Monday, May 24, 8709

Formation of the Zulu (c. 1709) - Critical Times

The Zulu are the largest South African ethnic group of an estimated 10-11 million people who live mainly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Small numbers also live in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Mozambique. Their language, isiZulu, is a Bantu language; more specifically, part of the Nguni subgroup.

The Zulu were originally a major clan in what is today Northern KwaZulu-Natal, founded by Zulu kaNtombhela.

Zulu kaNtombela, son of Ntombela kaMalandela, was the founder and chief of the Zulu clan from c. 1709. In the Zulu language, Zulu means heaven, or sky.

When father Ntombela died, eldest son Qwabe laid claim to the land, causing the younger Zulu, along with his mother Nozinja, to set out to find land of their own.

He led his followers south to the Mkhumbane river basin on the White Mfolozi river.

Here, amid the tall euphorbia trees that were destined to become the symbol of Zulu chieftancy, he established KwaZulu or "Place of Heaven".

The Nguni had migrated down Africa's east coast over thousands of years, as part of the Bantu migrations probably arriving in what is now South Africa in about the 9th Century.

Zulu - Flutes and Musical Bow

[Zulu (1964), dramatizing the Battle of Rourke's Drift (1879)]


Charles Avison (February 1709, Tyne, England - May 9 or 10, 1770, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England) was a composer and church organist at St. John's Church in Newcastle and at St. Nicholas's Church (later Cathedral). He is best remembered for his 12 Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti and his Essay on Musical Expression, the first music criticism published in English.

Further Reading:

Piero Weiss and Richard Taruskin
Music in the Western World: A History in Documents
Richard Avison
An Essay on Musical Expression (1753) (Pages 288-291)

[8710 Pergolesi / 8709 Zulu / 8685 Scarlatti]