Chiefdoms and tribes


The Swazi of Southern Africa and the Mayogo of Northern Democratic Republic of Congo symbolize two numerous chiefdoms that live in Africa. The two chiefdoms share extra with states than with tribes, a reason which explains its living within the boundary of many claims in Africa. The Swazi chiefdom is certainly located in the southern Africa in a landlocked country that was rule based on the chiefdom rules despite having the coming of the white man and obtaining independence 1968. The chiefdom share various aspects with the status, a reason which explains the lack of conflict that inflicts both institutions in comparison with the condition and the tribe. The research paper will analyze both chiefdoms of Mayogo and Swazi through the application of comparison with the express and the tribe by focusing on such items as kinship, marriage, citizenship.

The Mayogo

The Mayogo will be people who stay in the Northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo, they employed to live independently as chiefdom before 19th century when the country was invaded by the Mangbetu who shaped the state under which the Mayogo were governed. However, the inner affairs of the chiefdom had been in control by the chiefs. The Mayogo speak a terminology that is one of the same family of Swazi which can be Bantu, the majority of them have changed from animism to Christianity predominantly Catholicism. The areas in which the Mayogo live have certain autonomy as the people pay for allegiance to the Chiefdom. Although the flag was obvious in the documentary but no allegiance is paid out to the national anthem. One of many reason, why the point out of Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly referred to as Zaire isn’t bother by the existence of the chiefdom of Mayogo in its territory is because it isn’t menaced by it as well as the truth that the chiefdom provides safeguard to its population which the condition cannot afford to because of the vast surface of the territory and its vicinity to battle zones exemplified by the refuges that are in the country in addition to a civil war that it’s undergoing.

The Swazi

The Swazi got their brand from their king, Mswati, Swaziland is a chiefdom that is arranged into dual monarchy with the king and the queen at its mind, the king is usually refereed to by the Swazi as Ngwenyama (Lion) as the queen is known as Ndlovukazi (Lady Elephant).[1] The chiefdom is founded on prevalent ancestry and fictive kinship, like the state the chiefdom is founded on a social contract between your people of Swaziland who allow top shell out allegiance to the king by obeying his orders, providing goods and services, and paying taxes in substitution for protection from outsiders largely Zulu and Shaka. For instance, King Sobhuza preserved the loyalty of his people by protecting them from Shaka to the degree that he dispatched his daughters to come to be married by Shaka knowing that they will be killed once they happen to be pregnant.[2] The successor of king Sobhuza, Mswati, was left with "a strong Kingdom, respected and feared by neighboring tribes, with a centralized political system controlling several thousands of people scattered over areas reaching significantly beyond the boundaries of contemporary Swaziland."[3]

The fascination of Europeans to colonize the area came from two parties the Dutch Boers and the British, in 1865 the two parties are going to find a justification to enter the country which to provide peace and end civil battle. The entire year coincided with the loss of life of King Mswati which entered the country into a civil battle due the rivalry of who is going to end up being the new king. Eventually Mdandzeni was the king and actually during his reign instability was present.[4]

A Evaluation between Chiefdom and Tribe

The tribe and chiefdom own a similar aspect in conditions of their benefit of raiding while the Swazi through the reign of king Mswati acquired a trustworthiness of terror and fear a lot of their warriors were indulging in raids with neighboring chiefdoms and the looting was written by the King.[5] Also, the Famous tribe chief Auda abu Tayi the first choice of the Howeitat tribe who said that he is like a river to his persons and therefore all what he get hold of from raids is going to be redistribute to his tribe.[6] Furthermore, Hospitality is usually another characteristic that shared between tribes and chiefdom. Relating to chiefdom, the headman is normally likely to be magnanimous.[7]

Kinship is a crucial aspect that distinguishes chiefdom from the talk about and put on equal footing with the tribe, it used to determine who is likely to be married from a particular person and other issue as it is stated by Hilda Kuper "kinship by descent and ties by matrimony influence behavior in a great number of situations; they determine where and with whom a person lives, his range of good friends and enemies, whom he may or may well not marry, the positions to which he is entitled."[8] Concerning tribes the preference is being directed at first cousins but instances of incest aren’t absent though exceptional, both among Tribes Swazi, especially the king who is allowed as he’s "the only man permitted to marry a clan sister."[9] This network of kinship was kept even when the British administration was in the country, it was only a current move to incorporate the dual monarchy as a single government for your country of Swaziland.[10]

