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).
usually unchanged, or abakwethas.
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.
The rare unprefixed forms usually appear in attributive contexts.
1833S. KayTrav. & Researches 75In the afternoon we strolled over the plain to a neighbouring hamlet to see the amaquati, or circumcised.
1835A. SteedmanWanderingsI. 54A number of boys confined within a circular enclosure, whose bodies were daubed over with white clay..the Amaquati, or newly circumcised, who are not permitted, for a certain period after the operation, to associate with the other inhabitants of their village.
1966I. VaughanThese Were my Yesterdays 40I knew something outrageous would come of this junketing around with cloaks and daggers like makwetas or hula dancers.
1970S.E. NathamInformant, Cape TownAmaqueta. Young African (Xhosa) man going through period of initiation.
1971Sunday Times 11 Apr. (Suppl.) 6Still trying to spot those amakwetas? No woman must see them during their initiation.
1973E. Prov. Herald 23 Jan. 8On another occasion the script called for Boesman and Lena to walk past two ‘maquetas’ in the dry Scabi riverbed.
1985L. Sampson inStyle Dec. 44He has a few tribal scars painted across his face with Maqweta paint.
1989Grocott’s Mail 17 Mar. 1A group of magwethas..were going through initiation exercises on the farm.
1860W. ShawStory 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.
1967J.A. BrosterRed Blanket Valley 126The initiation period lasts two to three months, and during this time the initiate or umkhwetha (plural abakhwetha) lives in isolation in a specially constructed grass hut.
1978Daily Dispatch 17 Aug. 8A ‘Mkhwetha’ has died..after allegedly eating poisonous food at a circumcision school in the bush.
1973Prog. through Sep. Dev. (Info. Service of S. Afr., New York) 14An important milestone in a tribal society is a young man’s initiation into manhood. The Xhosa call this ritual the Abakwetha which is part of youths’ education.
1979E. Prov. Herald 2 Feb. (Indaba) 2Some go so far during their abakhwetha period to attend functions, appearing there well-dressed before returning to the bush.
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