The kaskara was a type of sword characteristic of Sudan and Eritrea. The blade of the kaskara was about a yard long, double edged and with a spatulate tip. While most surviving examples are from the 19th century, the type is believed to have originated around the early 14th century, may represent a localized survival of the straight, double-edged medieval Arab sword; the kaskara was worn horizontally between the upper arm and thorax. According to British Museum curator Christopher Spring, "in the central and eastern Sudan, from Chad through Darfur and across to the Red Sea province, the straight, double-edged swords known as kaskara were an essential possession of most men." Photograph of a Kaskara
Mount Frere is a town located in the Eastern Cape province known as the Transkei region, of South Africa. Its name in Xhosa is kwaBhaca, or "place of the Bhaca people", who settled here while fleeing the advance of Shaka Zulu. Mount Frere is situated between Kokstad and Mthatha along the N2 road about 100 km north east of Mthatha, it is administered by the Alfred Nzo District Municipality and the villages are ruled by the Tribal chief with intermediary borders. Mount Frere was named after Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere. There is one major street in Mount Frere and it is the Main street on the N2 road, it has many restaurants and public services including the Police Station, Post Office, Municipal offices and the newly built Madzikane Ka Zulu Memorial Hospital. Most of the businesses and shops are situated along the Main street, there are only a few outside this area. There are a lot of farmers in and around Mount Frere and most of the people rely on subsistence farming for their basic needs. Peaches, pears and maize meal are the most popular fruits and vegetables in Mount Frere and there has been involvement from the Municipal to change these Subsistence farmers into Commercial farmers.
Mount Frere has a population of over 5,000 although this might appear as crowded, the town in fact, has the smallest population, as most people are from the surrounding rural villages. The closest village is Lubhacweni, located north of the town. Rural villages surrounding the own still lack basic services like proper roads and water. Villages include Dangwana, Mbondleni, Mtshazi, Toleni, Qoqa and others. Local tribes living in Mount Frere are the amaBhaca, amaHlubi, amaZizi, AmaMpondo and AmaMpondomise people, divisions of the Xhosa speaking people. Mount Frere is underdeveloped in terms of sanitation. There are few proper public roads and most of the roads are gravel roads. Most people who do not have water tanks still make use river water, most of the villages are still without electricity. There is any skills development in the area and as a result most of the youth have moved to the cities and more developed towns like Mthatha, Cape Town and Kokstad. Most of the people in Mount Frere are the elderly as this is accelerated by the staggering unemployment rate and lack of essential services, like proper infrastructure and skills development.
The majority of Mount Frere's inhabitants are of Traditional African religion. There are minute populations of Islamic and Buddhists religions the foreign shopkeepers in rural villages; the most prominent churches are the Assemblies of God. Most of the people who live in Mount Frere are black people, there is a small percentage of white and foreign populations in Mount Frere. There are Primary and Secondary Schools known as Jolobe Junior Secondary School, Mount Frere High School and Ingwe Further Education and a Training College; the Madzikane Ka Zulu Memorial Hospital is situated along the N2 main road, a few kilometer east out of town. It is one of a landmark in the area. Bhaca| AmaBhaca
The Mpondo people called AmaMpondo and Pondo, are a Southern African ethnic group. Their traditional homeland has been in the contemporary era Eastern Cape province of South Africa, more what used to be the Transkei region, they speak a Nguni / Mbo language called isiMpondo, grammatically similar to both isiXhosa and isiZulu. During the colonial and Apartheid era, the Mpondo people lived in Pondoland of the Republic of Transkei along with Xhosa people and others, they are sometimes incorrectly referred as a Xhosa subgroup. While they share some history and culture with the ethnic groups they live with, the Mpondo people have their distinct roots, culture and heritage. According to the Mpondo oral tradition, they are the legendary descendants of Mpondo, the grandson of Sibiside, the leader of the once-powerful Mbo nation. Mpondo people are part of AbaMbo group who migrated from the Great Lakes into modern-day South Africa, having settled along the way in areas like Zambia and Swaziland, it is through king Sibiside that Mpondo the forefather of the nation emerges together with other well known nations.
Mpondo people share a common lineage with AmaMpondomise, AmaXesibe, AbakwaMkhize, AmaBomvu and AmaBomvana. Sibiside's offsprings: Mavovo Gubhela Nomafu Njanya Mpondo and Mpondomise were twins. There's an ongoing argument about which twin is the eldest, the most held view is that Mpondomise is the senior twins, it is said that while out hunting, Mpondo killed a Lion and refused to hand over the skin to Mpondomise as was the custom. The tension between the two started from that day and Mpondo and his followers were the first ones to leave and settle elsewhere away from their father's land; the Mpondo people are seeking for their language to be recognised as the 12th official language of the Republic of South Africa. Other Mbo languages include isiSwati, isiNdebele and the various "tekela" languages of nations such as AmaHlubi and AmaZizi. However, since isiXhosa was introduced in schools around Mpondoland most Mpondo people are fluent in isiXhosa. AmaMpondo interbred with the San people at an earlier stage and this can be picked up in their language that has various clicks.
