Kaffir Wars

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kaffir Wars


the name given in bourgeois literature to the wars between the Xhosa (Kaffirs), a South African people, and the Anglo-Boer conquerors in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The armed resistance of the Xhosa to the colonizers lasted from the late 1770’s to the early 1880’s. The largest military clashes took place in the years 1779–81, 1789–93, 1799–1803, 1811–12, 1818–19, 1834–35, 1846–47, 1850–53, 1858, and 1877–79. As a result of these wars, the borders of Cape Colony were constantly moved to the east. By the early 1880’s all the territory inhabited by the Xhosa had been seized by the colonizers. During the Kaffir Wars the colonizers took advantage of the lack of unity among the Xhosa and instigated conflicts among the tribes.


Potekhin, I. I. Formirovanie natsional’noi obshchnosti iuzhno-afrikan-skikh bantu. Moscow, 1955.
Walker, E. A. A History of Southern Africa, 3rd ed. London, 1959.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the most poignant exhibits, however, is a portrait of five South Africans - both black and white - who came to London to campaign for African land rights in 1836 during the so-called "Kaffir wars".
As Crais demonstrates, however, used sensitively, meticulously, and even humbly, postmodern techniques can provide important, original insights and reinterpretations of such well-treated texts as "Kaffir wars," the Great Trek, or the Xhosa cattle-killing of the 1850s.