Xhosa Names & Meanings: The ‘ABC’s of Xhosa Names’ by Thandiwe Tshabalala

Apr 30, 2014 • Art, South AfricaNo Comments

Xhosa Names are family names given to the Xhosa people of South African. They are considered more important than surnames and can be used to trace a persons ancestral history. When a women marries, she is expected to keep her clan name by adding a pre-fix to her new surname.

All Xhosa clans names have meaning to them. The most familiar one would be  ‘Rolihlahla’, a name given to the late Nelson Mandela by his father meaning ‘to pull a branch’ (or troublemaker – colloquial meaning).

South African Illustrator Thandiwe Tshabalala, has created a series of gifs ‘ABC’s of Xhosa Names’, celebrating some of the most common clan names with the meanings incorporated in the design.

Check them out below: ABCs-of-Xhosa-Names ABCs-of-Xhosa-Names1 ABCs-of-Xhosa-Names2 ABCs-of-Xhosa-Names3 ABCs-of-Xhosa-Names4 ABCs-of-Xhosa-Names5 ABCs-of-Xhosa-Names6 ABCs-of-Xhosa-Names7

To learn more about illustrator Thandiwe Tshabalala’s work, visit: http://cmykaffir.tumblr.com

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