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Lives of Women: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina

Lives of Women (Valentina Chauke)


2 February 1996, Facazisse

V: My heart hurts when I remember my husband! But if you want me to remember, tell me. Even if my heart hurts, say, say [what you want]! It's no problem. My husband, he teaches in the church. People come from Somanyani, he brings them in to worship. He brings them in, truly, the people of Somanyani. My husband, he's a muvangeli [evangelist]. He worked for the church, he taught them here at home. He works with them, he works to teach people.
H: Were there many people in that church, in Mavavaze?
V: Mmm. Women. The men, they didn't come out. The men, they were many only at the end of the month. They drank a lot of byala! Mmm. Women, they were many because—especially some of them, it's because they're poor. Since the church can help them. It helps them because, we teach them God's words, so they open their eyes. They help them, they teach the women, the ones who know, that lord Jesus, what kind of person is he? How was he born? Mmm. They're helped by these things, they liked to hear them. Because, there is also, when they take this nguvu, they take it and give it to them, they say, "You take this, you're a xisiwana [destitute person]." Mmm. It's to help them. Maybe cloths, maybe something else, even food, well it's because of poverty. They help the poor with food. They say, "Let's prepare food, we'll visit the home of so-and-so." Mmm. You visit the xisiwana, you give her something. . . . She thanks you. They're helping the poor, they're helping the poor, with clothing. . . .

Me, I worked at home, I didn't work outside. I cooked. And I cultivated. Mmm, it's like this. We had fields, they weren't far from home. We just cultivated. When you're cultivating, you know what time is dina [dinner]. You go and cook dinner at home. He returns here, to wash, in water that is warmed up for him. . . . They call him, they send people to call him. They say, "The work of today, it has arrived." . . . Hee! I was loved by my n'wingi [mother-in-law], this one who gives birth to my husband. [But] there at my vukatini, there was always fire! They were troublesome, those two! The husband [i.e., V's husband's brother] and the wife. Me, I found this elder brother [of my husband], this Makupe. He married a woman. But he's always furious! When he beats her, he seizes her hair, he goes 'eee!' When he beats his wife, he pulls out her hair with his hands. My husband, he was very quiet. He was so quiet! . . . If he had gone on living, we would have separated from [his brother]. . . .

H: But you had a good relationship with your mother-in-law?
V: Yeee! She likes me so much, she has her own work, then she turns around, she'll work on my field with me. When she sees that there is a lot of grass in my field, she leaves [her field], she'll cultivate mine, she'll help me here, so that we'll finish and we'll go home. She really loved me! . . . I didn't know how to gather nkaka, me. She goes and gathers it, she returns with firewood. She'll arrive and pour it out, she gives it to me. That nkaka, she cooks it. When she cooks it for me, she says, "Here it is." She serves it to us. Even firewood for cooking, she goes and gathers it. We cook with it. . . . When she didn't see me, her heart really hurt. . . . I had my own hut. And they, there is a hut for them, my husband's brother and his wife, a little over there. I had my own hut, and my own ndyangu [yard], me and mamana, the mother of my husband. Those children of mine, I didn't carry them on my back. I didn't know how to carry them on my back, she carried them for me. Other people, when I go to the river, they say, "Valentinoo!" [laughs] "Greetings, Valentinoo!" I say, "Eeeh!" They say, "But that child, where did you leave her? Your pregnancy, did it disappear?" I say, "She's here, she's at home." They say, "Yee! Doesn't she cry?" I say, "When she cries, that's her problem, at home!" . . .

