St Wendolin’s: Prehistory


1 History of St Wendolin’s : Prehistory

1.1 Prehistory of the Pinetown-Umhlatuzana Basin: Stone Age
1.2 Iron Age
1.3 Written history of the original Amathuli Settlers
1.4 Amaganga Tribe of the Pinetown-Umbumbulu Districts
1.5 References
1.6 Appendix 1.

History of St Wendolin’s : Prehistory

Compiled by Hazel England 27-03-1993. Pinetown MuseumUpdated 1996

Prehistory of the Pinetown-Umhlahuzana Basin: Stone Age
Archaeological discoveries in the area have left an incomplete record of the earliest Stone Age inhabitants. Trappist monks digging a well at Mariannhill Monastery in 1905 unearthed stone implements that were sent to Austria for identification (1). These early Stone Age axes, cutting tools and arrow heads were made by the ancestors of the San Bushmen who lived a hunter-gather lifestyle until the 1800s (2). Other sites along the rivers at Shongweni Dam and Cave, the Umhlathuzana rock shelter and Inanda dam prove the area was occupied for over a 100,000 years (3).

Iron Age
Approximately 2,000 years ago African people from Central and East Africa migrated down the East coast of Natal, with their cattle and sheep. Their ability to make iron tools from metal deposits earned them the name Iron Age people (4). Msuluzi pots, Iron Age grinding stones and furnaces with slag deposits, easily identify these early agricultural settlements. Mr Mike Moon of the Archaeological Society of KwaZulu-Natal, discovered two Iron Age sites in Wiltshire Drive, Pinetown in the 1980s.

These were recorded at the Archaeological Department of the Natal Museum in Pietermaritzburg (5). The 3 sites in the vicinity of the Mariannhill – St Wendolins – Klaarwater area prove beyond doubt, that the land was inhabited before written and oral history.

Written history of the original Amathuli Settlers
Francis Fynn, the first White Settler to live in Natal and write about the indigenous tribes of the time, named the Amathuli tribe as the settlers of the Pinetown area in 1812 (6). They occupied the land between the Umgeni and the Umkomaas rivers, from the coast to about 35 miles inland. Internal conflict weakened the tribe but it was King Shaka’s impis that destroyed them between 1818-1820, when the Zulu impis swept south of the Thukela (7). Archaeological research at the Umhlathuzana Rock Shelter by Mr J. Kaplan verified that the San Bushman occupants had shared their “home” with cattle owning Iron Age people at the beginning of the 1800s. Mr Kaplan attributed their co-existence to the conflict between the African tribes at the time (8). Remnants of the conquered Amatuli people lived around the Durban area and at the mouth of the Umlazi River, until they settled at Umgababa under their Chief uMnini (9). As a result of the conflicts and displaced tribes, the Pinetown area was sparsely occupied when the first Voortrekkers settled there in the early 1840s.

Amaganga Tribe of the Pinetown-Umbumbulu Districts
During King Shaka’s reign the Amanganga tribe lived near the Umvoti River, where they were defeated by the Kings’ impis and became his subjects under their headman Isipingo. King Dingane allowed the Hlomendlini regiment under the Headmanship of Sotobe to remain near the source of the Nonoti River, and the Amanganga fell under the Sotobes jurisdiction. The Hlomendlini regiment with the Amanganga people were ordered to cross the Tugela into Zululand in approximately 1832, which they did. However deserters who fled from the Amanganga to Port Natal angered Dingane, who threatened to destroy the entire tribe in 1836. The Amanganga feared for their safety and sought refuge with a settler John Cane on the Umgeni river (10).
The English Colonial Government (1845-1910) allowed the Amanganga tribe of 960 people to settle at the mouth of the Umlazi River. Chief Manzini (the otter), son of Makalela, and grandson of Mdingi served in King Dingane’s regiment. He later joined the Amanganga at the Umlazi river mouth after the revolt by Chief Mpande (11). A Colonial Government resettlement programme for the displaced Zulu people around Durban, gave members of the Amanganga people land in the Pinetown-Umbumbulu area. Their territory lay beyond the farmlands of the Land Colonisation Company (12). A list of Amanganga – Shozi Chiefs is found in Appendix 1.

