indwe, noun

Forms:
Also indwa, and with initial capital.
Plurals:
iziindwe, or unchanged.
Origin:
Zulu, XhosaShow more Zulu indwa, Xhosa indwe.
1. The blue crane, Anthropoides paradisea. Also attributive.
1854 R.B. Struthers St. Lucia Hunting Diary. (Killie Campbell Africana Library KCM55079)Went out on the flat to look for game but saw nothing except a few cranes (Indwa).
1902 G.M. Theal Beginning of S. Afr. Hist. 69The two wings of a blue crane (the indwe)..are regarded as an emblem of bravery only to be worn on this occasion and by veterans in times of war.
1939 N.J. Van Warmelo in A.M. Duggan-Cronin Bantu Tribes III. 26Outstanding fighters wore on each side of the head the black wing-feathers of the Stanley Crane (Tetrapteryx Paradisea; indwe).
1975 S. Afr. Panorama Oct. 16The crane is known to the people of the Ciskei as the ‘Indwe’ and has great significance as a symbol of the will of the people to be courageous and constant. Traditionally anyone who has proved himself to have these qualities is often decorated by the chief with the feathers of the ‘indwe’.
1979 S. Afr. Panorama Dec. 12The blue and white flag with the spindly-legged indwe (crane) bird, symbol of the self-governing Black state of Ciskei.
1981 M. Oettle in Weekend Post 3 Oct. (Family Post) 4Ciskei’s national bird, the blue crane, or indwe, features prominently in the designs of the two stamp issues this new state will make on Independence Day, December 4.
[1986 Motorist 2nd Quarter 25Indwe is the Xhosa word for blue crane..a town..named after the blue crane, South Africa’s national bird and Ciskei’s national emblem. Indwe was founded in 1896 when this stately bird occurred in large numbers along the Indwe River.]
2. Always in the plural. A ceremonial headdress of blue crane feathers worn by someone who has shown prowess in battle.
1968 G. Croudace Silver Grass 39The Plumed Ones came first; they were the counsellors. All wore the coveted iziindwe — the blue crane’s feathers awarded to them for bravery in battle. The feathers, two foot long, curved back on either side of the head like the horns of a buck.
The blue crane, Anthropoides paradisea. Also attributive.
A ceremonial headdress of blue crane feathers worn by someone who has shown prowess in battle.

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18541986