lesotho, aga szydlik

Initiation Ceremony | Basotho Tribe

lesotho, aga szydlik

Initiation |Lebollo la banna

Initiation or Lebollo la banna is a cultural and traditional practice that the Basotho society follows to construct the manhood identity. It is a  rite of passage in the sense that boys or ‘bashemane’ pass the puberty stage and enter the adulthood stage to become men or ‘monna’. Part of the rite of the rite of passage includes a circumcision, learning sacred songs tribal ceremonies. The initiates are tutored on the knowledge of family life and extensive lessons in sexuality. 

Rites of passage

Traditional initiation schools of the Basotho are conducted over a period of time, (varying from a few weeks to 6 months) in secluded areas away from settlements. The traditional initiation teachers, known as basuwe in Sesotho, are commonly elderly men with substantial economic, political and social standing within Basotho communities. Currently, most of the initiates are between the ages of 12 and 15 with only a few initiated above the age of 15. The boys usually attend the initiation school during the holiday break between primary school and high school.

lesotho, aga szydlik
lesotho, aga szydlik

Metamorphosis

The newly initiated, who are seen as 'men' by the larger traditional society, are still seen as boys by the formal education system which means that the 'manhood status' granted by the ritual is situational.

The initiate practice can be classified into 3 stages: the Separation Stage, the Transitional Stage and the Incorporation Stage. During the Separation Stage, the boys are separated from all social activities and kept in a secluded place where their transition from adolescence into adulthood or from boyhood into manhood takes place.

lesotho, aga szydlik

During the Transitional Stage the initiates are educated on the social concepts of their identities. After the physical circumcision, the boys’ open wound is dressed with a special plant which aids healing. The initiates rise early each day to perform a variety of tasks, and thereafter undergo a harsh physical regimen. Skills, such as warfare and cattle-raiding are taught and improved. Initiates are also taught to compose praises and songs to their chiefs and to themselves, the proper expression or articulation of which constitutes the important adult (male) quality of eloquence or “bokheleke.

lesotho, aga szydlik

Red Orche and Basotho Blankets

After completion of the training period, the initiates leave all their clothing behind in the lodge, which is then set alight by the instructors. The young men then run ahead without looking back at their childhood, which has symbolically ended with the burning of the lodge. The initiates arrive at their villages smeared with red ochre and covered in their traditional Basotho blankets while surrounded by men and elders, where they are given a new set of clothes. 

lesotho, aga szydlik

Links & Sources

Initiation Ceremonies are a sacred tradition and as an outsider and female I was not allowed to ask any questions with respect to the ceremony, all information used is sourced from Wikipedia 

Links
https://www.behance.net/aga_szydlik
https://www.dodho.com/initiation-ceremony-by-aga-szydlik/

 

lesotho, aga szydlik

 


aga szydlik, south africa

South Africa | Most Famous Tribes and Their Language: Part 2

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

Part of South Africa’s magic is the rich cultural heritage that can be discovered while travelling around the region. We’re not dubbed the “rainbow nation” for nothing. While travelling through South Africa, you are bound to hear a vibrant array of languages that each have a fascinating
culture and rich history behind them.

Whether you’re here for a Big Five safari or for catching the surf on our world-famous beaches, South Africa’s vibrant people are definitely going to leave a lasting impression on you.

While travelling in and around the country, you’re bound to hear a vibrant array of languages. Although most of these tribes have adapted to the modern world, each of them has a rich history.

We know that it can be a bit overwhelming at first. So, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to South Africa’s most famous tribes and the languages that they speak.

If you have missed Part 1 of this series, then you can check it out here.

Now let’s dive right in, shall we?

(Ba)Tswana

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

About 4 million South African residents are Tswana and while many Tswana people can be found in South Africa’s urban areas, their heritage is mostly found in Botswana.

The Tswana (or Batswana) tribe are one of four major sub-groups of the Sotho tribe, and like many other neighbouring Nguni people, their livelihood was most reliant on a combination of livestock raising and crop cultivation.

Although Christianity was adopted into the culture with the arrival of the missionaries in the early 19th-century, traditionally speaking, the Batswana people believe in a distant supreme being called Modimo, who is seen as the creator.

Similar to other Nguni belief systems, their god is distant and does not interfere with the lives of people and so their ancestors (known as Badimo) are called to for support in daily life.

The dingaka (doctors) are highly regarded in the community and are seen as the specialists in healing and magic. These doctors preside over many rituals which include anything from rainmaking to protection over the land and even assistance with producing children.

Language basics:

‘Hello’ : Dumela
‘How are you?’ : O tsogile jang
‘Please’ : Tswêê-tswêê
‘Thank you’: Ke a leboga

Pedi

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

The Pedi people are another sub-group of the greater Sotho tribe and have its origins in the Limpopo province. Although they are closely linked to other tribes, there are a few differences between the Pedi and other Sotho people, one of the biggest being their cross-marriage with other tribes.

When it comes to marriage, the elders of a family would choose an appropriate partner for their child. After a formal meeting between the families, they plan how the couple would meet and the girl's parents decide how many cows or how much money will be paid as Bogadi.

Before marriage, there are initiation ceremonies that mark the coming of age for both boys and girls. Boys would spend most of their younger days herding cattle at remote outposts with older men as leaders and teachers. Every five years, an initiation ceremony would be held, which included circumcision for the boys. This is still practised today and provides a substantial income to the chiefs.

Language basics:

‘Hello’: Dumêlang
‘How are you? : O kae
‘Please’: hle
‘Thank you’: ke a leboga

Venda

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

The Venda culture is perhaps one of the most fascinating tribal cultures of South Africa. It is the smallest tribe of the country that dates back to the 9th century with their first king, Shiriyadenga.

Like many other African tribes, the Venda culture is steeped in mythical dogmas and water is an essential theme in their belief system. Lakes and rivers are sacred places, and rains are believed to be controlled by the Python God. Although there are many sacred water sites in their culture, it is Lake Fundudzi that is the most highly regarded.

There are many supernatural stories that surround this massive lake found in Limpopo in the foothills of the Soutspansberg Mountains. Although it was originally formed by a landslide, locals believe that there are three rivers that flow into the lake, but it never overflows and there is no obvious outlet. The forest surrounding the lake is also a very sacred place as it is believed to be filled with spirits, with two mythical creatures, the white lion and the lighting bird called Ndadzi, keeping guard.

Language basics:

‘Hello’: Ndaa
‘How are you? : Vhu vowa hani
‘Please’: Ndi khou tou humbela
‘Thank you’: Ndo livhuwa Ro livhuwa

Ndebele

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

During the time of King Shaka Zulu’s rule, a group of people split from the Zulu culture under the leadership of Mzilikazi to form a tribe of their own. However, due to internal conflict, the tribe split again into the Northern and Southern Ndebele.

Although the Southern African Ndebele culture is shrouded in mystery (due to cultural assimilation and relocation), there are approximately 800,000 people from this tribe spread across the rural areas of Mpumalanga and Gauteng.

While the Ndebele share many similarities to the Zulus, there are a few distinct traits in their language and culture. Ndebele women traditionally wear a variety of ornaments, each symbolizing her status in society. Married women would traditionally wear copper rings around their necks, arms and legs as a symbol of faithfulness and would only remove them after the death of her husband.

Language basics:

‘Hello’: Sawubona
‘How are you? : Kunjani
‘Please’: Ngicela
‘Thank you’: Ngiyabonga

There is so much more to South Africa than seeing the Big Five. So, get out there an immerse yourself in this vibrant country’s history and culture. Who knows, you might just pick up a new language!

Immersing yourself in a new culture is a great way to explore the world. So, check out these cultural safaris in South Africa.

Author Bio:

Jodi is a Travel Writer for Bookallsafaris.com and an adventure enthusiast. She lives in South Africa and has a passion for surfing, ocean conservation and exploring Africa's diverse landscapes through various sports.

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

Links | Publications

https://www.bookallsafaris.com/new

Sources | Credits

Photography

If by any chance the author omitted your website/photography as the source of reference, please accept my apologies and please contact me and the author at the Bookallsafaris.com, via email, so we are able to make necessary corrections, after all, we are all just humans……..


aga szydlik, south africa

South Africa | Most Famous Tribes and Their Language: Part 1

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

One of the greatest pleasures of travelling is being exposed to new cultures, traditions and ways of living. It is a chance to expand and challenge your current beliefs, and to become grateful for the life that you currently live. 

South Africa is one of the best places to truly immerse in a cultural safari as
it is one of the cradles of human evolution and home to a spectacular number of tribes that work together to make the region a true rainbow nation. 

When you’re on a safari here, it is about more than just seeing the Big Five in the flesh. To help you navigate your way through the country’s various cultures, we’ve put together a guide to the South African tribes you might come across and how to speak a bit of their language.

Zulu

If your travels take you to the lush region of Kwazulu-Natal, then you’re likely to come across people from this epic nation. The Zulu’s are the most famous and the largest South African tribe, with approximately10–12 million people spread across KZN, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

The name AmaZulu literally means the people of heaven. They believe in a creator god known as Nkulunkulu, who does not have any interest in everyday human life. To bridge the gap between the human and the spirit world (unKulunkulu), their ancestors are regarded as intermediaries as they work hand in hand with god.