1. Otto, Brother and Obermaier, H, Dr. “Ein in Situ” gefundener Faustkeilaus Natal in Anthropos-Revue Internationale d’Ethnologie et de Linguisteque. 1909. Heft 5, 6. Translated by Commandant S.B. Borquin 2-12-19932. Kaplan, J. Umhlatuzana Rock Shelter Sequence, 100,000 years of Stone Age History in Natal Museum Journal of Humanities, Vol 2, 1990.3. Whitelaw, Gavin. Unexpected Riches at Inanda Dam in “Water”, Vol 2 no 1, January, 1996. Pub. Department of Water and Forestry.4. Dominy, A. and Guest, B. Natal and Zululand – A new history Pub. University of Natal Press, Shuter and Shooter 1989.5. Moon, Mike information supplied to Pinetown Museum. 1994.6. Stewart, James and Malcolm, D, Mck (Eds). The Diary of Henry Francis Fynn. 1812 Map in the appendix. Pub. Shuter and Shooter 19867. Bird J. Annals of Natal. Vol 1 1495-1845 no.8 Amatuli Tribe. pg 130 Pub. C. Struik.8. Kaplan, J. Umhlatuzana Rock Shelter Sequence, 100,000 years of Stone Age History in Natal Museum Journal of Humanities, vol.2 1990.9. Bird J. Annals of Natal. Vol.1 1495-1845 no.8. Amatuli Tribe. pg 130 Pub. C. Struik.10. Bird J. Annals of Natal. Vol 1 1495-1845 no.10 Amanganga Tribe. Pub. C. Struik.11. Schimlek. Francis; Mariannhill, a study in Bantu life and Missionary Effort. Pub Mariannhill Mission Press. 1953, page 42.12. Pinetown Magistrates Book of Records. Manganga-Shozi tribe.

Appendix 1.
Pinetown Magistrates Book of Records, Native Tribes. page 66 (4,6)Nganga Tribe – Manganga Tribe
HistoryThe abaseMangangeni tribe originally lived seaward of the Mhlatuzi Bend, where they were evicted by the Qwabes. Thereafter they settled between the Umvoti and Nonoti Rivers. Here they were attacked by Shaka’s hordes and most of them were killed. Those who were lucky enough to escape settled for a time beyond the Umzimvubu under the leadership of Sikoto.They however eventually decided to return (to their original home) and after handing over all their cattle to the Zulus were allowed to settle in the Tongati area. Their young men were drafted into the Zulu armies but later constant desertions of the young men to the white settlers in Durban so exasperated Dingane that he threatened to exterminate the whole tribe. The whole tribe thereupon fled and sought refuge with the Europeans at Durban who allowed then to settle on the Northern banks of the Umgeni River. Under Shepstone they were later permitted to settle under Manzini on the Northern side of the Umlazi River, where they are still living.

Residence: On private lands near the Umlazi River.
Chief: Resides in the Umbumbulu district, and has a residence in the Pinetown District.
Chieftainship: Hereditary
Chief’s name
Date appointed

Remarks: Manzini Was chief when Mariannhill opened 1882
Lokothwayo Mganga Died 1940
Manzolwandle Shozi 01-01-1941 Died 10-03-1958
Nkosenye Shozi 22-10-1959
Civil jurisdiction until authority established( Pinetown Museum Research 1994)
Bhekamanganga Shozi current Chief Resided at Zwelibomvu from 1988-89 to date

Bird J. Annals of Natal. Vol 1 1495-1845 no.10 Amanganga Tribe. Pub. C. StruikPinetown Magistrates Book of Records. Manganga-Shozi tribe.
More on: St Wendolin’s: Prehistory | St Wendolin’s: 1882-1914 | St Wendolin’s: 1914-1945 | St Wendolin’s: 1945-1996

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