The importance directed at law seems to be a feature shared by both tribe and chiefdom as the tribe regulates its challenges regarding to its tribal rules while the Swazi "have a highly developed legal system and a graded hierarchy of courts that coincide roughly with the political composition." In case of the Swazi seems to be working with the intro of the state while it is the opposing for tribes as in some instances revenge requires eliminating a person as payment. As the Swazi differentiate between exclusive matters such as for example theft and cases that want death penalty such as murder. In The former the guilty party pays compensation right to the ill-cared for person while on the latter the reimbursement is directed at the king as he "the representative of the express."[11] Hilda Kuper described an example that would illustrate this dichotomy of law among the chiefdom. It consists of the case of a female called Velepi Hlatshwako who deserted her spouse, Alpheus shongwe, after 20 years of marriage due to his bad treatment of her and eloped with her lover, Isauk Mabuzo. In order for the lover to marry the Velepi he must pay lobola (bride price tag) to her family members which it refused. The matter will exacerbates when Velepi had a girl and Alpheus asked for both of these as a he paid lobola. This time both couple became convert to Wesleyan church therefore the matter was taken to different court and in the long run the court explained that Velepi "soiled the law."[12] The condition and chiefdom law tend to overlap and contradict one another, however the likelihood of going against the states is significantly less than the tribe where condition rule testmyprep is absent. For instance, the Swazi people who job in the administration or "white-controlled bureaucracy"[13] but their loyalty falls under their chiefdom.

One of the significant difference between chiefdom and tribe lies on the fact that what sort of tribal chief chosen offers nothing to do with his noble heritage or family instead what subject is his popularity for hospitability, honor and knowledge while for the Swazi as well as the Mayogo of Northern Democratic Republic of Congo the principle is hereditary situation which is banqueted only by inheritance. Therefore, competition and rivalry is definitely major facet of chiefdom which best seen during the death of Kind Mswati, that led to a civil war between his sons whereas tribal persons have a tendency to elect a chief of their tribe predicated on reputation, which means that once the chief has been viewed as corrupt the tribal people outstrip of his leadership immediately by not hearing him. And even what sort of tribe vie their chief differs from chiefdom whereby the Swazi respect their king as a daddy rather than a dictator.[14]

Marriage is an important institution after which a the follower of

the king is considered, polygamy is abundant among kings and in order to avoid conflict between kings` sons it is the child of the senor wife that is eligible for the throne however, seniority is not always decided by age group but by other factors as it is pointed out by Hilda Kuper "Among the Swazi aristocracy the first of all wife is never the primary wife. Seniority in relationship brings certain advantages during the headman`s lifetime, but upon his death other factors are considered. The main is pedigree, and the daughter of a king or top rated chief generally will take precedence over all additional wives."[15] The Swazi developed a sophisticated system of succession to protect the future king from the rivalry of his brothers to the extent that the first child of king is under no circumstances going to have his place, Seniority and pedigree enjoy an essential role in selecting the future king.[16] Regarding tribal law, it is extremely not the same as state law and does not tend to be mixed as may be the circumstance with both Swazi and Mayogo as knowledge of the chiefdom legislation and court procedure are part of the lifestyle of chiefdom people.[17]

A Comparison between your Chiefdom and the State

Just just like the state, the united states of Swaziland is split into diverse districts. The queen shares power with the king, however her realm is positioned in the area of home and rituals. Unlike Western countries, religion in Swaziland is a significant aspect of the country that’s governed by the queen; it is one of the characteristics that differentiate an outsider from a Swazi. The Swaziland chiefdom maintains its political system and insures its survival by carrying out a system of military dread based on executions in order that any enemy would think prior to trying to invade the united states. The second way is certainly upgrading lineage through marriage, whereby women play a significant role in succession typically the queen mom, as the children of a senior wife are supervised and shunned from going outside to safeguard them from magic spills. Basically, the king rules outside as the queen rules inside household. Even though the united states is normally big, the king insure that it stays to be able by dividing into district and letting regional chiefs (sikhulu) reign them and in situations of district that the king does not trust he appoints his brother or his 1 / 2 brother to rule them, a practice used during the reign of King Mswati, when the Kingdom of Swaziland guideline over a large territory and have a reputation.

