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 Did the British go to fight the Zulu's or just to collect their cattle.

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John

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PostSubject: Did the British go to fight the Zulu's or just to collect their cattle.   Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:43 pm

I have been browsing the forum for most of the day. One thing that stands out is the fact that the British never failed to capture Cattle. In nearly every account written by the officers they all mention how many cattle and been taken from the Zulus. I know the money was split between the men, but it seems cattle was more important that the war. I was going to post some of the accounts, but there's no point as they all mention cattle.
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kwajimu1879

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PostSubject: Re: Did the British go to fight the Zulu's or just to collect their cattle.   Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:47 pm

Cattle were the very life blood of the Zulu. They provided food; weapons & a man's wealth.

Deprive a nation of its source of food and wealth and you have conquered nation.

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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Did the British go to fight the Zulu's or just to collect their cattle.   Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:31 pm

But was the British doing it for that reason. Or was it the money. I have read accounts where money has been mentioned,and officers moaning because they didn't get a good price. Woods risked his life and those of his men at Holbane to capture cattle. The British could have shot the cattle it would have had the same effect as taking them but without so many risks.
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littlehand

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PostSubject: Re: Did the British go to fight the Zulu's or just to collect their cattle.   Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:08 am

"Cattle have a very important role in Zulu culture. They represent money, status and power. A man without cattle is not only poor in wealth, but poor in spirit. Like a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation, cattle connect the Zulu to his land and his heritage. If a man does not have cattle, he cannot make a sacrifice to honor his ancestors or to ask them to help him improve his fortunes. Cattle also play a central role in love and marriage. Like a dowry in Western culture, Zulus are required to give at least 11 head of cattle as the lobola to the father of his bride. Without cattle, a man not is allowed to marry his true love. Another sign that cattle are at the heart of Zulu culture is that they are kept in the center of the settlement protected by two walls and the huts of the entire community.

Increase the size of the herd gains a man great honor and respect. Many men leave their home villages to go to cities to earn money, so they can increase the size of their herd. To go away from his village, family and herd is difficult decision for a young man. You see, a Zulu will know each cow and bull in his herd like a good friend: its size, its colors, its horns, and its personality. When the young man goes away, he leaves a trusted younger boy to look after his herd. This is not a chore; it is an important responsibility for the young boy. And, if he does his duty well, he will be well regarded.

Cattle are a prized possession for the Zulu people."
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Al Amos

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PostSubject: Re: Did the British go to fight the Zulu's or just to collect their cattle.   Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:27 am

"The British could have shot the cattle it would have had the same effect as taking them but without so many risks. "

Yes, but cattle do have value to the British as well. They can feed the army, or be sold, etc. I would've attempted to take them alive, too.
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