Matabele meaning

mä'tə-bĕl'ā
A member of a Zulu people driven out of the Transvaal and into Rhodesia by the Boers in 1837
noun
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Origin of matabele

  • Sotho Matebele pl. of Letebele member of the Zulu warrior contingents entering Sotho territory during upheavals in the 19th century le- sing. n. pref. -tebele (perhaps from teba to sink down (in reference to a Zulu battle technique in which warriors would sink down or crouch behind their distinctive large shields)) (or thebe shield)
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition