EnglishShow more Special sense of general English paramount (one who is) superior in authority.
In full paramount chief:
a.A designation given (especially in the past by colonial authorities) to a senior African leader who is accepted as ‘the first among equals’ in the ruling structures of a traditional people or group of peoples; umkumkani. Also transferred sense, see quotation 1987.See also inkosi sense 1 a.
1844Maitland Treaty inF. BrownleeTranskeian Native Territories: Hist. Rec. (1923) 92Treaty of Amity entered into..on behalf of Her Britannic Majesty, of the one part, and Faku, Paramount Chief of the Amapondo Nation.
a1867C.J. AnderssonNotes of Trav. (1875) 220The residences of the great..are on a much more extensive scale — that of Chykongo, the paramount chief..being something like half a mile in circuit.
1877R.M. BallantyneSettler & Savage 19Lord Charles Somerset..chose to enter into treaties with Gaika as paramount chief of Kafirland, although Gaika himself told him plainly that he was not paramount chief.
c1882G.W. StowNative Races of S. Afr. (1905) 183A Bushman captain..was succeeded by ’Khiba, or ’Kheba, who was the paramount chief over the men of the caves.
c1948H. TraceyLalela Zulu 17This Zulu song is sung all over the country and particularly so when the Paramount Chief is in the immediate vicinity.
1968E.A. WalkerHist. of Sn Afr.In theory, the ‘great place,’ the kraal of the paramount chief, was the centre of the tribal state.
1970Daily News 15 MayParamount chiefs are already directing government officers at various levels.
1978T.R.H. DavenportS. Afr.: Mod. Hist. 101Whether the slaughter was a spontaneous act of misguided faith or a calculated political move by Sarhili, the Gcaleka paramount..may never be known for certain.
1979M. MatshobaCall Me Not a Man 175The paramount has followed his father’s road and has done much to keep the clans together.
1986P. MaylamHist. of Afr. People 197Vilakazi argues that the king’s status was reduced to that of paramount chief, who was subordinate to the resident commissioner.
1987Drum July 10According to mlungu constitution the State President is the makhulu baas of all chiefs. He is the very Paramount Paramount Chief.
1991S. Macleod inTime 5 Aug. 13Proud of his descent from the great Zulu warrior and paramount chief Shaka, who never surrendered, Buthelezi is not likely to yield to anyone.
b.(Always in full, and with initial capitals.) A title, often used before a name; P.C.noun1.
1926M. NathanS. Afr. from Within 55Sobhuza himself, together with his principal chiefs and Indunas, went to England to endeavour to obtain the restoration of his title as King (he had latterly been styled Paramount Chief by the Administration).
A designation given (especially in the past by colonial authorities) to a senior African leader who is accepted as ‘the first among equals’ in the ruling structures of a traditional people or group of peoples; umkumkani. Also transferred sense, see quotation 1987.
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