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South Africa’s indigenous Nguni cattle, have long been a pillar of traditional culture, and are possibly the most beautiful cattle in the world, with their gorgeously patterned and multicoloured hides. 


Nguni are thought to have originated from east African Sanga and Zebu cattle breeds, which according to tribal storytellers are believed to have their inception somewhere in the Congo basin in Central Africa – in a mystical land called Embo.  


Throughout the ages, Nguni cattle have formed a vital part of the Nguni peoples aesthetic and spiritual heritage. The lure and uniqueness of each cow’s skin called for a remarkable cataloging in each tribe’s oral poetry and storytelling.


Cattle imagery also abounds in Nguni oral history and poetry; in tales, proverbs, riddles and the praises of individual beasts, celebrated by their owners for their fertility, their vigour and their character which subtly reflect the changing fortunes and social concerns of the people.”

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