They believe that all misfortune is a result of an evil sorcery or offended spirits and that nothing just happens because of natural causes. This is where Sangomas (spiritual healers) come into the picture. It is their role to communicate with the ancestors on behalf of the people and to bring good luck and protection.

Language basics:

‘Hello’: Sawubona
‘How are you?’: Unjani?
‘Please’: Ngiyacela
‘Thank you’: Ngiyabonga

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

Xhosa

This tribe is the second largest culture after the Zulu, and is divided into various sub-groups, each with their own distinct but related heritages. Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Xhosa people were spread across the fish river and their region extended all the way to some parts of southern KZN that were inhabited by the Zulus.

The Xhosa culture is rich in verbal expression and many of their stories are of legendary warriors and ancestral heroes. One of their most popular lores is of a great leader called Xhosa (which means fierce), who is believed to have been the first person on Earth.

If you’re thinking that this sounds a little like the story of Adam, then you aren’t too far off. During the time of colonization, Christianity was brought to the region and soon became intertwined with traditional beliefs and practices.

When it comes to communication, it is crucial to show respect. Younger people are expected to keep quiet when elders are speaking, and to lower their eyes when being addressed.

Language basics:

‘Hello’: Mholo, or Mholweni
‘How are you?’: Unjani?
‘Please’: Ndiyacela
‘Thank you’: Enkosi

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

Sotho

When travelling through Gauteng and the Eastern Cape, you’re likely to meet many people from this vibrant culture. Although the origins of the Sotho culture are mostly a mystery, it is widely believed that the first people were ironworkers and that the founding people had rituals and dances associated with smelting.

Like many other African cultures, the Sotho culture is divided into sub-groups in which people live in villages with a single chief. These villages are separated by age and each one has specific responsibilities. As the men and women age, they move onto the next village and celebrate this change with a series of rituals in which girls and boys are taken separately to the bush in the winter.

Their livelihood was primarily based on hunting, farming and smelting, and polygamy was common among the most elite. The more wives a man had, the higher his social status was. This form of relationship was less common among the “working class,” where marriages were arranged by transfer of bohadi (bride wealth) from the family of the groom to the family of the bride.

Language basics:

‘Hello’: Dumela
‘How are you?’: u phela joang?
‘Please’: Hle
‘Thank you’: Ke a leboga

South Africa, Aga Szydlik, On & Beyond Wildlife

Swati

The Swati (also known as Swazi) people are among the few African tribes who have managed to keep their identity to date. Despite colonial invasions and having accepting Christianity, the Swazi have kept their traditions and beliefs alive.

Although the culture has no class of ordained priests, Swazi people are very superstitious and there is a wide belief in witchcraft and sorcery. Traditionally speaking, the oldest man in every family communicates with the ancestors, while the Diviners lead rituals such as the incwala.

When it comes to children, things are a little different with the Swazi people. Infants are not seen as people up until three months old, and remain unnamed or touched by men until this time. After “achieving personhood,” the infants are kept close to their mothers and only begin to socialize with other children from around three years old. At about six years of age, the boys and girls are separated for training; boys are taught to take care of livestock and girls are taught how to prepare and maintain the household.

Although many of the traditions have adapted to modern times, respect is still a major part of the community, and greetings are important.

Language basics:

‘Hello’: Sawubona (the literal translation is ‘do you see me?’)
‘How are you?’: Unjani?
‘Please’: Ngiyacela
‘Thank you’: Ngiyabonga

South Africa has over 11 official languages and major tribes! That is a little too many to include in one go, so keep your eyes out for Part 2 to discover more fascinating South African cultures.

Author Bio:

Jodi is a Travel Writer for Bookallsafaris.com and an adventure enthusiast. She lives in South Africa and has a passion for surfing, ocean conservation and exploring Africa's diverse landscapes through various sports.

Jodi,  On & Beyond Wildlife

Get to know more about South Africa’s famous Zulu Tribe and their infamous King while on an epic safari in KwaZulu-Natal, and don’t forget to give a friendly Sawubona to the locals!