The great house of Mpondo is situated in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape. The right-hand house is situated in Libode, Eastern Cape; the Nyandeni house enjoyed autonomy for decades and was referred to as Western Mpondoland, while the Qawukeni house was referred to as Eastern Mpondoland. The towns in the Mpondo kingdom include Lusikisiki, Mbizana, Port St John's, Libode and Ngqeleni. Mzintlava was allotted to Adam Kok of the Griquas; the most prominent of all kings of the Mpondo nation is Faku. The Nyandeni house was established by Ndamase, Faku's right-hand son and a prominent general of the Mpondo army during the Mfecane wars; the genealogy of Mpondo kings in order: Mpondo Sihula Mthwa Santsabe Mkhondwane Sukude Hlambangobubende Ziqelekazi Hlamandana Thobe Msiza Ncindisi Cabe Gangatha Bhala Chithwayo Ndayini Thahle Nyawuza Ngqungqushe Faku Mqikela Sigcau Marelane Mandlonke Bhota Mpondombini Zanozuko King Cabe was the first king of the Mpondo nation to cross Mthamvuna river and settled in Siphaqeni. King Ngqungqushe's mother was the first woman whose "ikhazi" was paid for by the kingdom, which makes King Ngqungqushe the first "kumkani" in the modern sense.
King Sigcau is known for his militancy in his fight against colonial rule and imposition of colonial policies, notably the hut taxes in the Mpondo Kingdom. He was arrested for these actions and incarcerated in Robben Island, he admired for his bravery. King Sigcau Bravery Award was launched in his honour, his son King Marelane would become one of the founding Kings of the oldest political party in Africa the African National Congress in 1912 in support of the fight against colonial rule in South Africa. His grandson Nkosi Ntsikayezwe Sigcau would follow in the footsteps of his forefathers and become an ANC liberation activist, contributing in the struggle for liberation in South Africa; this saw him arrested and harassed for his political activities. There are three types of clans. First, there clans. Secondly, there are clans of the older AbaMbo/MaMbo tribe from which Mpondo himself was born out, therefore these are people of his ancestors. Thirdly, there are clans/tribes who have immigrated to Mpondoland and now pay tribute to the Mpondo kingdom.
In more detail: From Sihula we have ImiQwane, AmaNtusi From Mthwa we have ImiThwa, AmaWoshe, AmaNgcwangule, AmaGingqi, AmaKhwalo From Mkhondwane we have AmaNtlane, AmaValela, AmaGcuda From Sukude we have AmaSame, AmaNcenjane From Cabe we have AmaCabe, AmaTshomane, AmaDwera, AmaQhiya, AmaNjilo, AmaGqwaru, AmaNqanda From Gangatha we have AmaGangatha, ImiCapathi From Bhala we have AmaBhala, AmaChithwayo, AmaKhonjwayo, AmaHeleni, AmaNgcoya, AmaNyathi, AmaJola From Ndayini we have AmaNdayini From Thahle we have AmaThahle From Nyawuza we have AmaNyawuzaSome of the following clans were followers of Mpondo kings from the beginning, some only came during the reign of Faku: AmaYalo AmaMpisi AmaNgcikwa AmaKhanyayo ImiZizi AmaNtshangase AmaKhwetshube AmaNgutyana Izilangwe AmaXolo AmaDiba AmaNci AmaCwera AmaMpin
An assegai or assagai is a pole weapon used for throwing a light spear or javelin made of wood and pointed with iron or fire-hardened tip. The use of various types of the assegai was widespread all over Africa and it was the most common weapon used before the introduction of firearms; the Zulu and other Nguni tribes of South Africa were renowned for their use of the assegai. Shaka of the Zulu invented a shorter-style spear with a two-foot shaft and which had a larger, broader blade one foot long; this weapon is otherwise known as the iklwa or ixwa, after the sound, heard as it was withdrawn from the victim's wound. It was used as a stabbing weapon. Use of the traditional spear was not abandoned but was used to soften range attack enemy formations before closing in for close quarters battle with the iklwa; this tactical combination originated during Shaka's military reforms. It is the name of a southern African tree whose wood was suitable for making spears or lances, most notably by the Bantu speaking people of southern Africa.
