Nguni cattle – a hybrid of Indian and European cattle breeds –are indigenous to Africa. They are said to have entered Africa around 8000 years ago – there are even rock paintings in Libya and the Sahara desert with Nguni-like cattle. These paintings are estimated to be around 8000 years old.
Since then, Ngunis have played a very important social and economic role for some African tribes. They were used as “lobola” – every husband needed to pay his wife’s father with an amount of cattle, depending on the worth of the wife. The number of animals a village owned also said a lot about their wealth.
King Shaka – who played an important role in Zulu history – seized control of all the Nguni herd in his dominion. He bred the cattle according to skin pattern to produce hides for all his regiments. The regiments were thus recognized by the hide-patterns.
Although Nguni’s have multi-coloured skin with the widest variety of pattern, their noses are always black tipped. These beautiful cattle are not only known for their unique skin patterns, but are also very resistant to the harsh African environment.
The Nguni cattle are part and parcel of a very long standing African tradition, and these hides which was originally used to recognise African warriors, are ever stylish in almost every home. Enjoy your bit of an adventure – right from the heart of rugged Africa!