The Great Trek
The pioneers, having pierced deep into the heart of the country, found their promised-land: great green pastures and sweeping valleys, ideal for cattle grazing. Discovering the massive Zulu tribe living in the vicinity, the settlers met with Zulu's great king, Dingaan, offering to buy a track of land. Dingaan countered: a rival tribe stole a large portion of their cattle, and if the settlers could retrieve the cattle for Dingaan, he would reward them a sizable patch of land. The settlers bartered with the other tribe and recovered Dingaan's cattle. A treaty was signed and Dingaan, as a supposed sign of goodwill, invited his new friends to come and drink with him in celebration. A group of the settlers made their way to the Zulu party, and after being entertained by dancers and the spirits flowing, Dingaan's warriors attacked the unarmed settlers: they were massacred nearly to the last man. A Zulu war-party set upon the settler's camp & five hundred women and children were raped and also butchered. The Zulu war-machine was dispatched to seek and destroy any remaining settlers and rid the lands of the foreign interlopers. The Trekkers, forewarned by their scouts, prepared for war. They chose their battlefield with care. They positioned all their wagons, back-to-front, in a protective semi-circle, with a raging river at their rear. Sensing their demise was near, they made a pact with God: if they were saved, the day would forever be commemorated. And so, the 464 settlers faced a Zulu-army exceeding 10,000 men. The battle of "Blood-River" ensued. Not suffering a single casualty, the Trekkers completely decimated the Zulu attack lines forcing them from the battlefield. Seeing the victory as Divine approval, they set about the task of building their Boer Republics, for these people now spoke a common language, shared a common identity as Boers (farmers), and saw themselves not as Europeans in Africa, but rather recognized themselves as a the nation of Afrikaners (People of Africa).