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Umnguni's Geni Profile

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Immediate Family:

Father of umXhosa kaUmnguni

Managed by: Sharon Lee Doubell
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Immediate Family

About Umnguni

A long time ago, from a place in the Luhlangeni mountains near the lost river, Dadasi, a Chief, known only as Umnguni, from the name of his people, decided to emigrate South across the Ukhahlamba (Drakensburg). Along the way he assimilated a lot of other smaller clanlets and moved down with them. His people had a centralized leadership system and had with them iron which would prove critical to their success.

On crossing the Drakensburg, Mnguni suddenly found himself in conflict with the native clans and populations both of Nguni and Khoi descent that had settled in this new land. Through trade, intermarriage and conquest he managed to create a place for his people in this hostile new land. To the Khoi people these strange invaders were known as the Chobona because of how they greeted, which was “Sawubona”.

Their most formidable foes were the San, a group of hunter gathers. The San believed that their God had given all the animals in the world for them to hunt and this included the cattle of the Chobona. They hunted the herds of domesticated cattle until the Chobona got angry. This lead to a bloody conflict that resulted in the crushing of the weaker San groups and the abduction of San and Khoi Khoi women and young men to serve as wives and warriors in Xhosa society. The San, appalled at their greed and lack of generosity with their animals, named these new tall and dark strangers the Xhosa: the angry men. This name stuck to Umnguni’s oldest son and he was known through the land as umXhosa the angriest of the Chobona.

As with most Nguni nations it was quite expected of royal sons when they came of age that they move away from their father’s house and start their own clan. The right of inheritance was not automatic, as all royal sons had a right to claim the throne should they be strong enough to do so. The rules of succession were such that the son of the Great house had automatic right to the paramouncy.

As a Chief grew older his influence and wealth rose, and when he was strong enough he would seek alliance by marriage to one of the stronger clans. This youngest house, because of her rank, would be taken into the great house where she would bear the heir. So, unlike the European and Asian model it was often the youngest son who was King provided he was strong enough to keep the throne. The oldest son would rule as Regent until the youngest brother came of age, and when he was fit to take the throne the oldest would leave, taking with him his followers, but would have to pay tribute to his younger brother.

Xhosa, as his people were moving and expanding begot Malangana who begot Nkosiyamntu.