Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ndebele initiates in Gauteng Province, South Africa

Beautiful and interesting pictures, but unfortunately, very little information. 
These Ndebele young women, from Gauteng Province in South Africa, wear berets during their initiation into womanhood.
The Ndebele are part of the larger Nguni ethnic group. They are thought to have travelled from Natal to the Transvaal region, led by a chief called Musi and settling near Pretoria in about 1600. In the mid-seventeenth century, the nation split over a succession dispute between his two sons, Manala and Ndzundza.
In 1882, following friction with Voortrekker settlers over land and other resources, the Boer leader Piet Joubert led a campaign against the Ndebele leader Nyabela. Nyabela was imprisoned, finally being released in the late 1890s, and many of his people were indentured to white farmers.
During the apartheid era, Nyabela's successor as leader, Cornelius, was forcibly moved with his people to a tribal "homeland" called KwaNdebele, which was given nominal self-government.
People with the last name Ndebele are considered royal.
I have found no information at all on the significance of the beret for the Ndebele people. Only one more photograph of the Mpumalanga, born Peki Emelia “Nothembi” Mkhwebane better known as “Queen of Ndebele Music” who was awarded with the Order of Ikhamanga in silver for her excellent contribution to music and putting the Ndebele music on the world stage:
If you know more, please contact me!

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