The Zulu are an extraordinary people. Their history, military genius and imperious bearing won them the respect of the 19th-century European colonists, characterized as they were by the Victorians as a warrior tribe and the embodiment of the "noble savage", but today their mystique is as great as ever and their political hegemony is poised to be returned. From the original encounters with two British fortune-seekers who described a hospitable, friendly host in 1824 to the infamous slaughter of the Voortrekkers a dozen years later, from the Zulu War against the British which spawned the lasting icon of the Zulu warrior as a kind of black superman - magnificent in defeat as they courageously challenged the Gatling gun with their spears - through to the urban, radical force politically united as Inkatha today, the tribal orders of this indomitable southern African nation are legendary. This book is a reappraisal of this distorted past of infamy and caricature, a study of the changing tribal orders that have left the elders bewildered, the young disaffected. It is also a portrait of Shaka Zulu, an African Tamburlaine, the founder of the Zulu nation, whose expansionist dreams turned a small tribe of 2000 people into one of the greatest warrior peoples the world has known.