One of those children, of the elder [brother], I found him when he was a boy, he was a child. Well, they take those children. They give them to me, those two children. A girl, and this boy, he's in Misaveni, in Maputo. Their mother, she loves them very much. She gives them to me, she says, "Bring them up for me." Because that place, she was sitting and her heart, how could it be happy? Her heart—to sit there and be beaten? I raise them, those children. Well that one, the boy, they gave him to me when I was still at home. They send him and he comes, I'll sit with him. I sit with him, that boy, and I raise him. I was still a girl, I hadn't yet married. Because of their love, and they see my love, for the children. Those children, they loved me, they really loved me. . . . This one [the girl], her mother gives her to my mother-in-law. This one, the girl. Well, when I go to my vukatini, I take the two children, they give them to me. Mmm. I hadn't yet given birth to my daughter, Talita. I look after the two children of Makupe. Me, when they know [that the children love me], they say, Makupe says, "Heh-heh! They want her! They don't want us, they don't love us. You'll be her children! They love her too much, that junior wife!" Do you understand? Are you listening? Well. They really loved me. . . . . They go, they go, they go. When they don't see me, they stop [playing], they come back home. They arrive, they call me, they say, "We want mamana." Mmm. This tree, in the woods, the n'wambu. When they go and pick the n'wambu fruit, they pick n'wambu, they pick n'wambu. They come home, they give it to me. And their mother, she sits alone. . . .

H: Was it easy for you to make new friends when you moved to your vukatini?
V: We didn't play together, because the knowledge of school, these things are very late [to reach that area]. Well, they don't know anything. And yet they laugh at you, truly. They laugh at you, they say, "Those people, they're full of school, they're full of school!" My friend, at my vukatini, it's the wife of the muvangeli. We were always together, with [her] friends, the wife of the muvangeli. And they're there, when we go to church. And me, I arrive and I'm happy, because there are other girls at church. There's the wife of the muvangeli. This one at home [i.e., V's sister-in-law], she doesn't know the church, she's dirty. We joke, we play, we talk. We play. Mmm. [The evangelist's wife], she's Sara, of the Khosa clan. We were very, very good friends! Where she goes, we find each other. When we come here to church [at Antioka], we come together. Mmm. We worked together, for the church. . . .

24 February 1996, Facazisse

V: But this man, the brother of my husband, he's a devil! . . . He was a heathen through and through. When visitors arrive, we were used to cooking food for them, we give it to them. When he sees me cooking, I cover the pot, I have to cover the food [to give it to the visitors]. He says, "We're sitting here with two headmen [singular, munumzane]! 1 When she cooks, she covers the food—the visitors have their food covered for them. She covers the pot for them, she goes and gives them the food. There are too many headmen here!" He does this, he goes "mmm." [V draws line in sand] Over here is my place. Over there is his place. Me, I look after this vusiwana [poverty, solitude] of my mother-in-law. It's me who cooks food for her. . . . He says, "They go to church, they greet the people of the church. We have visitors from church here at home. They're known by him [i.e., V's husband]! Well me, I'm here alone, with my wife!" Heh! That heathen. When he eats food, that we cook for him, I serve it to him, he goes and sits here, in the doorway. He eats sitting in the doorway. Well, when he sees them coming over there, he covers his food, he hides it [inside]. He comes out, he sits down again. He says we are fools. He says, "Those fools. That wife, she's just like her husband. When she sees someone, she takes food and gives it to them. I thought my brother would marry a woman who is like us. But that wife is just like her husband." This man, he didn't want us. He didn't want us! . . . Devil, he was a devil through and through!

Truly, he kills my husband. He kills him this way. He wakes up in the morning, he comes and wakes up my husband, in the morning, while we're still sleeping. He wakes him up, they go. He doesn't tell him what he'll be told. Well, he goes, he hears . . . finally, [his brother] says, "It's today, we're going to end this problem with the books." My husband, he has a book full of people, he writes them in one book, one book. They don't have one, his brother, well [my husband] writes his [brother's] wife, and his children, in the same book. Well, [his brother] says, "Let's divide it, so that you, you take them [i.e., his own family], you'll have your book, and me, I'll have my book." . . .

