The Creation of the Zulu Kingdom, 1815–1828

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 30, 2014 - History - 406 pages
This scholarly account traces the emergence of the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa in the early nineteenth century, under the rule of the ambitious and iconic King Shaka. In contrast to recent literary analyses of myths of Shaka, this book uses the richness of Zulu oral traditions and a comprehensive body of written sources to provide a compelling narrative and analysis of the events and people of the era of Shaka's rule. The oral traditions portray Shaka as rewarding courage and loyalty and punishing failure; as ordering the targeted killing of his own subjects, both warriors and civilians, to ensure compliance to his rule; and as arrogant and shrewd, but kind to the poor and mentally disabled. The rich and diverse oral traditions, transmitted from generation to generation, reveal the important roles and fates of men and women, royal and subject, from the perspectives of those who experienced Shaka's rule and the dramatic emergence of the Zulu Kingdom.
 

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Contents

Powerful Chiefs Before Shaka
26
Oral Traditions Tales and History
42
Shaka as Warrior
59
Early Conflicts
76
Chiefs Chiefdoms Violence and Political Reconfiguration
106
Challenges and Consolidation 18241827
139
Authority and Subservience
172
Ancestors Praises and History
205
Social Configuration and Social Control
231
Shakas Ambitions
253
The Legacy of Shakas Reign
276
James Stuart Interviewees
298
Notes
325
Bibliography
388
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About the author (2014)

Elizabeth A. Eldredge is an independent scholar. She has published A South African Kingdom: The Pursuit of Security in Nineteenth-Century Lesotho (Cambridge, 1993) and Power in Colonial Africa: Conflict and Discourse in Lesotho, 1870 960 (2007).

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