Eastern Cape: 5,092,152
Western Cape: 1,403,233
Free State: 201,145
Xhosa (many also speak Zulu, English, and/or Afrikaans)
traditional African religions, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Zulu, Swati and Southern and Northern Ndebele people
Xhosa people (English: /ˈkɔːsə/ or /ˈkoʊsə/; Xhosa
pronunciation: [kǁʰɔ́ːsa] ( listen)) are a Bantu
ethnic group of
Southern Africa mainly found in the Eastern and
Western Cape, South Africa, and in the last two centuries throughout
the southern and central-southern parts of the country. There is a
small but significant Xhosa (Mfengu) community in Zimbabwe, and their
language, isiXhosa, is recognised as a national language.
Xhosa people are divided into several tribes with related yet
distinct heritages. The main tribes are AmaGcaleka, AmaRharhabe,
ImiDange, ImiDushane, and AmaNdlambe. In addition, there are other
tribes found near or amongst the
Xhosa people such as AbaThembu,
AmaBhaca, AbakoBhosha and AmaQwathi that are distinct and separate
tribes which have adopted the
Xhosa language and the Xhosa way of
The name "Xhosa" comes from that of a legendary leader and King called
uXhosa. There is also a fringe theory that, in fact the King's name
which has since been lost amongst the people was not Xhosa, but that
"xhosa" was a name given to him by the San and which means "fierce" or
Khoisan languages. The
Xhosa people refer to themselves as
the AmaXhosa, and to their language as isiXhosa.
Presently approximately 8 million Xhosa are distributed across the
country, and the
Xhosa language is South Africa's second-most-populous
home language, after the Zulu language, to which Xhosa is closely
related. The pre-1994 apartheid system of Bantustans denied Xhosas
South African citizenship, but enabled them to have self-governing
Transkei and Ciskei, now both a part of the
Eastern Cape Province where most Xhosa remain. Many Xhosa live in Cape
Town (eKapa in Xhosa), East London (eMonti), and Port Elizabeth
As of 2003[update] the majority of Xhosa speakers, approximately 5.3
million, lived in the Eastern Cape, followed by the Western Cape
(approximately 1 million),
Gauteng (671,045), the Free State
KwaZulu-Natal (219,826), North West (214,461), Mpumalanga
Northern Cape (51,228), and
1.1 The abeLungu and amaMolo clans among Xhosa speaking people
1.1.1 Background of the Abelungu Clan
22.214.171.124 The story of Bessie
1.1.2 Origins of AmaMolo clan
3 Folklore and religion
4 Rites of passage
5 Rituals surrounding umtshato (Xhosa marriage)
6 Traditional diet
6.1 Xhosa cuisine
7 Arts and crafts
8 Xhosa beadwork
9 Xhosa beadwork and its symbolism
10 Xhosas in modern society
11 Notable Xhosa
12 See also
14 External links
The Xhosa are part of the South African Nguni migration which slowly
moved south from the region around the Great Lakes, displacing the
Khoisan hunter gatherers of Southern Africa.
Xhosa people were well established by the time of the Dutch arrival in
the mid-17th century, and occupied much of eastern
South Africa from
Port Elizabeth area to lands inhabited by Zulu-speakers
south of the modern city of Durban.
Xhosa people, 1848
The Xhosa and white settlers first encountered one another around
Somerset East in the early 18th century. In the late 18th century
Afrikaner trekboers migrating outwards from
Cape Town came into
conflict with Xhosa pastoralists around the
Great Fish River
Great Fish River region of
the Eastern Cape. Following more than 20 years of intermittent
conflict, from 1811 to 1812 the Xhosas were forced east by the British
Empire in the Third Frontier War.
In the years following, many tribes found in the north eastern parts
South Africa were pushed west into Xhosa country by the expansion
of the Zulus in Natal, as the northern Nguni put pressure on the
southern Nguni as part of the historical process known as the mfecane,
or "scattering". The Xhosa-speaking received these scattered tribes
and assimilated them into their cultural way of life and followed
Xhosa traditions. The AmaXhosa called these various tribes AmaMfengu,
meaning wanderers, and were made up of tribes such as the amaBhaca,
amaBhele, amaHlubi, amaZizi and Rhadebe. These newcomers came to speak
Xhosa and are sometimes considered to be Xhosa.
