DSAE test file

abakwetha, noun

Forms:
α. amakweta, amaquatiShow more amakweta, amaquati, amaqueta, magwetha, makweta, maqueta, maqweta (plural unchanged or maqwetas);
β. abakhwetha, abakwetaShow more abakhwetha, abakweta, abakwetha, bakweta (plural unchanged or bakwetas);
γ. mkhwetha, mkwetaShow more mkhwetha, mkweta, mkwetha, umkhwetha, umkwetha (plural unchanged or umkwethas); khwetha, kweta, kwetha (plural kwethas).
Plurals:
usually unchanged, or abakwethas.
Origin:
XhosaShow more Xhosa abakhwetha such initiates (singular umkhwetha). For notes on the variety of plural forms, see aba-, ama-, ba-, ma- prefix3, m-, and um-.
1. Frequently used collectively. A Xhosa initiate to manhood, ritually circumcised and isolated from other people for a prescribed period. Also attributive. See also ikhankatha, ikrwala, tshila. Cf. intonjane.
Note:
The rare unprefixed forms usually appear in attributive contexts.
α.
1833 S. Kay Trav. & Researches 75In the afternoon we strolled over the plain to a neighbouring hamlet to see the amaquati, or circumcised.
1989 Grocott’s Mail 17 Mar. 1A group of magwethas..were going through initiation exercises on the farm.
β.
1860 W. Shaw Story of my Mission 460The sons of Christian natives, who have attained the age considered suitable for circumcision, almost invariably seek an opportunity to desert their homes and join one of the parties of abakweta.
1993 Daily Dispatch 6 Aug. 11 (caption)These abakhweta were..sauntering down the main road near Bridle Drift Dam, East London.
γ.
1937 B.J.F. Laubscher Sex, Custom & Psychopathology 84At the Abakweta ceremony particular attention is paid to acts of disobedience of which the mkweta has been guilty during his childhood years.
1988 E. Prov. Herald 13 Feb. 3Protests against the presence of an initiate (mkhwetha) as a State witness led to the postponement of a trial in the Port Elizabeth Regional Court this week.
δ.
1950 A.W. Burton Sparks from Border Anvil 181The ‘Kwetas’ went into seclusion in the forest.
2. Among Xhosas: the initiation period or ritual symbolizing passage into manhood; ubukwetha. Also attributive. See also circumcision sense 1.
β.
1937 C. Birkby Zulu Journey 282‘Abakweta’ initiation ceremony in the Transkei, with the novices wearing reed masks and skirts.
1980 E. Joubert Long Journey of Poppie Nongena 42We never knew what they did to the boys in the bush, that they can cut the foreskin to make men of them. We just knew it was abakwetha.
γ.
1955 J.B. Shephard Land of Tikoloshe 60His khwetha blanket, his grass hat and even the hut where he had sheltered, were burned to ashes, symbolizing the obliteration of his past.
1991 Settler Vol.65 No.1, 3Only after initiation does he play any part in tribal life. He is recognized as a man after he has attended Khwetha school.
Frequently used collectively. A Xhosa initiate to manhood, ritually circumcised and isolated from other people for a prescribed period. Also attributive.
the initiation period or ritual symbolizing passage into manhood; ubukwetha. Also attributive.
Derivatives:
Hence abakhwetha transitive verb (passive), to undergo initiation into manhood.
1970 S.E. Natham Informant, Cape TownQuedien. Young African (Xhosa) man before he has been amaqueted.
1993 J. Bursey Informant, GrahamstownFrom the Saturday morning, after they’ve been ‘abakwethed’, they’re not allowed to drink anything until he comes back to change the dressing for them.

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18331993

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