A: I don't understand, vovo, what book is this?
V: It's for the taxes.
A: Of the church?
V: It's for, for the people of the tiko [country].
A: The taxes for the xikanikiso [government]?
V: Eeh, for the xikanikiso. He takes him, he takes my husband. He says that he wants [the book], he doesn't want to stay with us anymore, they won't stay together anymore! At this place. . . . He says, "Go back to Khoseni, get out of here! Go to the church there in the land of the Khosa [i.e., Antioka]! In this land, it's I who choose the site of my village. Leave here, you can go anywhere, anywhere, anywhere! But we'll see each other!" He died, my husband. He was killed because he hesitated, with that book. He refused. [His brother] says, "It's me who pays taxes for my children." 2 . . . He says, "We'll see each other!" He kills him with those things of his, of the night.
A: He bewitches him?
V: Eeh. He's a real noyi [witch]. When he tells him Hitavonana! [We'll see each other!], he's not saying anything else except that my husband will die. 3 He's terrifying, that man!

2 February 1996, Facazisse

V: He dies, my husband. The father of Talita, and my child, this first-born. He dies. He gets thinner and thinner, the father of Talita. After a month, it wasn't [even] a month, the child follows him. But it didn't hurt me. Because, when he's sick, he had his question, he says, "When a mulungu goes back to his own home, doesn't he take his banga [money] 4 with him? Doesn't he go home with his money, doesn't he take it with him? And me, if God helps me . . ., I'll go home with my money, that child." Well, it really made me suffer! Because, what is he asking [God] to do with that child? Well, he dies, a little later he takes the child. I didn't suffer anymore, because I know that the child is with him. . . . He says, "If Talita were a man, my wife, she would stay here, he would look after her. But since she's a woman, Talita, you [i.e., V] will stay and you will suffer." He's talking about this brother, this one who beats his wife. . . .

24 February 1996, Facazisse

V: Truly, he was so happy, Makupe! He says, "Since he died, I'll marry her!" He's always saying, "Cattle of my brother, where are you going? We married at N'waHeyeni, the fat cattle of N'waHeyeni!" 5 . . . And me, he used to stalk me. Me! He stalked me, [he says], "Let's go gather timhandze [poles, for building huts]. I want you to go carry timhandze for me." He says, "My brother, we're going together. When we cut the timhandze, she'll walk carrying them on her head for me." [My husband] says, "In our home, that's taboo [swa yila]! For a woman to bring back timhandze." He says to me, "He'll cut them, and I'll go with him." This elder brother, he says, "You're my brother. I want her to carry the timhandze. I refuse [to go with you]. When you don't have any strength." I say, "He's your brother, he has strength!" When he goes into the woods—he was a hunter. I reject [the words of my husband], I say, "I want to go, I want to see his strength!" Me, I want to see his strength. . . . And me, I'm strong, God gave it to me, strength. I do this—[V demonstrates tucking her nguvu between her legs]. He didn't wear pants, that man. He didn't wear pants, he just wore tinguvu. . . . When he's out hunting, he's hunting me! He carries a duiker here, on his back. He tells those boys who are herding cattle. He says, "When she arrives, don't show her the place with the timhandze!" [When I get there], I ask the boys, "Do you know that place with the timhandze?" They say, "We know it, but we're afraid of him!" Aida! Are you listening? Aida, when he comes, we fight!
A: Who?
V: Me, with him!
A: In the woods?
V: Eeh!! My belly! It was fat. Eeh, I was really fat [i.e., strong]! I say, "Show me those timhandze! I'll carry them home on my head." He says, "I'm not showing you." Well, he goes, "hoo!" [V mimics him trying to grab her] Eh! He wants to seize me, to make me his wife. Because he was surpassed by his younger brother, he goes and marries this woman, this thoroughbred, 6 one of those cattle of N'waHeyeni! . . . He wants me, he wants the thoroughbred for himself. [laughs]
H: What did you do, vovo?
V: Heee! I was really troublesome! I grab him. I say, "Me, when I follow you, I follow your spoor—that you're a man, I don't even see it!" There are women, they're gathering nkaka in their fields. They're gathering nkaka. I say, "This one, he wants to make me his wife!" They're afraid, truly. They fear him. They fear him. "Ah, help me! He says, 'Let's go carry timhandze together,' and yet finally he grabs me!" Since he sees that I'm seizing him with such force, he says, "Eeh! My brother marries a thoroughbred with strength!" We go from there, running. He carries the duiker on his head. He runs so far! He didn't go by the path, he went through the bush. He says, "He didn't marry a woman! He married a bandit!" [laughs] I was really terrible, daughter! I was really terrible. I tell him, "You, that you're a man, I don't see it! I see that you're a man only because you kill duikers. That's all! You, who killed my husband, you think you'll marry me? You won't marry me by fighting!" . . . I run, I arrive at home, I say, "He wants a thoroughbred, a thoroughbred," to his wife, I tell her. I say, "Your husband, he's there in the bush, I summoned him to fight, I beat him!" [laughs] She says, "You left him there, you didn't kill him there in the woods?" His wife, she says, "Why did you leave him, without killing him? You could have killed him!" . . .