Xhosa unity and ability to resist colonial expansion was to be
weakened by the famines and political divisions that followed the
cattle-killing movement of 1856–1858. Historians now view this
movement as a millennialist response both directly to a lung disease
spreading among Xhosa cattle at the time, and less directly to the
stress to Xhosa society caused by the continuing loss of their
territory and autonomy.
Some historians argue that this early absorption into the wage economy
is the ultimate origin of the long history of trade union membership
and political leadership among Xhosa people. That
history manifests itself today in high degrees of Xhosa representation
in the leadership of the African National Congress, South Africa's
ruling political party.
The abeLungu and amaMolo clans among Xhosa speaking people
These two clans are part of the Xhosa speaking community of South
Africa, however these clans are descendants of English and Asian
castaways who were shipwrecked and stranded on the Eastern coastal
areas(near to Port St Johns) of
South Africa during the period of 1500
to 1800. Their forebears after being stranded had to integrate with
the locals, marry and mate with them thus explaining the existence of
the abeLungu and amaMolo clans.
Background of the Abelungu Clan
There are accounts of 20 shipwrecks full of white castaways that
occurred 1500 and 1800 along the eastern coast of South Africa. Having
no means of returning home, these castaways decided to settle on the
The Abelungu Clan is mostly traced to three white castaways called
Jekwa, Hatu, and Badi who were given these indigenous names after they
integrated and married the indigenous people in the eastern coast of
South Africa. These three men are the ones who have been visible
through oral and written historical accounts, although they are not
the only people whom the clan originates from. There are several other
The AbeLungu found at Xora River Mouth in the
Eastern Cape are linked
to a woman called Bessie who is said to have been an English castaway
according to oral and written history.
The story of Bessie
A white woman believed to have been an English castaway stranded on
the shores of Lambasi in South Africa, She married into the
amaTshomane family, to Chief Matoyi’s son. She was given a Xhosa
Xhosa people distinctively remember her as this was one
of the royal families in that area, which explains why her story is
recorded in both oral and written history.
Chief Matoyi’s son later died without an heir. A relative of
Matoyi’s son, named Xwebisa (also known as Sango), took the position
of being Chief and also married Bessie. They had three sons and a
daughter, hence the existence of the abeLungu clan. Their skin, eye
color, and hair texture separated them from the rest of the other
Origins of AmaMolo clan
Oral history claims that both the progenitors of amaMolo were of Asian
descent, thus they are linked to Bhatia and Pita as their non African
Legend has it that the people who mated with the indigenous people in
the eastern coastal area of
South Africa arrived in strange ships
carrying men in white headdresses and long flowing robes. It is
reported that they arrived way before the arrival of the Europeans.
The name amaMolo, according to Xhosa(mpondo) oral history was given to
this clan because their progenitors could only say and knew one word
of Xhosa – “Molo”. AmaMolo, despite their Asian ancestral
roots, are said to consider themselves part of abeLungu as they have
integrated themselves into their Western cultural ways.
The NRY (Non-combining Region of Y, chromosome) analysis has helped to
correlate both oral and written history claims, hence those who seem
to have descended from Bhatia shared the same Y- haplogroup- R198
which is common across Europe and Asia. Pita’ s descendants shared a
haplogroup-Q242 commonly found in Asia thus one or both of the amaMolo
progenitors were of Asian origins.
The NRY analysis on the abeLungu clan shows how most of them are of
European descent with regards to the Y chromosome.
Main article: Xhosa language
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South Africa showing the primary
Xhosa language speech area in
Xhosa is an agglutinative tonal language of the Bantu family. While
the Xhosas call their language "isiXhosa", it is usually referred to
as "Xhosa" in English. Written Xhosa uses a Latin alphabet–based
system. Xhosa is spoken by about 18% of the South African population,
and has some mutual intelligibility with Zulu, especially Zulu spoken
in urban areas. Many Xhosa speakers, particularly those living in
urban areas, also speak Zulu and/or
Afrikaans and/or English.
Among its features, the
Xhosa language famously has fifteen click
sounds, originally borrowed from now extinct
Khoisan languages of the
region. Xhosa has eighteen click consonants, pronounced at three
places in the mouth: a series of dental clicks, written with the
letter "c"; a series of alveolar clicks, written with the letter "q";
and a series of lateral clicks, written with the letter "x". There is
a simple inventory of five vowels (a, e, i, o, u). Some vowels however
may be silent. In other words, they can be present in written language
but hardly audible in spoken language. This happens especially at the
end of the word. This is because the tone of most Xhosa words is
lowest at the end.
