A drawing of the Zulu amabutho engaged in battle. Image credit zuluculture.com

A drawing of the Zulu amabutho engaged in battle. Image credit zuluculture.co.za

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes:The Ndebele:The role of the amabutho in the Ndebele state

  • The amabutho (army) played a central role in the Ndebele state.
  • These roles included:
  • Protecting the trade routes
  • Protecting the king
  • Defended the state against incursions.
  • Herded cattle during times of peace.
  • They were raiders and raiding was an important part of the Ndebele economy.
  • Helped during harvest times.
  • Sometimes provided labour in the king’s fields.
  • Hunted elephants for ivory.
  • Some were miners.
  • Punished offenders and rebelling chiefs on the king’s orders.

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.

 


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