2 February 1996, Facazisse

H: So did you stay at your vukatini after your husband died?
V: When he died? I didn't leave. I stayed there. Well. The time arrives, he quarrels with me, this elder [brother]. Well, we leave. Me. I stayed at my vukatini. At the muti that we build, my husband and I. [Then] we don't stay with him anymore. Mmm. I stayed four years. I leave, me, because of my heart. He says, "You can't stay here," he says it's his house. This man, my husband's brother. It's my heart! At last I say, "Me, stay at home with him, this devil?" He finished off my husband. Devil! . . . We leave together, my mother-in-law and I. Well, we didn't want to stay there anymore. . . .
H: Who is Marta's father, vovo?
V: Me, it didn't happen that my husband dies yesterday, I want a man [right away]. Mm-mm. There were years when I was just sitting. I didn't yet want a man. Well, later I had one, we end up with Marta, Talita and I. Well, he leaves, he goes away—heh, he goes, that's for sure!
H: What was his name, Marta's father?
V: He's António, Talita's father.
A: No, Marta's father.
V: It's him, António.
A: What is his clan name?
V: So you want to tear apart my children? The child of the other, he gives [me] a child—that child, she's the same. Talita's father, he's the father of this one, Marta. 7
H: So that man was just cleansing tindzhaka [pollution from death] for you, vovo—he wasn't a second husband.
V: Mmm! He's not my husband! Even his name, I don't know it. This man, he was sought out for me by Aida.
A: Me?
V: Ah—you, you know the name Aida, don't you? [laughs] Well, do you know it? The name Aida?
A: I don't know, vovo! [A laughs]
V: Heh! Aida . . . of the Maluleke clan. She's my ntukulu [granddaughter], this one who looked for a man for me. 8
H: Why did she do this for you?
V: Because I'm her kokwana, me. Eeh, they scorn me, they want me to be cleansed. I accept him—[then] I see that he really lives by drinking. I just take his belongings, I go and throw them in the tree, there! I say, "Today, you'll eat at your own house!" Eee! I could really trouble people with these arms! I had arms! Hoh! I didn't want him. I say, "Go home to Aida's place!" Mmm. I say, "You'll be at work"—he'll go to work with something to remind him of me! "They'll ask you, 'How did you get that scratch on your face?' You say, 'I was scratched by that cat named Chauke!'" [laughs] He goes, he goes—Aida, he asks her, "So what kind of people are you?" She says, "We're the Chaukes, va ka Xinyori-xa-humba, kangandzela ribyeni!" 9 Mmm. Chauke! They say, Xinyori-xa-humba, kangandzela ribyeni. [laughs] He says, "You courted a very troublesome woman for me!" [He says], "I'm going, I'm leaving! Take this person of yours, and go away! I don't ever want to see her again!" His clothes, I burn them! I go back, I throw his belongings in the nkaya trees! 10 I take leave of him there in the nkaya trees. When I say goodbye to him—"The road! There it is!" He went. He died at his own house. . . .
H: Did you ever have another husband after that?
V: I don't want another one. These two daughters of mine, I see they're enough.