Folklore and religion
Traditional healers of
South Africa include diviners (amagqirha). This
job is mostly taken by women, who spend five years in apprenticeship.
There are also herbalists (amaxhwele), prophets (izanuse), and healers
(inyanga) for the community.
The Xhosas have a strong oral tradition with many stories of ancestral
heroes; according to tradition, the leader from whose name the Xhosa
people take their name was the first King of the nation. One of
Xhosa's descendents named Phalo gave birth to two sons, Gcaleka
kaPhalo, the heir, and Rarabe ka Phalo, a son from the Right Hand
house. Rarabe was a great warrior and a man of great ability who was
much loved by his father.
Gcaleka was a meek and listless man who did
not possess all the qualities befitting of a future king. Matters were
also complicated by Gcaleka's initiation as a diviner, which was a
forbidden practice for members of the royal family.
Seeing the popularity of his brother and fearing that he might one day
challenge him for the throne;
Gcaleka attempted to usurp the throne
from his father, but Rarabe would come to his father's aid and quell
the insurrection. With the blessing of his father, who provided him
retinue and also accompanied him; Rarabe would leave the great place
and settle in the
Amathole Mountains region. Rarabe, through his
military prowess, subjugated various tribes he found in the region and
would buy lands from the
Khoikhoi to establish his own kingdom. The
amaXhosa would from then on be split into two kingdoms under the
Gcaleka and the junior amaRharhabe.
Rharhabe branch of the AmaXhosa is under the leadership of the
regent Queen Noloyiso Sandile Aah! Noloyiso, daughter of King Cyprian
Bhekuzulu Nyangayezizwe kaSolomon and sister to the current reigning
Zulu monarch Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. The Ama
currently under the leadership King Mpendulo Sigcawu Aah! Zwelenko who
was crowned King of AmaXhosa on 15 May 2015.
The key figure in the Xhosa oral tradition is the imbongi (plural:
iimbongi) or praise singer. imbongi traditionally live close to the
chief's "great place" (the cultural and political focus of his
activity); they accompany the chief on important occasions – the
imbongi Zolani Mkiva preceded
Nelson Mandela at his Presidential
inauguration in 1994. imbongis' poetry, called imibongo, praises the
actions and adventures of chiefs and ancestors.
The supreme being is called uThixo or uQamata. In Xhosa tradition the
ancestors act as intermediaries between the living and God; they are
honoured in rituals in order to bring good fortune. Dreams play an
important role in divination and contact with ancestors. Traditional
religious practice features rituals, initiations, and feasts. Modern
rituals typically pertain to matters of illness and psychological
Christian missionaries established outposts among the Xhosa in the
1820s, and the first
Bible translation was in the mid-1850s, partially
done by Henry Hare Dugmore. Xhosa did not convert in great numbers
until the 20th century, but now many are Christian, particularly
within the African initiated churches such as the Zion Christian
Church. Some denominations combine
Christianity with traditional
Rites of passage
Further information: Xhosa clan names
The Xhosa are a South African cultural group who emphasise traditional
practices and customs inherited from their forefathers. Each person
within the Xhosa culture has his or her place which is recognised by
the entire community. Starting from birth, a Xhosa person goes through
graduation stages which recognise his growth and assign him a
recognised place in the community. Each stage is marked by a specific
ritual aimed at introducing the individual to their counterparts and
also to their ancestors. Starting from imbeleko, a ritual performed to
introduce a new born to the ancestors, to umphumo (the homecoming),
from inkwenkwe (a boy) to indoda (a man). These rituals and ceremonies
are still practiced today, but many urbanised
Xhosa people do not
follow them rigidly. The ulwaluko and intonjane are also traditions
which separated this tribe from the rest of the Nguni tribes. These
are performed to mark the transition from child to adulthood. Zulus
once performed the ritual but King Shaka stopped it because of war in
the 1810s. In 2009 it was reintroduced by King Goodwill Zwelithini
Zulu, not as a custom, but as a medical procedure to curb HIV
infections. This topic has caused arguments and fights among Xhosa and
Zulus; each side sees itself as superior to the other because it
practices or forsakes some customs.
