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Lives of Mothers: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina

Lives of Mothers (Rosalina Malungana)
Anina (N'waXumana) Tivane


26 December 1995, Facazisse

H: So if your father was always working as a policeman in South Africa, what was that like for your mother, wasn't it hard for her?
R: Eh, no. Women long ago, they were really faithful 1 to their husbands. They just stayed like that, they could go many years, without running to look for another man. Eeh! No. You had to stay like that, with that one who is your husband. If he dies, well then, you can arrange another husband, to stay in the place of the one who died. Mmm. But ah! For my mother, it was very difficult. To arrange another man? Eeeh! No way.
H: She didn't want anyone else?
R: No. Even, even that Dane [R's father's brother, Dane Malungana], he called her, along with the other women, [whose husband was] the minister's brother who died, Kuswane. Mmm. He called my mother, he called Muhlavasse, he called Ntongasse, to say this. 2 "Well. You, Ntongasse, you are already a woman of age. I don't know what you're thinking in your head, because what I want to say now, I say because my sister-in-law [Anina] is still very young. She might want to arrange a man, [and] be afraid of me. I, no. Because I can't manage to take you [to be my wives]. I am a mufundhisi [minister]. 3 I have my wife, I have my work. But if someone there outside, who is trying for you, so you can satisfy your body with him, he shouldn't be afraid, to come speak with me. To say, 'Look, I desire your sister-in-law, I would like to be able to play with her, to help her in some small way.' If someone wants that, you can tell me." And then, that mamana [mother], Ntongasse, who was the first here of the house, [the first] daughter-in-law of my grandmother, she said, "Eh, if it were me, no. You see that I'm already a woman of age. I don't want any man. It's enough that your brother died, he left me, right then I said, 'Ah, I don't want to be bothered with another man.'" Mmm. And that Muhlavasse too, she said the same thing. And then he said, to my mother, "And you?" She says this. "Me, I don't want a man. Mm-mm, I don't want one. It's enough that my husband left me with two children"—because one girl died, the one who came after me. "I will endure this. For me to go around, catch problems from others, no. I don't want it." And then, he said this. "But you should try to find yourself one, who can cleanse tindzhaka [pollution from death] for you. You can't remain with the tindzhaka of my brother, when they say that it's prohibited to remain with tindzhaka when you have two children. And you too, must get rid of this tindzhaka. It's not good, this way. You being very young, you can get rid of it, arrange a man to get rid of the tindzhaka." And then my mother said, "Ah, all right. I'll still think about it. It's enough that you've said this to me, because I'm young—I'll think about it. I know that there are many [men] who want me!" Because there were many men, eh! Even some of them [laughs]—since my mother sometimes went to drink vukanyi [liquor made from nkanyi fruit] and got a little drunk! Ah, the men came, saying "Hah! Heh! That one, since she's drunk, today! I'll see if she leaves here for home, I'll grab her, in the path! I'll do what I want with her!"

And then, there was one, his name was Musoni, Musoni Nhlongo. Handsome, that man! He had two wives. He was always going after my mother, always running after my mother. And later, when my uncle said that, she said, "All right. I can accept him, so he can get rid of my tindzhaka. But it's not so that later I'll continue with him! He can only cleanse me of tindzhaka, that's all." And then, she went to tell my uncle, that Dane. "In the Nhlongo family, there is one who wants me, called Musoni." He said, "Yes. That Musoni, he already came to talk with me. To ask if he could go after my sister-in-law, because 'I like her very much. She's pretty.' I said, 'Ah! That, I don't know. It's up to you and to her. If she accepts, yes, you can continue with her.'" Then he went to tell my mother, "Ah, I've already spoken with Dane, on your behalf. To say that, I like you very much. And also, you won't remain with tindzhaka, while there is someone who wants you. But why don't you want men? You're always rejecting them, many men who want you, and you don't want them." She said, "Look. I didn't want to be bothered, because my husband, he really loved me. Now I'm going to arrange another man who could be a bandit? To beat me, to treat me badly, while my husband never treated me badly?" He said, "Ah! But me, I can't do that." "All right." My mother accepted him, to cleanse her of tindzhaka.

There, they did what they did, and later, my mother went to tell my uncle. "Look, yesterday, Musoni came, I accepted him, what he came to ask for, I accepted him, so he would get rid of my tindzhaka. He's gotten rid of my tindzhaka." "Ah, all right. If now you're clean, of tindzhaka—but the children of my brother, that's what I want, because you are still very young. You can't remain with the tindzhaka of my brother." Well. From there, they began to go on. We always went to sleep in the hut of our aunt, Ntongasse, the wife of the first son of our grandmother, so that my mother, with that Musoni, could do what they wanted, inside her hut. In the morning, he went home, sometimes he came here, and so on. Well. [R gathers her breath] Later, there at his house, there was noise with his wives! Because they were no longer seeing much of their husband! Because of my mother. He was always there, at the home of my mother, always coming here to sleep. And they too wanted him, you know! But they were never finding their husband, because of my mother. It was jealousy! He was always sleeping at my mother's house. Only sometimes he went home to eat, to take a bath in the river or whatever, or sometimes he ate at my mother's house. She made food, and put it there for him to eat. [R raises her voice] And already that man, he was already—what? He was crazy, because he liked my mother very, very much! But there at his home, there was trouble. And later, when my mother heard that those wives of Musoni, that there was noise with their husband because of her, one day she said, "Eh, Musoni. You [R smacks her hands together], disappear from here, from my house! You can stay there at your house, with your wives. Because, I'm already hearing my name, that people are speaking my name. Many people are coming to tell me—that 'Boy! There is jealousy. They're jealous, the wives of Musoni, because of you, because they say that they're no longer seeing their husband because of you. He's always at your house, and sleeps there, and everything.'" And then she said, "It's better if you stay there at your house." And Musoni said, "Look. You accepted me, because I liked you a lot, and you too, you liked me. Those women who are at home, they don't rule my life! And I already told them that now, I'm going to cleanse the tindzhaka of N'waXumana. And they accepted. If they accepted, well? Also, I'm going there to satisfy their needs." And my mother said, "That's fine. You can still come here. But some days you have to stay at home. To satisfy your wives. So they're not always speaking badly of me, of my name. That I'm going around snatching their husband. And that they no longer have a husband, because of N'waXumana." Ah! There was always noise.

Then, one day, they were out drinking vukanyi. And my mother was already, well, a little drunk. [laughs] There was a song, about jealousy. Eeh. There was a song that she, she was singing. And the others were clapping their hands. [R sings in falsetto:] "Eeeeh, eeeeh, uyo kelekeleee!" When my mother was drunk, ah! [laughs] And those, those fellow wives, they were sitting there. And she got up, because there were many there, who—when you wanted to dance, you danced. You sang, you danced—they danced, there! They're there, drinking vukanyi. Whoever is already happy, if she wants to dance, she dances, the others sing to accompany her. And one day my mother got up. Heh! I still remember this song. She says [R sings:],

Uyo kelekeleeee! You're getting thin!
Uondza uli tani, You're becoming emaciated [?],
Uondzela hi wanuna! You're becoming emaciated because of the man!
A nuna, a na mina, The husband, he's with me,
Kambe wena, uyo kelele, But you, you're getting thin,
Hi vukwele!  Because of jealousy! 4

And her friends, they already knew that, the wives of Musoni, they were going around very unhappy with her. And she, too, as a joke, she had to sing that song. And they sing to accompany her, the others. My mother's friends, they clap their hands. Eeeh! [R sings song again] And the others, from being happy, got up to dance with her there. Eeh, they help her! [R sings song again] Ah, my mother was pretty, Heidi! [laughs] She was beautiful, my mother. . . . They said, "Do you see her, N'waXumana!" [R sings song again, imitates clapping/foot-pounding:] Xigum-vugum-vugum-vugum- vugum-vugum-vugum-vugum-vugum- vugum-vugum-vugum [R laughs, catches breath]-vuvugum-vuvugum-vuvugum! . . .

H: Were you there, on that day?
R: No, she was singing there, when she went to drink with the others. We sometimes could hear when she was singing, there where people were drinking. And we knew, heh! Mama is dancing, indeed, she's drunk! [laughs] But ah! She didn't stay long, with Musoni. Yee! They even came to blows. They fought, right there in the path! [laughs]
H: Your mother, and Musoni?
R: Eeee!! Ohh! Eh-heh! Because he was, he was so jealous, that man! If there was someone who said, "Eh, N'waXumana," there at the place where they were drinking vukanyi—because when they pour vukanyi, a man who wants to offer some to a woman he knows, when he wants to rest a little, from drinking, he gives it to her. Mmm. "Eh, here is the ndzeko [gourd]. Take it, have a drink." And the woman, she gets up, she takes the ndzeko from him, she thanks him, she drinks. The pots, they were big, you know! And whoever wanted to offer some to a woman, offered it. But without courting her! They just gave it, that's all. . . . And it wasn't only my mother who was offered drinks from men! But there were many who wanted to give them to her. But that Musoni, he didn't want that. If a man appeared, "Eh, N'waXumana! Ah, take my place, here is the byala [beer]" She gets up, she goes to drink it. If she doesn't want it, she says, "Ah! I don't want anymore byala." Especially when she already feels that it's going into her head, she leaves, she escapes, she goes home. Without saying goodbye to anyone, because when she says, "Ah, so long, I'm going," [she thinks], "it's possible that the men who want me, they'll go wait in the path, to attack me." Mmm.

And then one day, they were drinking byala. Musoni, well, he thinks that one man is courting N'waXumana. "Ah you, N'waXumana, why do the men want you so much? Because I see that you, when you're here drinking, many men are calling your name. And also, many of them don't like me anymore because they know that you're my wife. They don't like me because they thought that they would be the ones to get you. And they're always giving you something to drink! One of these days, I'll beat you!" Mama said, "Mmm. One of these days you'll beat me?" He says, "Eee." "You." He says, "Eee." "You beat me?" He says, "Eee. Because the men like you too much when they go for byala—because they want you!" [She says,] "Eh! Those men, they say they want me. It's the same thing as you said to me! You thought you were the only one who wanted me? There were many who wanted me. In the time that you cleansed tindhzaka for me, there were many who wanted to do this! And it was I who didn't want them. Now, I accepted you, that's it. You cleansed tindzhaka for me, and now, you want to order me around? In this way? You're even promising to beat me? Eh! My husband never beat me, well, I'm going to be beaten by you? Ah! You're just playing. You can't beat me." He said, "All right. You'll see, one of these days it will happen." And he fell quiet.

Later, another day, there was one man, Mahachuyani, Mahachuyani Nhlongo. "Eh, N'waXumana! Mulamu! 5 Come and have a drink! They've poured for me." She says, "All right, Nhlongo, thank you. I'll drink it." She goes, she takes a drink. Eee! Musoni! They finished drinking. "Eh! I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home." And he says, "Eh, I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home, I'm going home." Mama leaves, she goes. Musoni, he waits, then he follows behind her! "Eh, N'waXumana!" Mama, she [stops]. He says, "What did I tell you the other day?" "What did you tell me the other day?" "Didn't I tell you that I would beat you?" "You'll beat me? Why?" "Why does Mahachuyani say, 'Take my place, drink for me!'? Weren't there many women there to [give] byala to? Were you the only one who wanted to drink? I said I would beat you!" So he hit her, my mother! [R laughs, makes sounds of punching, wrestling:] Tontola-tontola-tontola-tontola-tontola-tontola-tontola—the two of them, they fall to the ground, waaah! On the ground! [laughs] "You will listen, you!" "No, you will listen!" . . . Then he was underneath, and my mother was on top of him! Yeee! Eh-heh! "Heh, you say you'll beat me?!? You beat me?!?" With her fingernails, on his face, and his throat! She was smacking him, punching him, with her nails out like this! On his face! "Eh, N'waXumana, you're killing me!" Well, some other people were coming down the path. They said, "Why is N'waXumana on the ground, with someone underneath her? What's the problem, N'waXumana?" Hee! Heh, Musoni! She says, "Ask him! Why I'm on top of him, beating him. If it had been him on top, he would have killed me! But with luck I was able to make him fall." . . . [R describes how Anina tripped Musoni] "Heh, Musoni! Are you ordering around the wife of the mufundhisi? Hmm? You know that she's the wife of the mufundhisi. Well, even if she's not his wife, she's his sister-in-law, because she's the wife of the brother of that mufundhisi. She lets you cleanse her tindzhaka, so you start giving her orders? Heh, heh, heh! You're crazy, Nhlongo! You're crazy, crazy, crazy! Hah! Leave her alone, this Tivane, leave her, leave her, Anina." Then my mother says, "I, in front of all of you, I swear that he will never step foot in my house again! I'm swearing it, so you'll hear. Because he's already threatened me, 'I want to beat you!' Me, I'm not his wife! Me, I'm the wife of Jorge, the brother of Dane! He's dead. And he, because I let him cleanse tindzhaka for me, when I had it—because I couldn't be cleansed by Dane, he said [I should] accept him to do it for me. So he thinks he can beat me, because men gave me byala?! Many women, many women go to drink there—but me, I can't? Eh! . . . He's jealous of a woman, when she's not his wife? Me, I'm the wife of the Malungana family. I'm not the wife of the Nhlongos!"

Well, Mama, she goes home. She goes to tell my uncle, Dane. "You're the one, you said I should be cleansed of tindzhaka. So now, this has happened. . . . " And my uncle said, "Hah! I don't know, how this happened, because I was the one who obliged you to cleanse tindzhaka with him. But he can't beat you. Not even my brother beat you, and now he, he raises his hand against you? No. It can't be." And my mother said, "Look, from this day on, I no longer want Musoni in my house. Me, I'm not a prostitute [gelegele], staying with this man, this man, this man, this man. 6 Mm-mm. My husband, he died. I accepted [Musoni] because, he cleansed tindzhaka for me. Now he starts to beat me. Now I have these scratches in my face, that he gave me." Later, he called Musoni, that Dane. He comes. He sits down. Dane, he says, "N'waXumana was telling me that you beat her. Out of jealousy, from when the others give her byala, and you say they are her husbands. Don't you know that it was I who gave the order, to my sister-in-law, to [accept] you, to cleanse her of tindzhaka? . . . And now you're treating her like your wife—how is that? Not even my brother beat that woman. He really loved her. Yet now you, you're beating her, out of jealousy! Don't you have your own wives at home?" "Ah, I have two, yes. As you know." "Well, if you feel like beating someone, go there and beat your wives, at home! Not here in my house. I don't want to hear that. And I also can't tell my sister-in-law not to go over there and play with the other women, drinking. Since it's the season for vukanyi, 7 many people are going out to drink, in the villages." [The same as if it were] the season for making byala with corn, that beer of long ago, xinto—because it wasn't for selling. In that time, Heidi, they didn't sell anything. It was just drinking. It's not like now, when it's only, when a person has byala [only] to sell. In that time, no. They made it just to, to drink to be happy! Mmm. To dance, whoever wants to dance. It was a time of happiness, truly! Now, I don't know. . . .

Well, N'waXumana—[Dane] called her. He said, "Call that N'waXumana, to come here." Well, they call her. She goes and sits with Musoni. [Dane] says, "Do you see this one? I was the one who called him. When you came to me, and told me that story. Then, I called him, to ask him, 'Why did you beat her?' Ah, he said, 'Yes, I beat her, because of jealousy, because I saw that those who gave her byala, it's because they wanted her.' 'Ah, if they give her byala, it's because they are her husbands?' 'Yes.' 'But you, when you ran after her, you didn't know that there were other men who wanted her?' 'Ah, I knew.' 'And then, when she's with you, you don't know that other men are always trying to pull her to their side?' 'Ah, I know it.' 'Indeed! So if other men court her, you will beat her? It was they who ran after her, it wasn't because she wanted them to.' 'Ah, I'm sorry.'" And then, [Dane] said, "N'waXumana, do you hear what he says?" She says, "Me?" He says, "Eee." She says, "This one, . . . I understand that he's apologizing now. I'll think about it some more. But for now, he'll stay home with his wives. To leave me in peace! If I decide to forgive him, it is I who will tell him, that he can return to my house. . . . " She said that. Then Dane, "Did you hear? What N'waXumana says? She says, 'Go home and wait there, at your house.' Until she says, 'Yes, I forgive you, you can come.' If she doesn't say this, . . . you cannot put one hand on her. I'll put you in jail, I will." He said that, Dane. "Because she is the wife of my brother—the widow of my brother. Leave her in peace, with her children. And I will look after her life." . . . After that, my mother didn't see Musoni anymore. She didn't want him. Because, I remember one day, my mother said that Musoni was drunk, and he said, "Look. Even though you don't want to accept me, because I like you, one of these days I'll take what I want, by force!" Then my mother said, "Eh-heh! Yes, when I am drunk, and I can't do anything. But what I will do to you, will [prevent you from] doing that. Because, at the time that you go to throw me to the ground, to force me, when you are taking off your pants, this hand of mine will be working! And you will feel it, you will scream!" That is, she will work with this hand by seizing his worm [i.e., penis] and pulling it! "Yaaah!!" . . . Mmm. And he never again said, "I want you," to my mother. And my mother, she never arranged another man. Mmm.

Tavasse Ubisse

10 May 1995, Facazisse

R: Mmm, I always used to go there, to the house of my uncle, always. Until my uncle died, that brother of my mother, Patapata. I always used to go. But later, poor thing, he had pain in his legs, mmm. He went to the hospital, but they didn't give him anything, it just stayed that way. And he died, but he didn't die because of illness. He shot himself. Mmm. He killed himself. By taking a gun, doing this [R demonstrates holding gun to her head, pulling trigger]. That is, first he killed his wife, because his wife was no longer going around [i.e., sleeping] with him. And he knew that. Well, he takes the gun, and her too, he shoots her.
H: What was her name?
R: Tavasse, Tavasse Ubisse. And he had children because, eee! He had wives! But later the other wives went away, because of this one, who was so jealous. She was always going around talking against the other wives, here at home. And he really loved her. . . . So they went away. . . . And he said, "I left my other wives, because of you. Thinking that you really loved me. And now that you see I'm a cripple, now you're going around like this, in this terrible way." Mmm. When he discovered it, well. He didn't say anything. Since he always had bullets, because he was a hunter, eee! Later, at night, he decided—[R pauses] they say that it happened around midnight. There, the wife of his son, she heard a shot, and she said to her sister-in-law, the daughter of my uncle, "Look," she said, "Eh, sister-in-law, sister-in-law, I'm hearing a shot, in the night! If it's father, ah, he's killed himself!" They were wondering about that, when they heard another shot. Eee! They went out. When they went there [to Patapata's hut], oh, it was already full of blood. And he was there dead, and his wife was there dead. And there was a little child there, maybe five years old. He was there because he woke up with those two shots, inside the house. When they went in, they found that my uncle and his wife, they were already dead. Later, many people came, in the night, those who heard the two shots. Many people came at night, those neighbors! . . .
H: Patapata's wife must have done something very bad for her husband to react this way!
R: Mmm, yes. It's because when he heard that she was doing this, with the régulo [colonial chief] of that area—his wife, she was the régulo's lover.
H: His wife, with the régulo?
R: Eh, my uncle's wife. She arranged a lover while my uncle was still alive. That's why my uncle was so upset, because he left his other wives thinking that it was she who loved him the most. Sometimes he got angry with them, because she was always going around complaining, complaining about the other wives, saying "This one did this, this, this, this. That one did this, this to me." And my uncle was always going around with a sore head, he didn't like that, all that shouting and screaming, he gave them beatings. And the others didn't like this, to be beaten because of her. So they left, and she stayed alone. And later, when she saw that my uncle—it began at night, that problem with his legs, that he couldn't walk. There in the hospital they couldn't cure him, they sent him to tin'anga [diviners/healers], but nothing. . . . People were going around saying things, that there are people who bewitched him, who arranged for tin'anga to harm him, because he had everything. There, the whites in the administration, they went to his place with money, to buy skins—he had money, he had everything. Later, they arranged someone [to make it] so that he couldn't walk. Well. I don't know if it's true, but [R pauses], there are things that happen in the world. Mmm. Later, those who saw that, eee, they were going around saying to my uncle, "Eh, your wife, she's already doing this, this, this. With the régulo."

And then, one day, [Tavasse] made some beer, and she hid it. So that at night she could take that pot, with the beer, and give it to the régulo. Later, she ran into a daughter of my uncle, on the path. While she was already on her way there, to the régulo's house. And the child, the daughter, she was only four or five years old, she went to tell her father. "Papa? Do you know that Mama took that pot, the pot of beer that was here?" He said, "Eh, you didn't tell me that there was a pot with beer in it. How could that be?" "Ah, Papa, come here and see. The pot was here, Mama took it." It was like that. And meanwhile on the path there, [Tavasse] ran into her husband's cousin. And when he arrived [at Patapata's house], he said, "Eh, listen here, how is it that I ran into Tavasse now, with beer? She said that she was going to the régulo's house, [but] this morning she already went there, to take vukanyi." And yet she had hidden it. . . . He saw, hah! For sure. And he fell quiet. When she returned, he said, "Eh Tavasse, come here." And she came. She sat down. "Wife, where did you go?" She says, "I went over there, to ntlhaveni, 8 to the régulo's place, Xikotli's. Because this morning, the pot that I took over there was small. And the other woman took big pots, yet the pot I took was small. I asked some people if there was still vukanyi there, for the people who were talking and drinking there tonight. And they said that there wasn't. [That's why] I go to the chief's place." [Patapata] didn't say anything, because he already knew what his daughter had said, what his cousin had said. Later, the next morning, he said, "Look, take this ten escudos, 9 go to the shop, buy two bullets. I want to go hunting, because I have no meat left to eat." She took that ten escudos, she went to the shop to buy two bullets. Thinking that it was for hunting animals, to have covelo [sauce] at home. She returned home. She handed over the bullets. He said, "Ah, good. There are two. One for me, the other for her." He fell quiet. Later, around five o'clock, he said, "Ah, I would like some water, to take a bath." They heated up water, and poured it in the xihiso [wide, deep clay bowl] and he went to take a bath. He had dinner. Later, "Ah, now I want to go to sleep." He went. There inside, to go to sleep. They put a lantern, like people do, at night. She will sleep there, on that side, and the man will sleep on this side.

Then, I don't know if it was midnight or what, he woke up, he saw that his daughter, like his wife, were spread out, this way. . . . He got on his knees, to peer over there. That was so the bullet wouldn't hit his daughter. He got up, he pulled the trigger. Then, he shot himself, on this side [R points to side of head]. Just then his daughter woke up, she saw all this, that my uncle had done. He died, he died right there on the mat. . . . Then, his daughter-in-law, when she woke up, and his daughter, they went in there. They saw that the two of them were dead. And the child was already there outside [the hut], "Laaaah!" . . . [R imitates wailing] And they began to cry. And the neighbors, they ran, they came near, many of them—they say that many of them slept there, that night. And they said, "But what happened, how did this happen?" "Ah! I don't know. It's the régulo who's involved with this. Because she saw that her husband was already like that, he couldn't go out hunting anymore, all that. He was always sitting, poor thing, with his legs crossed [i.e., doing nothing]. So she took a lover, do you hear?" Mmm. That's why, there in the administration, when the administrator wanted to know what happened, some people who knew, they said "Eh! Truly this man was justified. Because the wife, it was she who did those things to provoke him. And now they're dead. It was her fate—to arrange another man while your husband is still living, oh!" Mmm. And later, my mother, they came to tell my mother, mmm, this happened. My mother cried, "That poor thing, he wanted to kill himself." Because he was the only brother that she had. Even though she had other brothers, who had the same father, but they had their own mothers. He was her only true brother.

Lives of Mothers: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina


Note 1: Rijo (Portuguese): hard, unyielding, unswervingly faithful.  Back.

Note 2: Muhlavasse and Ntongasse were the widows of Kuswane, the eldest brother of Rosalina's father. After Kuswane's death they lived on in the Malungana homestead, under Dane's care.  Back.

Note 3: Dane Malungana was minister at the Swiss Mission church at Nsongeni (Caniçado) from 1922 to the mid-1930s.  Back.

Note 4: Vukwele: specifically, jealousy among co-wives.  Back.

Note 5: Mulamu, alternative for namu (sister-in-law). Mahachuyani addresses Anina this way because his own wife was also a member of the Tivane clan.  Back.

Note 6: Gelegele (like nghwavava, a synonymous term) refers both to women who exchange sex for money and to women who have multiple sexual partners, either at the same time or, if there is an inappropriately brief waiting period between each one, serially. Translated into Portuguese as prostituta or puta (whore).  Back.

Note 7: Nkanyi fruits (canhu in Portuguese) begin to ripen in January in the Magude area. The vukanyi season, which can last through February, is a time of heightened labor for women and sometimes round-the-clock celebration for rural communities. Vukanyi preparation, communal drink-parties, and women's ceremonial delivery of pots of vukanyi to the chief (as a first-fruits tax) provide the setting for many of the liveliest stories narrated by women. Henri A. Junod, with his characteristic blend of fascination and moral outrage, described vukanyi season as "the saturnalia, the bacchanalia, the carnival of the tribe!" (Henri A. Junod, The Life of a South African Tribe [London: Macmillan, 1927], 1:397-404).  Back.

Note 8: Ntlhaveni: literally, place of ntlhava (sandy, light-grey soil).  Back.

Note 9: Escudo (Portuguese): unit of colonial currency.  Back.


Binding Memories: Women as Makers and Tellers of History in Magude, Mozambique