and his men went hunting, armed only with light spears, even without shields. There they were surrounded and treacherously destroyed every last man. The girls were taken away as trophies. The head of Donda also became a trophy - she replenished the collection of Ntombazi.
Further to the north lived other Kumalo clans, their leader was Mashobaan, the father of Mzilikazi, who later became famous for creating a strong Matabele state. Although Mashobaan was Zvida's son-in-law, he and most of his clan also became victims of treachery. The head of Mashobaan, in turn, adorned the wall in the Ntombazi hut. Mzilikazi became for a time a vassal of Zvide, but soon joined Chaka, and quickly advanced in his army.
Insidious massacres, which had never happened before among the Nguni, forced all the surrounding tribes to treat Zvid with hatred and distrust. It became clear to everyone that Chaka was right in suggesting that the G'wabe and Tembu enter into a defensive alliance with the Zulus. Since, however, Chaka's territory served as a buffer between them and the Ndwandwe lands, the two tribes did not heed his warnings.