The Story of Nyaminyami
is the story to be told about Nyaminyami, the river God. He
has a body like a snake and a head like a fish and no one
knows how big he is, for he never showed himself in full display.
But he is very big!
people of Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe were protected by Nyaminyami,
their ancestral spirit (Mudzimu), who fed them from his own
meat in times of hunger. The people pledged their allegiance
to him by performing ceremonial dances.
many years Nyaminyami and his wife stayed safely at Kariba,
the spot which was their home and near that spot, that's where
it all began. One season when Nyaminyami's wife had gone down
the mighty Kariwa Gorge to other people of the Valley to answer
their prayers and bless her people, the white man came to
build a wall.
took five long years to see it through because Nyaminyami
did not want to be disturbed. He caused some floods and loss
of life, but at last he was kind enough to let the wall to
be all complete. It is also believed that the occasional earth
tremor felt in the lake surroundings is caused by this spirit.
was the work of the Tonga elders and their medium spirits
to persuade the Nyaminyami to allow the Zambezi to be tamed.
But Shame! Nyaminyami was separated from his wife.
bodies of water are considered sacred, for water is essential
for the life of the village in an often arid land. Wherever
there is water, the Africans find prosperity. The Nyaminyami
is the ruler of water and his symbol is worn to ward of the
forces of darkness and to attract wealth.
kayakers, rafters and surfers, the metaphor extends to a wealth
of perfect paddling, surf and the avoidance of injury from
part of the Nyaminyami walking stick represents something....
"Nyaminyami" who the Tonga people believe is their spirit
god (Mudzimu) and that the occasional earth tremor felt in
the lake surroundings is caused by this spirit.
is a Mopani tree which is found in the Zambezi Valley, the
Spirals represent the waves on the Zambezi River, the fish
is representative of the staple food of the Tonga people,
who prior to the building of Kariba Dam, fished daily on the
represents people on the Zambezi River banks during their
Wooden Rings: represents
the bangles worn by the Tonga woman as a decoration during
sign of the Hand:
represents the holding of the "Magical Ball" used by the Tonga
fortune tellers to guard against evil spirits.
Bubble Pipe (incelwa):
is normally a long pipe made from a calabash and is used by
the Tonga people for smoking tobacco. In the past these pipes
where used for smoking "dagga" - Tonga tradition.