The Mthethwa Paramountcy, sometimes referred to as the Mthethwa Empire, was a Southern African state that arose in the 18th century south of Delagoa Bay and inland in eastern southern Africa. It consisted of more than 30 Nguni tribes, and perhaps others. Unlike its successor, the Zulu Kingdom, the Mthethwa Paramountcy was a confederation of like tribes and clans. After Shaka Zulu became king, he forged a nearly homogeneous nation with a single king (nkosi).
The Mthethwa Paramountcy was consolidated and extended under the rule of Dingiswayo. The chief entered into an alliance with the Tsonga to the north in the early 19th century and began trading with the Portuguese in Mozambique. About 1811, the Buthelezi and the other Zulu tribes, including that led by Senzangakona, were integrated into a sort of confederacy with the Mthethwa clan predominating. Dingiswayo was killed in a battle with the Ndwandwe in 1817. The Mthethwa Paramountcy was superseded by the Zulu Kingdom under Shaka, a former lieutenant in the Mthethwa army.
- Bryant, Alfred T. (1964). A History of the Zulu and Neighbouring Tribes. Cape Town: C. Struik. OCLC 3182218.
- Morris, Donald R. (1965). The Washing of the Spears: The Rise of the Zulu Nation nation under Shaka and its fall in the Zulu War of 1879. New York: Simon and Schuster. OCLC 408488., reprinted in 1998 by Da Capo Press, Cambridge, ISBN 0-306-80866-8
See also 
- Morris, page 42
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