All these rituals are symbolic of one's development. Before each is
performed, the individual spends time with community elders to prepare
for the next stage. The elders' teachings are not written, but
transmitted from generation to generation by oral tradition. The
iziduko (clan) for instance—which matters most to the Xhosa identity
(even more than names and surnames) are transferred from one to the
other through oral tradition. Knowing your isiduko is vital to the
Xhosas and it is considered a shame and uburhanuka (lack-of-identity)
if one doesn’t know one's clan. This is considered so important that
when two strangers meet for the first time, the first identity that
gets shared is isiduko. It is so important that two people with the
same surname but different clan are considered total strangers but the
same two people from the same clan but different surnames are regarded
as close relatives. This forms the roots of ubuntu (human kindness)
– a behaviour synonymous to this tribe as extending a helping hand
to a complete stranger when in need. Ubuntu goes further than just
helping one another – it is so deep that it even extends to looking
after and reprimanding your neighbour's child when in the wrong. Hence
the saying "it takes a village to raise a child".
One traditional ritual that is still regularly practiced is the
manhood ritual, a secret rite that marks the transition from boyhood
to manhood, ulwaluko. After ritual circumcision, the initiates
(abakwetha) live in isolation for up to several weeks, often in the
mountains. During the process of healing they smear white clay on
their bodies and observe numerous taboos.
In modern times the practice has caused controversy, with over 825
circumcision- and initiation-related deaths since 1994, and the spread
of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, via the practice of
circumcising initiates with the same blade. In March 2007, a
controversial mini-series dealing with Xhosa circumcision and
initiation rites debuted on South African Broadcasting Corporation.
Titled Umthunzi Wentaba, the series was taken off the air after
complaints by traditional leaders that the rites are secret and not to
be revealed to non-initiates and women. In January 2014 the
website ulwaluko.co.za was released by a Dutch medical doctor. It
features a gallery of photographs of injured penises, which sparked
outrage amongst traditional leaders in the Eastern Cape. The South
African Film and Publication Board ruled that the website was
"scientific with great educative value", addressing a "societal
problem needing urgent intervention".
Girls are also initiated into womanhood (Intonjane). They too are
secluded, though for a shorter period. Female initiates are not
Other rites include the seclusion of mothers for ten days after giving
birth, and the burial of the afterbirth and umbilical cord near the
village. This is reflected in the traditional greeting Inkaba yakho
iphi?, literally "where is your navel?" The answer "tells someone
where you live, what your clan affiliation is, and what your social
status is and contains a wealth of cultural information. Most
importantly, it determines where you belong".
Rituals surrounding umtshato (Xhosa marriage)
Xhosa marriage, umtshato, is one that is filled with a number of
customs and rituals which relate to the upkeep of Xhosa traditional
practices. These rituals have been practiced for decades by the Xhosa
people and have been incorporated into modern day Xhosa marriages as
well. The purpose of the practices is to bring together two different
families and to give guidance to the newly wed couple throughout.
To start off the procedures the male intending to marry goes through
Ukuthwalwa which entails him choosing his future bride and making his
intentions of marriage known. In modern day, the man and woman
would most likely have been in courtship or a relationship prior to
Ukuthwalwa. Decades before
Ukuthwalwa would entail legal bridal
abduction, where the man could choose a woman of his liking to be his
bride and go into negotiations with the family of the bride without
her knowledge or consent. She would have to abide to the marriage as
Following Ukutwala, the man will then be in discussion with his
parents or relatives to inform them of his choice in bride. During
this discussion the clan name, isiduko, of the woman would be revealed
and researched. If it were found that the woman and the man share
the same clan name they would not be allowed to proceed with the
marriage as it is said that people with the same clan name are of the
same relation and cannot be wed.
Once discussions with the family are complete and satisfactory
information about the woman is acquired then the family of the man
will proceed to appoint marriage negotiators. It is these very
negotiators that will travel to the family of the woman to make known
the man and his intentions. Once the negotiators reach the family of
the woman they will be kept in the kraal, inkundla, of the woman's
family. If the family do not possess a kraal they will simply be kept
outside the household as they will not be allowed to enter the
household without the acknowledgement and acceptance of the woman's
family. It is here where the lobola (dowry) negotiations will begin.
