1949A.T. BryantZulu People 494The practice of regularly banding together into ‘groups’ (amaButo) all clan youths of a similar age, continued as before.
1955E.A. RitterShaka Zulu 8So soon as there seemed to the king a sufficiency of unenlisted youths in the military kraals, a brand-new guild or regiment, i-butho, was created for their enrolment, with a brand-new barrack-kraal for their reception and a brand-new uniform for their distinction.
1957B. FraserSunshine & Lamplight 98In the cattle kraal they find meat ready and the aMabuthi (warriors) dancing.
1961T.V. BulpinWhite Whirlwind 73Membership of a particular iButho or regiment was always signified among the Zulus by some item of dress special to that group.
1976Drum June 29He was a member of the Royal household and therefore a member of the King’s own ibutho.
1985Cape Times 30 Sept. 1Three-quarters of the way through Chief Buthelezi’s speech, three busloads of amabutho (warriors)..in tribal dress and many of them armed, left the Umlazi stadium..and crossed..into..Lamontville.
1987New Nation 28 May 9The Zulu became the dominant power in south-east Africa. Their strength was based on the amabutho or ‘regiments’...Men from a large number of different chiefdoms were brought together in the amabutho under the direct authority of the Zulu king.
1989Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 81The reorganisation of armies into an amabutho system (an age-grade basis)..meant that young men..could now be assembled by chiefs and formed into regiments with names of their own.
1991G. McIntosh inSunday Times 13 Jan. 16Conscription is established in the English-speaking military tradition, in the Zulu amabutho and regimental call-up tradition, in the commando tradition of the Afrikaners and no doubt in other communities.
2.In the plural. In the Durban area: a.Armed vigilantes who grouped together during the 1980s in opposition to the ‘comrades’.b.Occasionally, the comrades (see comrade). Also attributive.See also vigilante.
1986T. Makhoba inLearn & TeachNo.3, 5I saw a large group of ‘Amabutho’ chasing my eldest son, Mandla. He ran into my house and locked the door. The ‘Amabutho’ chopped down the door.
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