Links | Publications

https://www.bookallsafaris.com/new

Sources | Credits

https://www.everyculture.com/wc/Japan-to-Mali/Sotho.html
http://www.thekingdomofeswatini.com/
http://www.sahistory.org.za/article/nguni
http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/african-mythology.php?deity=BADIMO
https://sacredsites.com/africa/south_africa/lake_fundudzi.html

Photography

https://unsplash.com/
https://www.pexels.com/search/meditating/
https://burst.shopify.com/
https://www.freepik.com/

   

If by any chance the author omitted your website/photography as the source of reference, please accept my apologies and please contact me and the author at the Bookallsafaris.com, via email, so we are able to make necessary corrections, after all, we are all just humans……..


aga szydlik, himba tribe

Himba Tribe | Namibia

aga szydlik, himba tribe

Life, Culture and Rituals of the Iconic Red Himba Tribe

Himba tribe is indigenous to Kunene Region (Kaokoland) in northern Namibia and southern Angola. Himba tribe is well recognized for intense red colouring of their hair and bodies with an otjize paste, which is also considered a sign of beauty. The otjize mixture is scented with aromatic resins, deep in orange colour, which is symbolizing the earth’s red colour and blood—the essence of life.

aga szydlik, himba tribe
Crowned beauty

After the bovine epidemic swept through the Kaokoland region, the tribe decided to move south to avoid imminent starvation, causing the split from Herero tribe. Despite famine and hunger, some members decided to stay and ask their neighbours for help to survive.  Impoverished by disease, cattle raiders and hunger, many Himba fled to Angola, where they were called Ova-Himba, meaning 'beggars' in Otjiherero language.

Iconic red woman

Himba women are considered as one of the most beautiful in the world and are very proud of their traditional clothes and hairstyle, Himba devotes significant time for their beauty needs, first, the otjize is used to completely cover women's hair and body. Functioning as a sunscreen, insect repellent and beautifying agent. The otjize is rubbed all over, including not only on their skin and hair but also their hair, clothes and an extensive collection of jewellery.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

Elaborate outfits of Himba women are made of goatskin skirts and are embellished with shells, iron, and copper jewellery. The Erembe crown is made of cow or goat leather and is placed on the girl’s head after she’s married for a year or has a child. Women wear a large white shell necklace or heavy necklaces made from copper or iron wire.

aga szydlik, himba tribe
https://vimeo.com/321114456

Goat hair and mud

From the time a Himba girl is born, her hairstyle will identify her place in society, indicating age, clan and marital status of a woman.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

The hair is first lengthened with straw woven together with hair extensions to create dreadlocks, which are then covered in otjize and finished with goat hair, added to give them well recognized pom-pom look.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

A young girl typically has two plaits of braided hair (ozondato), the form of which is decided by the clan (oruzo) she descended on her father's side. A young girl who hasn’t reached puberty and will display two braids at the front of her head, if a girl is a twin, she will wear only one single braid, indicating she is only one half of a pair of twins. At the puberty, girls will wear their braids up front covering their face, letting people know that they are not ready to marry yet.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

When a young woman is ready to marry, same locks will be braided toward the back of the head, allowing potential suitors to see her face. When a woman has been married for a year or has had a child, she will wear the erembe headdress on top of her head.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

The smallest children tend to have shaved heads, although, some might have special haircuts to indicate their clan. New-born babies are adorned with bead necklaces, bangles made of beaten copper and shells are added when the children are a little older.

Love and marriage

Himba people practice polygamy, with both men and women being allowed to have multiple partners as long as the arrangement is open and agreeable by all parties involved. Men tend to have several wives, especially if they are rich in cattle, as the animals’ ownership is passed down from mother to daughter. The more cattle a woman owns, the greater her status and that of her family. Marriage is important in Himba culture, but extramarital relations are encouraged by families.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

When their husbands are away with the livestock, it is common for the women who stay behind to have "affairs" with other men. Egalitarian in their social structure, all tribe members enjoying full equality of rights, decisions being split between men and women, with an overall authority in the hands of the men but economic issues decided by the women. With the clear division of roles, women have the job of tending to children and livestock, which is led by men the to pasture for the day.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

People of the Earth

Himba, like most indigenous people, live on what nature provides for them, their diet consisting mostly of porridge, meat being reserved only for special celebrations. When the pastures run dry, the tribe will travel to a new location, where their livestock can feed. Himba homes are simple huts, made from a mixture of earth and cattle dung and contain little beyond a bed and few kitchen tools.

aga szydlik, himba tribe

Memories

aga szydlik, aga szydlik photographer

Links | Publications

https://www.dodho.com/colour-of-earth-and-blood-by-aga-szydlik/?utm_content=bufferc7146&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Sources

https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/4827/asc-1293873-064.pdf?sequence=1
https://www.association-kovahimba.net/en/the-himbas-history
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himba_peoplehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himba_people
http://www.philosophy.dept.shef.ac.uk/culture&mind/people/scelzab2/

If by any chance I have omitted your website as the source of reference, please accept my apologies and please email me, so I'm able to make necessary corrections, after all, I'm just a human........