24 February 1996, Facazisse

H: So both of your daughters were born in Mavavaze.
V: Mmm. And João, that husband of mine, 11 he was also born in Mavavaze. Talita, she was going around with a man, a worker. She gets pregnant. With João. Well, I beat her. I say, "Why do you do this? You're pregnant! I wanted you to find a young man in the church, to marry you. And you're so quiet, you're such a quiet person. 12 I thought that maybe, since you're quiet, you want to be married by a good boy." I beat her! This person, this boy, the one who makes her pregnant, I say, "Get out of here! Yah! I don't want to see you again!" Yee! He comes to visit, it's beginning to spit rain. It's raining, I say, "Here, you won't sit here! Go, to your own kin, sit at their place! Here, this is my husband's ndzhuti [shade] 13 here!" He wasn't in the church, he was only here to work, a worker. She wants to be married by a stranger! I chase him away. I chase him away, "Go to the place of your own kin! Here, here, this is the shade of my husband! It's not a place for a prostitute to sit!" Talita, I chased her away through beating. I was beating her. I beat her. I beat her, and she leaves. She goes, she gives birth there at her brother's place, at the home of the son of my sister. . . . 14 She goes and gives birth. This son, Nyongane, he sends a man. He says, "Go and tell mother that Talita gave birth." I say, "We don't know anything about it!" Me, in their faces, she hides it from me! I call the church, I go to tell them. "This daughter, they say she's pregnant." She denies it, she says, "I'm not pregnant." When I call the people from church, I call them, I say, "You'll show me, you'll tell me. This daughter, I hear that, they say she's pregnant. When I ask her, she doesn't accept it." They come from the church, the fellow women, and the wife of the muvangeli. They arrive at our house, they say, "Here in her belly, there's nothing. Her breasts, we don't see anything." Maybe they're hiding it from me, I don't know. They say, "We don't see it, her pregnancy."
H: Why did you call the church women, instead of your relatives?
V: Me, I belong to the church. I belong to the church. It's a duty to call them! . . . When a person sins, we call the people of the church, so that they'll make you see this problem. Long ago, the church, it's this way. I'll call them, they'll see for me if she has this pregnancy. . . .

Well, I take her, me. We come to the hospital here [at Antioka], I give her to the doctor. We see Misse Cochard. 15 And well, many days have passed [since the church women examined her]. But they didn't see it. This child, he doesn't sit here [V points to her abdomen], he wasn't in her belly. He sits here [V points to her side]. Cochard, Cochard, she arrives and she says, "This child, well, he's big here in her belly. If I weren't going away for a vacation, she wouldn't go home, she'd stay here, because the child, well he's already big. There are only a few days [i.e., a short time] before she gives birth. Well, I'm going, I'm going home to rest. If I weren't going to rest, she'd stay here with me, give birth while I'm here with her." Well, [Talita] goes outside. . . . Me, I tell Cochard, "That she's pregnant—it hurts me, because I didn't know she was pregnant." [Talita] leaves with great speed! Indeed, she runs. She passes by the home of her hahane. She cooks, she cooks in a hurry. She says, "When they arrive, they'll eat." And me, when I come, I'm angry. I arrive. I say, "Ah, the master [i.e., head of household], well where is he?" "The master, he's accompanying [Talita]. She went home." It's her hahane [who says this], "She went home." "Mmm, thank you. And me, I'm going home." I go home. I arrive at home. Talita, she's already there, she ran home to see her grandmother, this one who gave birth to her father. My mother-in-law. She says, "If you don't run, if you don't flee, when [your mother] arrives home, she'll beat you. Run! You can go to your brother's house, to Nyongane's. She won't come after you." Well, I arrive. I really beat her! I beat her. I beat her, I say, "You turn around and run, you return here—you trouble me, we wake up and go all the way to the missionary's place. And yet you know that you're pregnant!" Well, I beat her. She goes, when I beat her, to her brother's house, to Nyongane's place. There where she gives birth, that's where [the child] finds the name Nyongane. He's Johane—Nyongane, he says, "I see that he's Nyongane. But me, his namesake, I'm Johane." Mmm. For us, he's João, that name Johane, it's João.

