Nguni cattle in the modern age

History of Nguni cattle

Nguni cattle have a long history in southern Africa and have had a rich influence on South African culture. The term ‘Nguni’ comes from the groups of pastoralists who over a period of a few hundred years migrated from the north to the southern parts of Africa. These Nguni people moved with their cattle spreading across southern Africa integrating their culture with others.

King Shaka understood the cultural and economic significance of these cattle and seized control of the Nguni herds on his lands, later breeding them according to various colour patterns to produce hides that distinguished the regiments of his army. Over the centuries, names for the Nguni hide patterns were developed which are as colourful, interesting and diverse as the hides themselves and derived from the wonderful imagery of the surrounding rural landscape, animals, reptiles, insects, plants and food:

Modern fashion using traditional materials

The Sanga Collection is a company that appreciates that history and symbolism of the indigenous cattle of Africa. The name ‘Sanga’ is the collective name for indigenous cattle of sub-Saharan Africa. The breeds of the Sanga Cattle include the Abigar, the Red Fulani, the Nguni and the Ankole-Watusi to name a few.

Sanga provides a selection of authentic Nguni hides, which are hand selected from various local South African tanneries to ensure the best quality. From bags to belts and cushions to footwear – which includes boots and brogues for ladies and cowhide ‘vellies’ and formal shoes for men – Sanga offers a wide range of quality, handmade Nguni products.

Each pair of shoes are unique because no two cowhides are alike. Sanga believes in making things to last and every product is slowly made and hand-crafted with premium materials. This means that when you choose a pair of shoes, bag or any of their products, the cowhide pattern is completely unique and individual, just like a personality.

Sanga is boldly African and those that buy their goods wear them with African pride. You can see more at: