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Nicholas Reicher

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17 hours ago, Alley said:

 

Hey Nicholas and Claire, tell me, is there a martial arts that comes from Africa?  I've got a character from there that would love to have his own.  😋

Wachizi Hey, E-yah (bang bang bang!)

ZULU!!!!!!

 

The Zulu didn't have a martial art, but boy, could they FIGHT! I have to transliterate the famous war song, because that was one of the most memorable moments in action movie history.

That and the Zee-dah, osola-aywe scene (anyone know the exact Zulu lyrics to that?)

Zulu had a concoction they chewed that when they spit it in your face it blinded you. They had to build up tolerance for it over years - it was fatal if swallowed.

 

The Zulu made shields out of their first kill - most of the shields were Lion skin. That tells you how tough they were.. Run, jump, hit you with the shield, then spin and skewer you with their short spear.

Man... tough.

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11 hours ago, Claire Tucker said:

So the question is, what area or part of Africa is your character from?

I have not decided.  

 

4 hours ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

The Zulu

This is sounding interesting.  Tell me more.  Plus, where can I go to study this?  

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3 hours ago, Alley said:

This is sounding interesting.  Tell me more.

Delving into the cultures of the African tribes is a fascinating study. Plenty of rabbit holes to fall into. Not too sure where you will go to find out more, though.

7 hours ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

anyone know the exact Zulu lyrics to that?

Sorry, Nicholas, my Zulu is rather shocking....I know how to say hello, ask you how you are, say that I am well and good-bye. Oh, and I ask you for the price of tomatoes.

7 hours ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

Run, jump, hit you with the shield, then spin and skewer you with their short spear.

Man... tough

And one of the more...err...bloody African tribes. Anyone hear of King Shaka?

Apparently, the Zulu tribe didn't originate in South Africa, even though an entire province is named after them. The Bushmen (think cave paintings, those were done by the Bushmen) were actually native to SA when the Zulus moved down from farther north. They basically drove the Bushmen out, and slaughtered those who didn't run fast enough.

The Iklwa (short spear) was developed by Shaka, as he preferred close combat and a shorter spear meant that they had to get close to kill their opponents. They also occasionally carry a knob-kerrie (the Afrikaans word describing the short stick, similar to a walking stick, with a knob on one end). This would be used to bash the brains out of the opponents. Then you get an assagei (throwing spear), and the shield that was used as both a defensive and offensive weapon (already explained by Nicholas). 

Another fun fact - there is a Zulu community in the north Malawi that moved there during the time of King Shaka. Apparently they started running north to get away from Shaka and didn't get the news when he died. So they now live between 1'500 to 2'000 km (about 930 to 1'250 miles) north of where they started.

Any other fun stuff you'd like to know? If I don't know, I'm pretty sure I could find it out.

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7 hours ago, Claire Tucker said:

Any other fun stuff you'd like to know? If I don't know, I'm pretty sure I could find it out.

Lots, but let's start with only a few.  This character left his home at an undetermined age.  So how old were the boys when they started to train?  What kind of games did they use to practice their skills?  Did the girls learn these skills also?  Did they have another group/tribe they fought with often?  My character leave home at a younger age, but it could have been up to teen, I'm not set on that yet.  Is there something he could have done to be kicked out of the tribe?  (Although, I don't know if that is the way I will take that character.)  Did they hunt lions for food, or as a trial to be considered a man/warrior?  What was the main food they hunted or did they also gather?  Was the stick with a knob and spear their only weapons?  

Ok, I'm going to stop myself now, before I fill a whole page with questions.  Thanks for taking the time to help me learn this.  😊

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I can answer a few of your questions with certainty, others I would need to cross check facts.

I'm not sure what age boys would be when they started training as such, but my best guess is that it would be during childhood as their ritual into manhood (marked by mass circumcisions of boys around 13/14 today) is early teens. 

Girls don't learn fighting skills, as they are/were expected to know how to plant a crop and harvest it, build homes (not 100% sure if they did all the work themselves or if the men helped with some of the heavy lifting), cook, brew beer, and *cough cough* make babies and raise them. 

Not 100% sure if anyone would have ever been kicked out of a tribe, but if they were that would be incredibly disgraceful and greatly narrow your chances of survival. Your tribe/family group is more than family and a means of survival - it is also in great part your identity. But coming back to getting kicked out - I know that under Shaka's reign you weren't kicked out. You were killed.

Do they have another group they fight with often? With the Zulu nation, that is everyone. Although today they particularly the Xhosa nation.

Not too sure on the food/hunting/gathering questions, but I do know this - most of the African tribes in and around South Africa were nomadic. They would have herds of cattle and goats that were more than sustenance - they are a sign of wealth (if you have a large herd of cattle, you will be considered wealthy). As such, they would follow the rains, hunting and more than likely gathering what they would need along the way, staying in an area for a few months (think summer) and moving elsewhere when food/water etc. dried up.

They used their spear as a weapon (this tactic was developed mainly by Shaka), and they would have a throwing spear, stabbing spear and the glorified club (stick with a knob on it). Chieftains might have had battle-axes, which would be a sign of their superiority.

Hopefully this has helped you some, and hopefully you haven't been too grossed out by some of the facts. 

One thing that is an integral part of any African tribe is their drums. These would be used for any celebration or in preparation for a fight/battle/war. Obviously, there are different rhythms that would be beaten out, but the effect is still incredible. You might also consider checking out the ululating that accompanies any excitement or mourning, and is mostly done by women.

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Shaka would set up challenges - anyone showing fear was killed.

I was going to post a movie clip of the Zulu war song. I literally get choked up listening to it, because it's awe inspiring. Can't really find any that don't have the violent parts of the movie.

The Zulu had no martial arts. One on one you stood a good chance winning - against a tribe of them, not so much.

 

My dad told me that seeing the movie Zulu in Vietnam gave him nightmares - and he was SOG.

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36 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

Well, great - I caught myself singing the Zulu war song on the way to work today.

At least it was not the little mermaid.  

 

I will see what I can come up with for this tribe (?) and will most likely come back with more questions.  Hey Nicholas, could you place the link for the song.  Maybe with a warning for unsuspecting visitors.  

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I thought of a time when your novel could take place. Shaka Zulu became the king in 1816, succeeding his brother (who he killed). Your protagonist possibly could have been someone whose family sided with Shaka's brother, and left Isuldwana/Zululand the night that Shaka took rule of the Zulu.

You'd have to do a LOT more research on this.- or create a tribe out of thin air living in a land you make up. Then they could actually drive Bentley's around the Savannah plain!

"Pardon me - do you have any grey poupon?"

"But of course"

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22 hours ago, Alley said:

At least it was not the little mermaid.  

 

I will see what I can come up with for this tribe (?) and will most likely come back with more questions.  Hey Nicholas, could you place the link for the song.  Maybe with a warning for unsuspecting visitors.  

Caution - violence. Images of men shooting rifles.

Additional caution - they are dressed like Zulu warriors.. I didn't think about the fact this might offend some. My apologies for not putting it up sooner

 

But here you go. The war song goes from a near funeral dirge, to around 5:44 turning into the Wachizi-ya chant. That's the psyche-up part of the Zulu war chant. You hear that, it's too late to run.

 

Please remember - I don't speak any Zulu - I'm transliterating just from ear! If I'm saying any of this wrong, you're warned!

Edited by Nicholas Reicher
additional caution added.
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Wow, they really mastered the art of psychological warfare

 

My kids thought they were Native Americans, like grandpa.  😊

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2 minutes ago, Alley said:

Wow, they really mastered the art of psychological warfare

 

My kids thought they were Native Americans, like grandpa.  😊

Absolutely they were! The scenes before them you hear them marching on the way to the outpost. From a distance, it sounds like a freight train. Then you see them line the hills - all 4,000 of them.

The scene I've got there shows them doing the drumming on their shields. Remember, the hides on those shields represent their first kill. i think it was at 8 years old? At the oldest, 12-13.

If you note, they're pointing their spears as they sing the Zulu war song. They're getting more amped up as they reach the end of it, because they know what's coming. Even WATCHING it you get pumped up!

Now sing that at 5:50 AM while driving to work.

All the other drivers tend to slow down and let you get ahead.

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16 minutes ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

Now sing that at 5:50 AM while driving to work.

All the other drivers tend to slow down and let you get ahead.

LOL That's funny.  I'm forever jamming out in the car.  However, I have found another way to get the town cars to let you pass.  Bring in a dirty car.  The car gets dirty on the dirt road, and then you go to town.  Everyone avoids you.  As if getting to close to the car means you will get the plague.  xD

 

However, if you had a spear while doing the song I might back away also.  😊

Edited by Alley

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14 hours ago, Alley said:

Wow, they really mastered the art of psychological warfare!

