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Tembu, noun and adjective

Forms:
Tambo, TembéShow more Also Tambo, Tembé, Tembo, Temboo, Tembou, Thembu, Tymbæ.
Plurals:
unchanged, Tembus, AbaTembu, AmaTembu, or occasionally Amatembus.
Origin:
XhosaShow more Xhosa Thembu. For an explanation of plural forms, see ama-.
A. noun
1.
a. A member of a Xhosa-speaking people which moved southwards and westwards from what is now KwaZulu-Natal (probably during the 16th century), and became established in present-day Tembuland (see sense b), in the Transkei; a member of one division of this people, occasionally called the Emigrant Tembu, who fled before invading peoples and settled round the sources of the Swart and White Kei rivers (the present-day Queenstown district of the Eastern Cape), being removed in 1852 to the Glen Grey district, in western Transkei; occasionally, the form of Xhosa spoken by this people (see quotation 1838); Tambookie noun sense 1 a.
Note:
The Tembu people consists of eight chiefdoms.
1809 R. Collins in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1900) VII. 20The Tambookie people..are known to their neighbours by the names Temboo and Tenjain.
1990 Newsweek 19 Feb. 24When he (sc. Mandela) was 10 years old his father died; an uncle, the paramount chief of the Tembus, assumed responsibility for his education.
b. combinations
Tembu Church, an independent church which broke away from the Methodist Church in the Transkei in 1884, under the leadership of the Rev. Nehemiah Tile;
Tembuland, the area occupied by the Tembu people: (a) the uplands of the south-western Transkei (in the Eastern Cape Province), between the Kei and Umtata rivers; (b) historical, an extensive area in the division of Queenstown in the Eastern Cape Province; in both senses formerly called Tambookieland (see Tambookie noun sense 1 b).
1893 S. Afr. Methodist 25 Mar. 137The Tile following — known as the Tembu Church — was about to become an inconvenience to others. The Wesleyan body acted at once...They resolved that a body of their Native men of wisdom should deal with the matter.
1989 J.B. Peires Dead Will Arise 274Fadana had been chased into the ‘Tambookie Location’ along with all his neighbours after the War of Mlanjeni. He was living the quiet life of a minor chief..when Nongqawuse’s prophecies were heard in Thembuland.
2. obsolete. With small initial. A type of bead used for trading. Also attributive.
1832 J. Collett Diary. I. 24 May63lb Tambo beads @ 2/-.
1832 Graham’s Town Jrnl 24 Aug. 138He exchanges it (sc. ivory) principally for beads. In April 1832, he preferred blood red and rose colored ones, but in the absence of such, he would accept the white tembos, when not too small, and also the dark-blue.
B. adjective Of or pertaining to the Tembu people; Tambookie adjective.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 349A Tambookie Caffer is termed Tymba or Tembu, while the tribe collectively is called Amatymbae.
1990 City Press 11 Feb. 6He (sc. Mandela) is looked upon by his Aba-Tembu tribesmen as a political messiah who will come back one day to liberate them.
A member of a Xhosa-speaking people which moved southwards and westwards from what is now KwaZulu-Natal (probably during the 16th century), and became established in present-day Tembuland (see b), in the Transkei; a member of one division of this people, occasionally called the Emigrant Tembu, who fled before invading peoples and settled round the sources of the Swart and White Kei rivers (the present-day Queenstown district of the Eastern Cape), being removed in 1852 to the Glen Grey district, in western Transkei; occasionally, the form of Xhosa spoken by this people (see quotation 1838); Tambookienoun1 a.
A type of bead used for trading. Also attributive.
Of or pertaining to the Tembu people; Tambookieadjective.

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18091990