Javelin Soliferrum Falarica Pilum Almogavars Shaka's military reforms Assegai Tree, Curtisia dentata
An Akrafena is an Ashanti sword meant for warfare but forming part of Ashanti heraldry. The foremost example of an akrafena is the Mponponson, which belonged to Opoku Ware II, it has survived to the present day because it is still used in ceremonies, such as the Odwira festival. The expert use of akrafena is a martial art, utilising the blade in conjunction with knives, improvised weapons, street-fighting, hand-to-hand combat, joint locks and weapon disarming techniques; the akrafena martial art is the national sport of the Ashanti Cty-State. The sword has three parts: a blade made of some metal such as iron; the blade in ritual swords may not have a sharp cutting edge. It has incised lines or Ashanti symbolic designs on it, which evoke specific messages; some swords have triple blades. The hilt may be wrapped with gold leaf with various Ashanti symbols worked onto it; the hilt itself may be carved to encode an Ashanti symbol. The sheath may carry an embossment that comprises Ashanti symbols meant to evoke certain expressive messages.
The mpomponsuo sword of the Asantehene, for example, has an embossment of a coiled snake with a bird in its mouth. This conveys the Ashanti message: nanka bobonya mede asase anya onwam – the puff adder that cannot fly has caught the hornbill that flies; this is used to symbolize patience and circumspection. Bonoman long swords were used by Ashanti cavalry and commanders, not infantry during the 10th to 15th centuries. In the 16th century and at the time of Denkyira and Akwamu land warfare consisted of spearmen and bowmen on foot, mounted archers using two-handed bows, mounted swordsmen with two-handed swords. Ashanti Swords were not a primary weapon for all Ashanti combat but were for Ashanti shock attacks, defensive strokes and close combat. Blades were heavy as they were made of bronze and iron, pommels were knobbed and used as balances. Short swords may have been used in follow-up attacks, as short sword carriers were armoured and accompanied with a shield. Ashanti Akrafena Swords with wooden or metal pommels decorated with beaten gold have featured in Ashanti court regalia since the 17th century AD.
Ashanti Swords were used during Ashanti wars since the 17th century. The Ashantis were engaged in a series of military conflicts from the 18th century AD, between Ashanti City-State military forces and African states and European states up until the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Ashanti Swords are by Ashantis for self-defense, the Ashanti Akrafena is used for Ashanti warfare and land warfare. During the Empire of Ashanti period, Ashanti swords had ranks depending on who wielded them and what their purpose was; the highest ranking of these swords was known as the Mpomponsuo meaning "responsibility sword." Only two such swords existed and were wielded by the King's two bodyguards, who always stood on either side of him and held the nobility title of Ankobia. The Ashanti Akrafena was held in the hand by Ashanti Asafos. There was no real reason to hold it on their sides. However, they did strap it to their back at times when they were traveling through the rain-forest regions of Ashanti City-State or using other weapons such as spears and bows.
The Ashanti sword was first and foremost one-handed, though for more powerful strikes, two hands were used. The Ashanti techniques were hand and a half; the Akrafena an Ashanti national symbol, adopted by Ashanti City-State's emperor-king Asantehene Opoku Ware I in 1723. In this context it is known as Akofena; the Blazon: The akrafena is used in conjunction with the stool blackening ceremony. Nsuaefena is used in the political ceremony of taking the oath of office by the king and in the swearing oaths of allegiance by subjects of Ashanti City-State; the akrafena may be carried as a heraldic device, by the Ashanti emperor's-king’s emissaries on Ashanti City-State diplomatic missions. In such situations the meaning associated with the symbol embossed on the sheath conveys the message of the mission. Blade of an afenatene sword showing the akoma, denkyem and the sankofa bird; the Ashanti national symbol Akrafena description: The Akrafena is a prominent symbol of the Ashantis in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries into the 21st century.
The Ashanti Akrafena sword as an Ashanti City-State national symbol was used by the Asantehene in taking the oath of office as ruler of Ashanti City-State. The Omanhene used the Ashanti Akrafena sword to swear the oath of allegiance to the Asantehene and Ashanti City-State; the Ashanti Akrafena sword is one of the four principal state swords of the Ashanti City-State. The first Ashanti Akfrafena sword was created by Asantehene Nana Opoku Ware I, is the foremost example of Akrafena; the mpomponsuo sword symbolizes Responsibility, Loyalty and Authority. There are Ashanti City-State schools that hold the techniques of these swords practitioners in the past; the schools hold the genuine Ashanti Swords techniques. It is said; the sword-based fighting techniques is similar in part to that of Eskrima and the combat hand-techniques
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of shield, supporters and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, state, organization or corporation; the Roll of Arms is a collection of many coats of arms, since the early Modern Age centuries it has been a source of information for public showing and tracing the membership of a noble family, therefore its genealogy across time. The ancient Greek hoplites used individual insignia on their shields; the ancient Romans used similar insignia on their shields. Heraldic designs came into general use among western nobility in the 12th century. Systematic, heritable heraldry had developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Who had a right to use arms, by law or social convention, varied to some degree between countries. Early heraldic designs were personal. Arms become hereditary by the end of the 12th century, in England by King Richard I during the Third Crusade.