That they did. I just always admire their rhythm. Not many people have the same natural rhythm the Zulus have.

Just an interesting side-note about the location in the video - if you check the background of the video at around the 2 - 3 minute mark, you'll see a portion of the Drakensberg known as the Ampitheatre. Want to be jealous? I live about an hour/hour-and-half's drive from there :D

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17 hours ago, Nicholas Reicher said:

And MAN can they sing!

Amen, brother. Some of the most memorable praise and worship sessions I have been in was in a Zulu community we lived near. No instruments except their voices, tuned by a passionate fire in their souls kindled by their Savior. Powerful. Nothing can adequately describe it.

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Most of my professional training is in music, so most of my knowledge listed in on that topic:

  • I am an opera singer, so I can talk about proper technique of classical singing. In short, sing from the gut (the stomach). Breathe low so that your belly is involved. (DON'T use Bugs Bunny for a role model!) If your throat hurts, you may be singing too high, or for too long.
  • I can tell you about operatic voice types and their roles in the show: Soprano, (leading lady, damsel-in-distress) Alto, (Motherly type or antagonist) Tenor, (Leading man, Love interest), Baritone, (Fatherly type, Villian) Bass (King, some comic roles).
  • I know about the proper function of the singing voice.
  • Percussion is another field of expertise of mine. I can tell you about playing as a percussionist in an orchestral ensemble.
  • Knowledge of some Italian, French and German from study of classical song literature.
  • I have a good knowledge base of music theory.
  • Music composition, specifically writing music in a classical style as opposed to modern pop styles.
  • Knitting is another topic of which I have some knowledge. Most of that is of knitting hats and some scarves.

There might be some other hobbies that I have participated in the past, but I can't think of them at the moment. Most of my experience is in music, since that is the subject I studied in college.

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3 minutes ago, DrummerDude said:

Most of my experience is in music,

My best friend was a music teacher for over 50 years.  She'd love you!  

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4 minutes ago, DrummerDude said:

she had quite a career.

She was a refugee holocaust survivor that grew up to become a teacher.  She's pretty awesome!  

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5 hours ago, DrummerDude said:

Most of my professional training is in music, so most of my knowledge listed in on that topic

Awesome! 

I teach violin and piano, and avoid singing whenever possible for the benefit of those around me. I also tend to avoid drums.... Nothing personal, really. 

5 hours ago, Alley said:

She was a refugee holocaust survivor that grew up to become a teacher

I love these kinds of stories. People that face hell (or the earthly version of hell), survive and grow into something more. 

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On 9/11/2018 at 9:21 PM, DrummerDude said:

I am an opera singer,

What voice type do you sing?  I sing second soprano, but never in opera.  For those of you that don't know what that means; it means I can hit the notes that make you wonder why the glass did not break because you're fairly certain your eardrum did.  :D

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On 9/5/2018 at 5:04 PM, Alley said:

My character leave home at a younger age, but it could have been up to teen, I'm not set on that yet.  Is there something he could have done to be kicked out of the tribe?

I'm originally from East Africa, so I'm going to invite myself into this discussion and throw in my two cents' worth. 😜 Ways your character could have been displaced from home: he could have been separated from his family through an inter-tribal war. He could have been kidnapped by a warlord in order to be trained as a soldier. Or, he could have been kidnapped to be sold in the slave trade. A lot has been written about the trans-Atlantic trade, but not much about the Arab slave trade. Arabs trafficked an estimated 17 million East Africans, many of whom were sold all over the Middle East.

 

(If you really want to go down a 19th century slave trade rabbit hole, you could read Sir Samuel Baker's "Ismailia – A Narrative Of The Expedition To Central Africa For The Suppression Of Slave Trade, Organised By Ismail, Khadive Of Egypt." It's Baker's own account of a military expedition he took in order to stop the trade in East African slaves, and it's available for free in Project Gutenberg.)

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1 hour ago, EBraten said:

If you really want to go down a 19th century slave trade rabbit hole, you could read Sir Samuel Baker's "Ismailia – A Narrative Of The Expedition To Central Africa For The Suppression Of Slave Trade, Organised By Ismail, Khadive Of Egypt." It's Baker's own account of a military expedition he took in order to stop the trade in East African slaves, and it's available for free in Project Gutenberg

Ohh...sounds interesting. And I love free books 

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