1856-58 The Cattle Killings

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1856-58 The Cattle Killings

Postby Mark » 21 Dec 2008 23:01

I recently heard of something called "The Cattle Killings" of 1856-58 which had something to do with the amaXhosa.

Can anyone elaborate on what this might be and who exactly was invloved?

Mark
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Re: The Cattle Killings

Postby Keith Smith » 22 Dec 2008 13:27

Mark

The subject is quite complex and is difficult to explain in a few words. I reproduce below a copy of the text of a couple of posters which I found in the Albany History Museum in Grahamstown last July:

After the rinderpest had destroyed many of their cattle, many started believing in the prophesies of Nongqawuse. She had urged the Xhosa nation to destroy their cattle and their crops, at which time their ancestors would grant them victory over the white forces. This resulted in the great Cattle Killing movement of 1856. Maqoma threw himself behind the movement. The British were anxious to be rid of him and, in 1857, sentenced him, on a trumped-up charge, to twenty years imprisonment on Robben Island. Here, he and other Xhosa chiefs lived in traditional Xhosa huts. He was released in 1869 but when he tried to return to his old lands in the Waterkloof, he was sent back to Robben Island. This time there was no charge or trial. He remained there until his death in 1873.
He was buried on the island but exhumed in 1978 and re-buried in Hero’s Acre on the top of the Amathole Mountains.
Some 40,000 Xhosa are believed to have starved to death and thousands of people fled to the colony in search of work. The Xhosa were left a broken nation and were unable to resist further white encroachment.


I hope that sparks your interest!

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Re: The Cattle Killings

Postby Mark » 22 Dec 2008 13:59

Cheers Keith, sounds a sad story by all accounts!

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Re: The Cattle Killings

Postby Borys » 23 Jan 2009 00:03

Ahoj!
Wikipedia has something, too.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nongqawuse
I see strong analogy between her rantings and the "man made global warming" of today ...
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Re: 1856-58 The Cattle Killings

Postby Paul Bryant-Quinn » 25 Nov 2009 00:56

A full account of this is given in J.B. Peires, The Dead Will Arise: Nongqawuse and the Great Xhosa Cattle-Killing of 1856-7 (Jonathan Ball; 1989, 2003).
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