According to Hilda Kuper "power moves down through a chain of British-appointed officials on the one side and the traditional hierarchy on the additional, with conflict centered in a few leading personalities. Educated Swazi, including a few of the traditional program for reaching quick and major decisions, nevertheless they would like to build on specific accepted foundations , nor want an imitation of constitutional methods designed in alien context."[18] In a chiefdom both power could be shared with states with tiny incidents of conflicts in comparison to tribes, and almost all of enough time when the chiefdom regulations came to contradict laws and regulations of the states it is normally driven by personal interest. For instance, the reason behind changing the Westminster constitution that the Uk brought to Swaziland has to do with the failing of a Prince Mfanasibili in elections against Ngwenya, therefore to get rid of his rival he observed the loophole that since he’s a Southern African he was deported to the border in-may 25 1972 and because the conistution was in favour of Ngwenya concerning his deportation, it was also changed.[19]

The independence of Swaziland brought the problem of who’s entitled toser ve in an office with such factors as loyalty and family playing a major purpose in appointment the educated Swazi who are not from a royal kinship posed a trouble to the royal group and brought up their concern over education as a means to secure their positions. The contrary is obvious in the Mayogo of Northern Democratic Republic of Congo. Unlike the British colonies where education was emphasize, the French colonies relied on military people to rule on their colonies

Citizenship is an essential aspect of defining who’s Swazi and who’s not, in practice those people eligible for be Swazi contain the privileges of security, that is protection from enemies, they are able to acquire land; & most importantly they can have the national mark so that you can wear Swazi take in which is normally "a slit in the lobes of the ears."[20] The chiefdom shares with the state the idea of citizen and who’s entitled to be considered a citizen? Such a problem is going to raise problems in Swaziland because of its diversified people and the changing idea of allegiance, since it system by which Swazi express their loyalty with their king. Even so, the influx of several non-Swazi who had been brought by the light settlers brought the problem of loyalty to the fore as they plead their allegiance with their employers instead of the king, in addition to their different traditions and culture which makes the Swazi come to feel threatened about their position to the extent of adding the blame on criminal offense on the non-Swazi people.[21] Relating the Swaziland law "Citizenship was a privilege, not a right; a commitment, not really a label,"[22] which means that factors such as language, history, competition and faith come to define who’s a Swazi and who is not, accordingly citizenship is exclusive and not inclusive. Another problem that is brought the problem of citizenship may be the simple fact that South Africa is home to 700, 000 Swazi people which indicates the challenge of the king to grant them citizenship without area support and most importantly the problem of dual citizenship because they are both residents of South Africa and in addition entitled to the citizenship of Swaziland, as the non-Swazi who reside in Swaziland are not regarded as citizens because they lack the features of a Swazi.

Land is a crucial accepts in Swaziland in addition to pastorals rooted in its "cattle complex"[23] due to the importance of lobola which is usually expressed in cattle’s. The land posed to be a trouble in 1907 as 45% of the terrain in Swaziland was possessed by non-Swazi due to the Land Proclamation of 1907.[24] Unlike, its neighboring nation Zimbabwe, the Swaziland government response to reform the property by firmly taking into consideration the neighborhood Swazi without alienating the white colored community

A major component of the state in addition to sovereignty and territory can be monopoly over the application of violence. The distinction between law enforcement and soldier does not exit in Swazi chiefdom it had been just brought by the Uk. The Swazi rely on emabutfo to supply protection; they certainly are a mixture of soldier and police. On the other hand by the approaching of the British they introduced police which was viewed as a rival by Emabutfo.[25] Nevertheless the role of Emabutfo will probably be underscored because of the regional incidents that happened in Ethiopia where Haile Selassie was deposed and Mozambique where in fact the socialist Samora Machel was named the leader of the country. These occurrences prompted Swaziland to develop an army by relying on emabutfo. [26]


To conclude, the chiefdom show many point with tribes and says. however, the actual fact it has many point to share with the state that the tribe help to make it adaptable to survive also within the boundary of the express because it does not risk the establishment of the express. It shares with the express the social agreement under which the populace will pay loyalty through obedience and taxes in return for cover. And unlike the tribe the chiefdom doesn’t have the situation of minority group. Because also within their meeting not everybody in the chiefdom is normally invited in the secret meetings save the elders, whereas in a tribal society every person who is a grown-up has a saying that the chief has to consider as he gets the capacity to influence decision making but to the extent of making an order.


  • "Chief Anga Ganga Kangolo" Shed Kingdoms. Discovery Channel, 1988.
  • Kuper, Hilda. The Swazi: a Southern African Kingdom. Mason, Ohio: Cenage Learning, 2002.
  • Lawrence of Arabia, Dvd movie, Directed by David Lean. 1962.

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