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Xhosa women dancing as they return to their village from the fields.—Authenticated News International
People living primarily in East Cape province, South Africa. They form part of the southern Nguni group of Bantu-speaking peoples. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the series of conflicts called the Cape Frontier Wars engaged the Xhosa against the European settlers. Eventually the Xhosa were defeated and their territory annexed. Between 1959 and 1961 the Xhosa inhabited the nonindependent black states of Transkei and Ciskei created by the white South African government. In the 1960s many Xhosa became migrant labourers. Today they number some 7.8 million.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Xhosa, visit Britannica.com.