DSAE test file

Mfengu, noun

Forms:
Also Fengu.
Plurals:
unchanged, Amafengu, Amamfengu, or Mfengus.
Origin:
In the Nguni languages, (plural prefix ama- +) mfengu ‘destitute wanderers seeking work and refuge’, from fenguza to seek service; see quotations 1850 and 1912.
A member of a Xhosa-speaking people descended from the remnants of several refugee groups displaced during the Mfecane, and who settled in the eastern Cape and southern Transkei during the 1830s; Fingo sense a; Mbo sense 3. Also attributive. See also Hlubi.
Note:
Many Mfengu escaped serfdom among other black peoples by seeking protection from and alliances with whites (often serving during wars as British levies), for which they were rewarded with grants of land. Also attributive.
1850 J.W. Appleyard Kafir Lang. 41The term Amafengu is a conventional national epithet, first applied to the Fingoes by the Kafirs, but now in general use amongst themselves. The root from which it is derived is fenguza, and signifies to ‘seek service,’ implying, at the same time, the total destitution of the person who uses it. The word amafengu will accordingly mean, ‘destitute people in search of service,’ and correctly characterizes their condition when they arrived amongst the Kafirs.
1990 J. Collinge in Weekly Mail 8 Feb. 12The Tsitsikamma land from which the Mfengu were removed at gunpoint in 1977 may soon be on the market again.
A member of a Xhosa-speaking people descended from the remnants of several refugee groups displaced during the Mfecane, and who settled in the eastern Cape and southern Transkei during the 1830s; Fingoa; Mbo3. Also attributive.

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