History of Swaziland

History Of Swaziland

According to tradition, the original followers of the present Dlamini clan of the Swazi country migrated south before the 18th century to what is now Mozambique. Following a series of conflicts with people living in the area of modern Maputo, the Ngwane, as they then called themselves, settled in northern Zululand in about 1850. Unable to match growing Zulu strength, the Ngwane moved the center of their kingdom northward in the 1870s and 1880s. Under King Sobhuza I they established themselves in the heartland of modern Swaziland, conquering and incorporating many long-established independent chiefdoms, whose descendants also make up much of the modern Swazi nation.

According to Swazi royalist tradition, these chiefdoms came to be classified in the Dlamini kingdom as the Emakhandzambile category of clans ("those found ahead", e.g. the Gamedze), meaning that they were on the land prior to Dlamini immigration and conquest, as opposed to the Bomdzabuko ("true Swazi") who accompanied the Dlamini kings, and the Emafikemuva ("those who came behind") who joined the kingdom later. Emakhandzambile clans initially were incorporated with wide autonomy, and often in part by granting them special ritual and political status (cf. mediatisation), but the extent of their autonomy was drastically curtailed by King Mswati II, who attacked and subdued some of the clans in the 1850s.

The Dlamini clan consolidated their hold under several able leaders. The most important was Mswati II, from whom the Swazi derive their name. Under his leadership from the 1840s to 1865, the Swazi expanded their territory to the north and west, and stabilized the southern frontier with the Zulu.

Read more about History Of Swaziland:  British Colonialism, Independence, Recent History

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