The family of the woman will give them a bride-price and a date for
which they must return to pay that price. The bride-price is dependent
on numerous things such as her level of education, the wealth status
of her family in comparison to that of the man's family, what the man
stands to gain in the marriage and the overall desirability of the
woman. The payment of the bride-price could be in either cattle or
money depending on the family of the woman. The modern Xhosa families
would rather prefer money as most are situated in the urban cities
where there would be no space nor permits for livestock.
Upon return of the man's family on the given date, they will pay the
bride-price and bring along gifts of offering such as livestock and
alcoholic beverages, iswazi, to be drunk by the family of the bride.
Once the lobola from the man's negotiators is accepted then they will
be considered married by the Xhosa tradition and the celebrations
would commence. These include slaughtering of the livestock as a
grateful gesture to their ancestors as well as pouring a considerable
amount of the alcoholic beverages on the ground of the bride's
household to give thanks to their ancestors. The groom's family is
then welcomed into the family and traditional beer, Umqombothi, will
be prepared for the groom's family as a token of appreciation from the
To solidify their unity the family of the bride will head to the
groom's household where the elders will address her with regards to
how to carry herself and dress appropriately at her newly found
household, this is called Ukuyalwa. Furthermore a new name will
also be given to her by the women of the groom's family and this name
signifies the bond of the two families.
The Xhosa settled on mountain slopes of the Amatola and the Winterberg
Mountains. Many streams drain into great rivers of this Xhosa
territory including the Kei and Fish Rivers. Rich soils and plentiful
rainfall make the river basins good for farming and grazing making
cattle important and the basis of wealth.
Traditional foods include beef (Inyama yenkomo), mutton (Inyama
yegusha), and goat meat (Inyama yebhokwe), sorghum, milk (often
fermented, called "amasi"), pumpkins (amathanga),
meal), samp (umngqusho), beans (iimbotyi), vegetables, like "rhabe",
wild spinach reminiscent of sorrel, "imvomvo", the sweet sap of an
aloe, or "ikhowa", a mushroom that grows after summer rains.
See also: Typical South African foods and dishes
Iinkobe, peeled off fresh maize grains, and boiled until cooked. It is
eaten as a snack, preferably with salt.
Isophi, corn with beans or peas soup
Umleqwa, a dish made with free-range chicken.
Umngqusho, a dish made from white maize and sugar beans, a staple food
for the Xhosa people.
Umphokoqo, crumble pap
Umqombothi, a type of beer made from fermented maize and sorghum.
Umvubo, sour milk mixed with dry pap, commonly eaten by the Xhosa.
Umbhako, a loaf of bread, commonly made with homemade dough. Normally
round, from baking pots
Umfino, Wild Spinach/Cabbage called imifino, spinach mixed with mealie
Umqa, a dish made of pumpkin and mielie meal (maize meal)
Umxoxozi, a pumpkin that is cooked before it is fully ripened.
Amaceba, slices of unpeeled pumpkins that are cooked in plenty of
Umcuku, fermented porridge [amarhewu], sour, slightly soft than
porridge itself, mixed with dry pap [umphokoqo]. And was popular in
Amarhewu, soft and sour porridge
Arts and crafts
Xhosa women's outfit, made from cotton blanket fabric coloured with
red ochre and decorated with glass beads, mother of pearl buttons and
black felt trim.
Traditional crafts include beadwork, weaving, woodwork and pottery.
Traditional music features drums, rattles, whistles, flutes, mouth
harps, and stringed-instruments and especially group singing
accompanied by hand clapping. There are songs for various ritual
occasions; one of the best-known Xhosa songs is a wedding song called
"Qongqothwane", performed by
Miriam Makeba as "Click Song #1". Besides
Makeba, several modern groups record and perform in Xhosa.
Missionaries introduced the Xhosa to Western choral singing. "Nkosi
Sikelel' iAfrika", part of the National anthem of
South Africa is a
Xhosa hymn written in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga.
The first newspapers, novels, and plays in Xhosa appeared in the 19th
century, and Xhosa poetry is also gaining renown.
Several films have been shot in the Xhosa language. U-Carmen
Khayelitsha is a modern remake of Bizet's 1875 opera Carmen. It is
shot entirely in Xhosa, and combines music from the original opera
with traditional African music. It takes place in the Cape Town
township of Khayelitsha.
