Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ciskei Nkone cattle

In South Africa, territories of Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda, and Ciskei (the so-called TBVC states) were declared independent in late 1970’s and early 1980’s. This declaration was however not recognized outside of South Africa. At the same time, South Africa began issuing stamps inscribed with the names of these areas.
Though these stamps were not officially recognized by most postal authorities, they were generally accepted on international mail. As such, they also appear in all major stamp catalogs with the stamps of South Africa.
When homeland system was terminated in 1994, each state had issued roughly 300 different stamps. AFAIK, there are no huge rarities with these stamps and they are somewhat easy to find (especially in mint condition), but they do offer collectors a chance to "complete" a country and have fantastic thematic issues. I have yet to see a complete genuine postally used collection of the homelands -- that would be a rarity!

The revenue stamps of the homelands are worth a lot more than the postage stamps.

Matabele cattle have been selected and bred by commercial farmers since 1946. The breed name 'Manguni' was used for some time. The breed society was formed in 1967, and two years later the name was changed to Nkone. The Matabele people use them for dairy and beef, while the commercial Nkone herds are selected only for beef (Felius, 1995). The original Matabele cattle were essentially Nguni by descent from the present-day South Africa. Subsequent migration and interbreeding led to infusion of some blood from neighbouring Sanga cattle, the breed is now genetically more heterogeneous than, and more distant from, other members of the Nguni group. There was reported to be a single pure Nkone herd based at the Matopos Research Station (Rege and Tawah, 1999). 

Ciskei was a Bantustan in the south east of South Africa. It covered an area of 2,970 square miles (7,700 km³), almost entirely surrounded by what was then the Cape Province, and possessed a small coastline along the shore of the Indian Ocean. Under South Africa's policy of apartheid, land was set aside for black peoples in self-governing territories. Ciskei was designated as one of two homelands or "Bantustans" for Xhosa-speaking people. Ngqika (Rharhabe) Xhosa people were resettled in the Ciskei, and Gcaleka Xhosa were settled in the Transkei, the other Xhosa homeland.

Ciskei had a succession of capitals during its existence. Originally, Zwelitsha served as the capital with the view that Alice would become the long-term national capital. However, it was Bisho (now spelled Bhisho) that became the capital until Ciskei's reintegration into South Africa.

The name Ciskei means "on this side of the Kei River", and is in contrast to the neighbouring Bantustan of Transkei.

Thank you Maria for this nice FDC with the pretty stamps.

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