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The region that was later known as the Transkei was originally divided into territories known as the Idutywa Reserve, Fingoland (Mfenguland) and Galekaland (Gcalekaland).Fingoland lay the borderlands in the far south of the Transkei, just north of the Kei River.Following their annexation by the British however, they were restructured into the divisions of Butterworth, Tsomo and Nqamakwe for Fingoland; Kentani and Willowvale for Galekaland; and Idutywa for the Idutywa Reserve.Today virtually all the Fingo people have intermarried with other ethnic groups particularly with the Xhosa and Zulu.The reason that the Mfengu were able to adapt so effectively to changing circumstances (like the coming of capitalism and urbanisation) was because they lacked a fixed tribal social-structure and hierarchy (having presumably lost it in their earlier flight from the Zulu).This state of social change and flexibility allowed them to quickly adjust to the European expansion, learn and adapt new techniques, and take advantage of the upheavals that followed.It is assumed that the restructuring of these territories into the divisions of Butterworth, Idutywa, Kentani, Nqamakwe, Tsomo and Willowvale dates from these times.
Throughout the 9th Frontier war, Bikitsha and his location were a focal point for the Gcaleka armies’ attack and came under immense military pressure.
The Mfengu (plural ama Mfengu) are a Bantu people; originally closely related to the Zulu people, but now often considered to have assimilated to the Xhosa people whose language they now speak.
Historically they achieved considerable renown for their military ability in the frontier wars.
Other tribes were often suspicious of outside ideas and consequently resisted any change to meet the colonial threat.
The Fengu had no paramount-chief as other tribes did, but the Cape Commander Veldman Bikitsha was a Fengu, and held authority over the Fengu’s military capacity.
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The last major war that the Mfengu fought was the Ninth Frontier War that broke out in 1877 after a bar fight between Fengu and Gcaleka guests, at a Fengu wedding.