Burgher arms are used in Northern Italy in the second half of the 13th century, in the Holy Roman Empire by the mid 14th century. In the late medieval period, use of arms spread to the clergy, to towns as civic identifiers, to royally chartered organizations such as universities and trading companies; the arts of vexillology and heraldry are related. The term coat of arms itself in origin refers to the surcoat with heraldic designs worn by combattants in the knightly tournament, in Old French cote a armer; the sense is transferred to the heraldic design itself in the mid-14th century. Despite no widespread regulation, heraldry has remained consistent across Europe, where tradition alone has governed the design and use of arms; some nations, like England and Scotland, still maintain the same heraldic authorities which have traditionally granted and regulated arms for centuries and continue to do so in the present day. In England, for example, the granting of arms has been controlled by the College of Arms.
Unlike seals and other general emblems, heraldic "achievements" have a formal description called a blazon, which uses vocabulary that allows for consistency in heraldic depictions. In the present day, coats of arms are still in use by a variety of institutions and individuals: for example, many European cities and universities have guidelines on how their coats of arms may be used, protect their use as trademarks. Many societies exist that aid in the design and registration of personal arms. Heraldry has been compared to modern corporate logos; the French system of heraldry influenced the British and Western European systems. Much of the terminology and classifications are taken from it. However, with the fall of the French monarchy there is not a Fons Honorum to enforce heraldic law; the French Republics that followed have either affirmed pre-existing titles and honors or vigorously opposed noble privilege. Coats of arms are considered an intellectual property of municipal body. Assumed arms are considered valid unless they can be proved in court to copy that of an earlier holder.
In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland, an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son. Undifferenced arms are used only by one person at any given time. Other descendants of the original bearer could bear the ancestral arms only with some difference: a colour change or the addition of a distinguishing charge. One such charge is the label, which in British usage is now always the mark of an heir apparent or an heir presumptive; because of their importance in identification in seals on legal documents, the use of arms was regulated. This has been carried out by heralds and the study of coats of arms is therefore called "heraldry". In time, the use of arms spread from military entities to educational institutes, other establishments. In Scotland, the Lord Lyon King of Arms has criminal jurisdiction to control the use of arms. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales the use of arms is a matter of civil law and regulated by the College of Arms and the High Court of Chivalry.
In reference to a dispute over the exercise of authority over the Officers of Arms in England, Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey, Lord Privy Seal, declared on 16 June 1673 that the powers of the Earl Marshal were "to order and determine all matters touching arms, ensigns of nobility and chivalry. It was further declared that no patents of arms or any ensigns of nobility should be granted and no augmentation, alteration, or addition should be made to arms without the consent of the Earl Marshal. In Ireland the usage and granting of coats of arms was regulated by the Ulster King of Arms from the office's creation in 1552. After Irish independence in 1922 the office was still working out of Dublin Castle; the last Ulster King of Arm
ONgoye Forest known as Ngoye or Ngoya Forest, is an ancient coastal scarp forest, protected by the oNgoye Forest Reserve in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province. The forest of 4,000 ha covers an extensive granite ridge that rises from 200 to 460 metres above sea level, it is found some 10 km inland, or 16 km by road, from the coastal town of Mtunzini, adjoins smaller forest reserves on its periphery, namely Impeshulu in the west, Ezigwayini in the north, Dengweni in the south. The Zulu king Mpande is the first known person to have afforded protection to oNgoye Forest in the 1800s. Commercial logging occurred in the forest between 1909 and 1924; the area became an official conservation area in 1992. Cattle grazing, crop cultivation and limited utilization of trees however occur in the protected area, the edge of the forest is subjected to periodic burning which may reduce the forest area; this relict patch of transitional Afromontane-coastal forest is home to endemic species. It was home to the giant Wood's cycad, extinct in the wild since the early 1900s, but the oNgoye dwarf cycad, ground cycad and Natal grass cycad still occur.
It is home to the endemic race ornatus of the red bush squirrel, the endemic race woodwardi of Woodward's barbet, two undescribed dwarf chameleons similar to the Qudeni dwarf chamaeleon, the rare forest green butterfly and the oNgoye centipede. This forest is an important breeding area for the eastern bronze-naped pigeon and home to the endangered spotted ground thrush. At least 165 species of birds have been identified in the area. Rare trees include giant umzimbeet, forest mangosteen, forest waterberry, giant pock ironwood, Zulu bead-string, Natal krantz ash, Natal elm and the Pondo fig. Besides the Pondo fig, another six species of Ficus occur. Pooley, E.. The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal and Transkei, - ISBN 0-620-17697-0. Pooley, T. and Player, I.. KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife Destinations. ISBN 1-86812-487-8. Zululand Birding Route: Ongoye Forest Satellite photo of oNgoye and surrounds Forests of KwaZulu-Natal