/koh"seuh, -zeuh, kaw"-/, n., pl. Xhosas, (esp. collectively) Xhosa for 1.
1. a member of a Nguni people of eastern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa.
2. the Bantu language of the Xhosa.
Also, Xosa.

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People living primarily in East Cape province, South Africa.

They form part of the southern Nguni group of Bantu-speaking peoples. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the series of conflicts called the Kaffir ("Infidel") Wars engaged the Xhosa against the European settlers. Eventually the Xhosa were defeated and their territory annexed. Between 1959 and 1961 the Xhosa inhabited the nonindependent black states of Transkei and Ciskei created by the white South African government. In the 1960s many Xhosa became migrant labourers. Today they number some 7.8 million.

Xhosa women dancing as they return to their village from the fields.

Authenticated News International

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also spelled  Xosa  
 a cluster of related peoples living primarily in Eastern Cape province, South Africa, and forming part of the southern Nguni group of Bantu-speaking peoples. The main Xhosa groups are the Gcaleka, Ngika, Ndlamba, Dushane, Qayi, Ntinde, and the Gqunkhwebe (the latter being partly of Khoekhoe origin).

      In the late 18th and the 19th centuries, a series of conflicts popularly called the Cape Frontier Wars engaged the Xhosa against European settlers in the eastern frontier region of Cape Colony. The expanding Xhosa, driven southward by overpopulation and land shortage, encountered Cape colonists moving northward in search of good farmland. The struggle lasted for a century, but eventually the Xhosa were defeated by the European settlers and their territories were annexed by the Cape Colony. Europeans attached the name “ Transkei” to the Xhosa lands lying beyond the Great Kei River; those between the Great Fish and Great Kei rivers they called “ Ciskei.”

      In 1959 Transkei was administratively created by the South African government as a nonindependent black state ( Ciskei followed in 1961) designated for the Xhosa-speaking peoples. Beginning in the 1960s, a high proportion of workers left Transkei as labour migrants, going to Johannesburg and other parts of the country. This migration of workers (for the most part men) seriously disrupted Xhosa family and community life. Many Ciskei residents commuted to work in the industrial areas of East London and King William's Town, just outside the Ciskei borders. With the repeal of the apartheid system of racial separation, Transkei and Ciskei became part of Eastern Cape province in 1994.

      Many Xhosa are agriculturists who keep some cattle. They are organized into patrilineal clans (clan), each of which is associated with a tribe or chiefdom, the clan head being the tribal chief, ruling with the aid of a council of the heads of the small subclans and lineages. The Xhosa numbered about 7,300,000 in the early 21st century.

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Universalium. 2010.

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