Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Heaven on EarthThe Varieties of the Millennial Experience$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Richard Landes

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199753598

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753598.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 21 April 2019

Suicidal Millennialism

Suicidal Millennialism

Xhosa Cattle-Slaying (1856–1857 CE)

(p.91) 4 Suicidal Millennialism
Heaven on Earth

Richard Landes

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the dynamics of apocalyptic expectation among the Xhosa in South Africa. After a series of millennially inspired uprisings against, and crushed by, the British, and the advent of a terrible cattle plague and crop plight, the Xhosa responded to an apocalyptic prophecy. This time it came not from a messianic warrior leader, but from a young girl who promised that if they killed their cattle, the ancestors would return with better cattle and better crops and sweep away the British. With each new moon, expectations rose; with each disappointment, believers blamed themselves for not having killed all their cattle. Eventually they killed 400,000 head of cattle and thousands died of starvation.

Keywords:   Xhosa, British colonialism, female prophets, Cattle-Slaying, Nongqawuse, South Africa, disappointment

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .