Ndebele Hut
A beautiful and colorful African round Ndebele hut in South Africa in the peaceful evening sun

Ndebele in broader terms can be referring to the Southern Ndebele people who are located in South Africa and also the Northern Ndebele people located in Zimbabwe and Botswana. The Southern Ndebele people of the northern provinces of South Africa can be further classified into two main tribes; BagaLanga and BagaSeleka. These two tribes have strong ties with their baSotho neighbors as they have adopted much of their language and cultural practices.

The majority of amaNdebele can trace their ancestral roots to the mordern day KwaZulu Natal Province. AmaNdebele were historically split into three recognizable groups after the death of king Musi. These groups are Ndzundza lead by Ndzundza (son of Musi), Manala lead by Manala (Ndzundza’s half-brother) and Matabele lead by Mzilikazi who’s arguably credited for the strong establishment and influence of the modern day Northern Ndebele.

In this modern day, amaNdebele are famously known for the colorful ornamentation, house paintings and beadwork. This is mainly produced by the Ndzundza Ndebele who can be mostly traced to the Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa. The Northern Ndebele which are predominantly found in Zimbabwe, with a minority group in Botswana, account for close to 2 million people, while Southern Ndebele can be estimated at around 1.5 million people majority of whom are dispersed in the Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces of South Africa.

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