The Maphumulo Uprising

War, Law and Ritual in the Zulu Rebellion

By Jeff Guy

In 1906, the authorities in the colony of Natal put down, with great loss of life, an uprising that has become known as the Zulu or Bhambatha rebellion. Accounts have tended to concentrate on Bhambatha, the man who led the guerrilla war in the Nkandla forest, but this book shifts the focus to the Maphumulo area where two famous chiefs led their people in violent resistance to the colonial militia. This account also goes beyond the physical conflict. It examines the rituals that preceded it and the life and death struggle in the courts which followed as the colonial authorities sought to make an example of those who, they alleged, had used not just African weapons, but African medicine and superstition/religion to drive the white man out of Africa. The Maphumulo Uprising introduces many of the social and political issues around ethnicity, identity, and nationalism that have been such a feature of the subsequent history of KwaZulu-Natal.


276 pages

Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781869140489