Beads are small round objects made of glass, wood, metal, nutshell,
bone seed and the likes, which are then pierced for
stringing.Before glass beads were introduced, people used natural
materials to make beads.
Xhosa people relied on the San to sell beads
to them through trade or barter exchange.
Xhosa people would give hemp
to the San in exchange for beads. The beads made by the San were made
out of ostrich egg shells which were chipped to small size, bored and
polished and strung into sinews. Producing them took a long time, so
they were scarce, highly priced, valued and in demand. It is recorded
that it was only in the 1930s that the Portuguese introduced glass
beads through trade.
Xhosa beadwork and its symbolism
Adornments serve a particular purpose across different cultures as
social markers. They are used to ascertain where one belongs to with
regards to identity, history and geographical location. They reveal
personal information with regards to age and gender and social class
as some beads were meant to be worn by those of royalty. Beadwork
creates a sense of belonging and cultural identity and traditions
hence people draw their cultural ways of living and meanings, as Xhosa
people use them as social markers.
Xhosa people believe that the beads
also create a link between the living and the ancestors as diviners
use them during rituals.Thus beads have some spiritual
Social identities/markers with regards to age, gender, grade, marital
status, social rank or role and the spiritual state can be ascertained
through Xhosa beadwork. Symbolic references are drawn from the beads
through the colour, pattern, formation and motifs. However, it ought
to be taken into cognisance that some of these messages are limited to
a certain group or between two people. In Xhosa culture beads
represent the organisational framework of the people and the rites of
passage that people have gone through as the beads are representative
of the stages of one's life. Motifs on the beads often used include
trees, diamonds, quadrangles, chevrons, triangles, circles, parallel
lines that form a pattern that is exclusive to certain age groups.
Although the beadwork has some cultural significance with certain
motifs having exclusive meanings, the creator of the beadwork has
creative control and can create and draw meaning from individual
preference. Thus the meanings drawn from the beadwork are not rigidly
Among the abaThembu (Xhosa clan), after circumcision, the men wore,
and still wear, skirts a turbans and a wide bead collar. A waistcoat,
long necklaces, throat bands, armbands, leggings and belts are part of
his regalia. The dominant colours in the beadwork are white and navy
blue, with some yellow and green beads symbolising fertility and a new
Xhosa people regard white as the colour of
purity and mediation; white beads are still used as offerings to
spirits or to the creator. Amagqirha/diviners use white beads when
communicating with the ancestors. These diviners also carry with them
beaded spears, which are associated with the ancestors that inspire
the diviner; beaded horns; and calabashes, to hold medicinal products
or snuff. “Amageza” , a veil made of beads, is also part of their
regalia, they use these beads by swaying them in someone’s eyes so
as to induce a trance-like state.
Inkciyo is a beaded skirt that serves as a garment covering the pubic
area. Among the
Pondo people (Xhosa clan) the beads are turquoise
and white in colour. This skirt is worn during a virginity testing
Xhosa people undergoing their rites of passage into
Impempe is a whistle that has a necklace on it, the whistle symbolises
one’s introduction to teenagehood.
Xhosa beadwork and other cultural beadworks have cultural ties, but
nowadays beads are also worn as fashion pieces, too, either as
cultural appreciation or appropriation. The use of cultural beadworks
as fashion pieces means that anyone can wear these pieces without
having to belong to that cultural group.
Xhosas in modern society
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Xhosa children in former Transkei
Xhosa woman from the
Transkei living in the Western Cape
Xhosa people currently make up approximately 18% of the South African
population. The Xhosa are the second largest cultural group in South
Africa, after the Zulu-speaking nation. 
Under apartheid, adult literacy rates were as low as 30%, and in
1996[update] studies estimated the literacy level of first-language
Xhosa speakers at approximately 50%. There have been advances
since then, however.
Education in primary-schools serving Xhosa-speaking communities is
conducted in isiXhosa, but this is replaced by English after the early
primary grades. Xhosa is still considered as a studied subject,
however, and it is possible to major in Xhosa at university level.
Most of the students at
Walter Sisulu University
Walter Sisulu University and University of
Fort Hare speak isiXhosa.