H: So what happened after the baby was born? You said that Nyongane sent a man to tell you?
V: Mmm. Two of them come. He sends them, Nyongane, he says, "Go! Go and call her. Tell her, if you arrive and she gives you trouble, with her words about not wanting to see the child, ask her if it was I, her brother, who gave [Talita] that pregnancy! It's not my pregnancy, this child. It's her child. . . . " When they said that, I send her grandmother. She goes to see her, to see the child. Finally I go, I arrive there. I went. He really loved me, this son [Nyongane]. Mmm. He really loved me. I went. When he sees me, "You're sulking, you're not talking to me. You're sulking [against] the son of your sister." I say, "I'm not sulking against you. It's because of trouble with this one." I say, "Daughter, we want you to come home. A person can sin, when she sins, won't kinship forgive her?" Doesn't a person take her child back? She takes her child. We go home. Well, I see that this child, he's the master of the muti. I didn't give birth to one child. I remember my husband, his words about her, the mother of João. He says, "If she were a man, she would look after you. But she's a woman. I don't know how you'll stay here in this muti, when I die." Indeed, I forgave her. I raise this child. Because a child when he has two teeth, we suffer to raise him! [laughs] I raised him, this husband of mine. . . .
H: Was Talita not living with you at that time?
V: Yoh! Where was Talita? He stole her, that man, the father of João. She follows him to Xahakelana, she leaves the child at home. At my home. I stay with João, he sits with me. Well, and me, I say, "I'm following her to Xahakelana." I leave João at home, with the kokwana who gave birth to Talita's father. I leave him. Mmm. I went. There, hee! I went by train, this ida-volta. 16 Ida-volta! . . . You take a ticket, for ida-volta. You go and you go, with that ticket. Well, I arrive in Bilene-Macia. [Then] in Guijá. I'm going to Xahakelana, with that paper. Tomorrow you'll return with it, you won't have to take out any money. I got out, I go to Guijá, me, by that ida-volta train. Heh! It's far. We arrive in Guijá, I get down [from the train] at Guijá. Well, from Guijá I go on foot to Xahakelana. . . . I get there, I say, "You, come home. Your grandmother wants you." We found each other. [V pauses] She's—there's nothing to her! It's terrifying. That place, Xahakelana, it's the bush, it's the desert. They live by makwakwa. 17 They would have died if I hadn't gone there. They're dying, in that place of watermelons—they pound the leaves, they cook them, they say it's sauce!
A: Yeesh!
V: She was so, so thin!! Here [V points to her face], and here [V points to her arms]. She has no nguvu, she has no blouse. Well, I arranged clothing. I take my nguvu and I give it to her. I take a blouse, I give it to her. I say, "Me, I won't board the train with you, you like that!" She returned with me. She arrives, her sister, she cries when we get down [from the train]. Marta. She cries to see her sister so thin. . . . Well, we stay together. Until she's married by that Mukavele man. Talita—this man comes, the father of João! They come, they say, "He'll grab them, he'll steal João, and Talita." Well, I chase him away, this man. I chase him away. I say, "Here, no prostitutes sit here!"
 . . .
H: Why did you finally decide to move from Mavavaze to Facazisse?
V: It's because of poverty. Hee! Poverty, mother. When they say they're poor, they're lying. The poverty that I saw, it was big! Mmm, I saw great poverty. Facazisse, isn't it the land of the church? I didn't come here to be with the people of the tiko. I'm here in the place of the church. They're my relatives, all of them. In Makuvulane, my relatives. Ka muneri [the missionary's place], 18 Facazisse, my relatives. They wouldn't sit and watch me suffer. You can ask João. I return because of the church, because of poverty. Papa Sambo, he's the mulangutela, 19 he finds me a place. I say, "I won't stay out there anymore, in Mavavaze. Because now, the leaders of the church there, they've died. Well, people are going to the church of the MaZion. Our church, it wasn't going anymore. Well now, it's dead. They say it's just the Zionist church there now. Mmm. You can ask Sambo—you, Aida, ask Sambo, he went there, he knows.

Lives of Women: Author | Albertina | Rosalina | Valentina


Note 1: Munumzane: male head of the muti (homestead). Makupe was senior to Valentina's husband both in age and in rank, because he was the son of a wife who was senior to António's mother.  Back.

Note 2: It is hard to tell from Valentina's narrative exactly what this final conflict between the brothers was about, except that Makupe wanted them to separate their residences permanently. In an earlier interview Valentina stated that her husband "was killed [by his brother] because of cattle. [Makupe] says, 'The one with the books, since he's dying, you'll give the cattle to me.' Those cattle, they sit in here [pats her stomach], the cattle they sit inside his belly, they fill the belly of my husband. Indeed, they cried, these cattle." Interview with Valentina Chauke, 30 December 1995, Facazisse.  Back.

Note 3: Hitavonana (we will see each other), like the statement "I will see you," is a warning that the speaker intends to bewitch the person to whom s/he makes the threat.  Back.

Note 4: Banga (perhaps from bank): Aida translated this as money.  Back.

Note 5: N'waHeyeni is the local name for the Chobela Veterinary Research Station just east of Facazisse, possibly derived from the name of the first African manager of the state-owned livestock bred there. Makupe is complimenting Valentina's "fatness" by comparing her to one of these well-fed animals.  Back.

Note 6: Here Valentina uses a Portuguese word, raça, which in certain contexts can mean thoroughbred (e.g. cavallo de raça, thoroughbred horse).  Back.

Note 7: According to the rules of lovolo marriage, any children a woman bears after she has been widowed will take the xivongo of her husband. Since widows in theory are "cleansed" and then married by a man in their late husband's family, the birth father of subsequent children would have the same clan name as the first husband in any case. However, in the absence of an appropriate same-clan substitute for her husband, a widow may have a relationship with a man from outside her affinal family and still construct the relationship in terms of cleansing tindzhaka. Children born from this union will have the clan name of their mother's first husband as well.  Back.

Note 8: Aida Maluleke's paternal grandmother was N'waMbisa Chauke, so Valentina considered her a granddaughter.  Back.

Note 9: According to Jaques, Xinyori is the originary Chauke ancestor. Xinyori-xa-humba, kangandzela ribyeni is the first phrase of the formal Chauke xivongo (praise name). According to clan traditions, the son of Chauke (the first chief of the VaHlengwe) married the daughter of a Sono chief. The Sonos knew how to cook their food with fire, while the Chaukes did not. One day the son of Chauke stole a burning ember from the Sonos and brought it home in a humba (snail shell). The Sonos were angry and declared war on the VaHlengwe, but the latter—strengthened by their new diet—were victorious in battle. The son of Chauke was then named Xinyori-xa-humba: he who brings fire in a shell. The literal translation of kukangandzela ribyeni is to cut something into small pieces on a rock; Valentina uses the phrase here as metaphor and proof of the physical strength and capacity for violence she has inherited from her clan ancestors. See Henri A. Junod, The Life of a South African Tribe (London: Macmillan, 1927), 1:24; A. A. Jaques, Swivongo swa Machangana, 5th ed. (Braamfontein: Sasavona, 1995), 17-20.  Back.

Note 10: Nkaya: a type of acacia thorn tree with particularly long, sharp thorns.  Back.

Note 11: Valentina is referring jokingly to her grandson, with whom she was living in 1995-96, as her "husband."  Back.

Note 12: Kurhula: to be quiet, calm, at peace.  Back.

Note 13: Ndzhuti: literally, shadow or shade, but the shade of the central, largest tree on the grounds of a muti has special symbolic and social importance, representing the man who is that family's head.  Back.

Note 14: Talita fled to the home of Nyongane Khosa, whose mother was Khataza Chauke, a daughter of Valentina's father with one of his other wives (and so Valentina's makwavo [sister]).  Back.

Note 15: Louise Cochard was stationed at Antioka in the 1950s.  Back.

Note 16: Ida-volta: Portuguese term for return fare.  Back.

Note 17: Makwakwa: indigenous species of fruit, also known as monkey oranges.  Back.

Note 18: Ka muneri: still commonly used to refer to Facazisse/Antioka.  Back.

Note 19: Mulangutela (from kulangutela, to look for, wait for): a church elder responsible for receiving and settling people who come to the area from other places.  Back.


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