Dark Origins – Myths and legends of the Shona People #Shona #Zimbabwe #stonesculpturePosted: December 21, 2022
The Shona people are part of the Bantu ethnic group native to Southern Africa. The primary home of the Shona is Zimbabwe, where they are the majority ethnic group, as well as Mozambique and South Africa.
There are five major Shona language groupings/dialects as follows: Karanga, Zezuru, Korekore, Manyika, and Ndau.
The Shona creation story goes as follows:
“God (Mwari) created the first man, Mwedzi (the moon) in a great depth of water. Mwedzi became lonely and yearned to live on land. Despite Mwari’s warnings, he insisted on being released to the earth. Once there, he found that the earth was indeed a lonely and desolate place and begged Mwari for a partner. Mwari sent him morning star (Hweva / Massassi) and the couple gave birth to all the vegetation on earth. After a period of two years, the lovers were separated, leaving Mwedzi desolate once again. He petitioned for another wife and was given evening star (Morongo / Venekatsvimborume) and together they gave birth to the herbivores and birds of the earth and then to boys and girls. Morongo also gave birth to wild animals and reptiles but then created a great sin when she mated with a snake. This snake eventually bit Mwedzi and made him ill. His illness marked the dawn of all human suffering.
Read more about the creation story and other fascinating facts about the Shona people here: https://blog.rhinoafrica.com/2018/10/15/5-fascinating-facts-about-shona-people-of-zimbabwe/
Vadzimu, Ngozi and Mashave
The spirits of the ancestors are called Vadzimu and they are very concerned about their living family and their welfare. The most important Vadzimu are those of a person’s father, mother, grandmother and grandfather. If a message is to be passed on to Mwari, the spirit of the father is called upon to pass the message back to his father and so on until it reaches the ears of the deity himself. A Vadzimu of a chief is more powerful that that of a commoner as the ancestor spirit retains the position that the person held in life.
A Ngozi is the vengeful spirit of a person who was harmed during his life by any one of his close relatives. A Ngozi returns after death seeking retribution. A Ngozi is always dangerous and if the presence of one is suspected, his victim is banished from his family clan to do penance for a period of one to two years. On his return, he must offer a goat to the Ngozi in order to bring about a reconciliation.
The Mashaves are spirits of foreigners or of wanderers who died far away from their family clans and did not receive a proper burial. As a result, Mashaves are destined to roam restlessly through the bush until they find a living host in which to reside. If the host is unwilling to accept the Mashave, then s/he will become ill and a diviner is needed to transfer the spirit into the body an an animal and then drive the animal into the wilderness.
Alternatively, if the host accepts the Mashave, the sickness leaves immediately and the individual is initiated via a special ceremony into a cult made up of groups whose members possess similar Mashaves. These cult groups possess special skills imparted to them by the Mashaves such as midwifery and herbal lore.
Spirits in Stone: Sculpture
The art of sculpture has been practiced by the Shona since the 11th century. The first sculptures were based on ancient birds, which eventually became the national emblem of Zimbabwe.
Serpentine stones us used for the sculpture of Shona cult figures. This stone is sedimentary and comes in a variety of hardness’s and colours. Shona sculpturing is a means of expressing the relationship between the physical and the spiritual worlds and is used as a way of exploring legends, ancestry, beliefs and the human condition.
Since independence in 1980, Zimbabwe has become well known for its stone sculpture.
About Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.
Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.
Roberta has 11 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.
Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.
Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.
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