Rhodes University in Grahamstown,
additionally, offers courses in isiXhosa for both mother-tongue and
non-mother-tongue speakers. These courses both include a cultural
studies component. Professor Russel H. Kaschula, Head of the School of
Languages at Rhodes, has published multiple papers on Xhosa culture
and oral literature.
The effects of government policies during the years of apartheid can
still be seen in the poverty of the Xhosa who still reside in the
Eastern Cape. During this time, Xhosa males could only seek employment
in the mining industry as so-called migrant labourers. Since the
collapse of apartheid, individuals can move freely.
After the breakdown of apartheid, migration to
Gauteng and Cape Town
has become increasingly common, especially amongst rural Xhosa
Main article: List of Xhosa people
Languages of South Africa
South African Translators' Association
Customary law in South Africa
^ Hlenze Welsh Kunju, 2017 Isixhosa Ulwimi Lwabantu Abangesosininzi
eZimbabwe: Ukuphila Nokulondolozwa Kwaso, PhD Dissertation, Rhodes
^ "Xhosa – pronunciation of Xhosa". Macmillan Dictionary. Macmillan
Publishers Limited. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student's Handbook, Edinburgh
^ PeopleGroups.org. "PeopleGroups.org - Xhosa of Zimbabwe".
^ Nombembe, Caciswa. "Music-making of the Xhosa diasporic community: a
focus on the Umguyo tradition in Zimbabwe." Masters dissertation,
School of Arts, Faculty of Humanities, University of the
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^ "SouthAfrica.info". SouthAfrica.info. 9 July 2003. Archived from the
original on 22 May 2005. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
^ David de Veredicis (2016), TRACING THE ANCESTORS OF MPONDO CLANS
ALONG THE WILD COAST OF THE EASTERN CAPE (dissertation),
^ Ways of knowing: the history, biology and oral tradition of Bomvana
and Mpondo clan descended from non-African forebears Science and
Africa Conference, Stellenbosch, 18-19 September 2014.
Janet Hayward Kalis, Department of Anthropology, Walter Sisulu
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22 December 2017.
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^ Zwanga Mukhuthu (January 11, 2014). "Outrage over graphic
circumcision website". dispatch.co.za.
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^ David Martin (Mar 3, 2006). "Inkhaba Yahko Iphi?—Where is Your
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^ a b c http://www.middelburgec.co.za/page/culture
^ "What really goes down at a traditional Xhosa wedding".
^ Online, Matrimony. "Matrimony Online, South Africa's leading wedding
Lobola ins and outs - HeraldLIVE". heraldlive.co.za. 20 March
^ Xhosa cuisine[permanent dead link]
^ a b c d e Van Wyk, G (2003). "Illuminated signs: style and meaning
in the beadwork of the Xhosa-and Zulu-speaking peoples". African Arts.
36 (3): 12. JSTOR 3337941. (Registration required (help)).
^ Nicola Bidwell; Heike Winschiers-Theophilus (2015). At the
Intersection of Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge and Technology
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September 7, 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
^ Dawn Costello (1990), Not only for it's beauty: beadwork and it's
cultural significance among the Xhosa speaking peoples (PDF),
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^ The Traditional Way Of Dressing In The Xhosa Culture.
^ Bähre, Erik (2007), Money and Violence; Financial Self-
in a South African Township (PDF), Brill: Leiden.
Results of the 2001 South African census
Note that the figure mentioned on this page is based upon the number
of people speaking Xhosa as their home language, which may be greater
or less than the total number of people claiming Xhosa descent. In
addition, several million people in the Johannesburg-Soweto region
speak Xhosa or Zulu as a second or third language. For a majority of
these, the two languages become difficult to distinguish (unsurprising
given the extreme closeness of their linguistic relationship).
Reader, J., 1997. Africa: A Biography of the Continent, Vintage Books,
New York, NY, United States of America.
Kaschula, Russell The Heritage Library of African People: Xhosa, New
York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 1997.
Marquard, Jean (30 January 2009). "THE "GROSVENOR" AND ITS LITERARY
HERITAGE". English Studies in Africa. 24 (2): 117–137.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Xhosa.
Look up Xhosa in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
People of Africa
Xhosa History and Society
2001 Digital Census Atlas
Xhosa Folklore – a collection of Xhosa folklore collected in 1886.
Xhosa Google – Google interface in Xhosa
Ethnic groups in South Africa
Khoi and San