Fascinating Truths About Venda People, Culture and Language

Venda People

Similar to most tribes in South Africa, the Venda people moved there from Central Africa. They are among the last black community to cross the Limpopo River and settle in the Soutpansberg Mountains of the Limpopo Province. They are not very populous but they have a rich cultural heritage. The Venda culture is closely associated with the spirit world. They express their beliefs and customs through art decorations on their structures, pottery and woodcarvings.

Venda Tribe

Venda People and Culture

The origin of the Venda People and culture is believed to have been the Mapungubwe Kingdom founded in the 9th Century. They were first ruled by King Shiriyadenga whose empire stretched from the Soutpansberg in the southern Africa, all the way across the Limpopo River and the Matopos towards the north. The realm disintegrated in the year 1240 and power quickly shifted to the Great Zimbabwe Empire. The Vendas who first settled in Soutpansberg were ruled by the famous chief Thoho-ya-Ndou whose remains remain a National Monument and inspires their connection to the spirit world. His name translates Head of the Elephant and his majestic kraal – the D’zata – is a splendid testimonial. Water is so sacred to this group that they associate every water source with a divine Python god. They are mythical people and believe water is sacred, therefore regarding Lake Fundudzi as holy and sanctified. They hold ceremonies at this lake and dance while they pour alcohol into the lake. Young maidens also have to line up along this river and dance like a snake to appease the Python god. This is usually done as initiation into womanhood. They believe such dances and merry making ensure good rains and good harvests. Venda Legends are associated to drums and all manner of drumming occasions. It is why chiefs and headmen are the custodians of these drums as they symbolize unity and tradition. These drums are usually five: three murumbas, one thungwa and one ngoma. The Sangoma is a famous traditional healer said to have close association with ancestors and spirits that guide and protect the Venda community. These people their ancestors and have much trust to the spirit world. They seek to appease them often so that no curse befalls the clan. The Sangoma are usually the ones to diagnose any illness and prescribe medication for the same. Usually they have to consult the spirit world before giving our the healing herbs.

Venda People

Venda Language

The Venda language is a member of the Bantu/Nguni class of languages. It is also referred to as Tshivenḓa or Luvenḓa and is an official language in South Africa

The lifestyle of the Venda revolves around farming. They keep cattle and associate having a lot of livestock to wealth, power and prominence. Clear cut roles exist between the different sexes and these defined roles are how they share our duties and responsibilities on a daily basis. Women do house chores and harvest while men roles are mostly outdoors, where they plough, look after cattle and build the huts they live in. Polygamy is another way of life as men have vast lands and animals making them rich and able to marry many women. The Venda culture like dress code and does not change much since they are rich and able to sustain their current lifestyles

See Also:

Facts on Zulu tribe, people, language and culture

Facts about Afrikaners

Xhosa Tribe, People and Culture

  • Wynand Bothma

    Completely idiotic article, completely wrong facts… You guys are describing the Orania Afrikaners here, your generalization is completely biased!

  • Alida Viljoen

    I have never seen such a stereotypical load of crap!! Articles like these make me want to distance myself so damn far from this “Afrikaner” group, and I am a white, Afrikaans-speaking girl from French and Dutch descent… Good grief!
    That staff writer seems to have observed some strange, obscure, small clan of “Afrikaners” somewhere in a very remote part of the country and seems to know nothing about the cultural landscape of South Africa.

    There are so many misconceptions in this article… Here’s 3:

    1) Naming the first born after the (grand-)parents? Maybe this was the norm 50 years ago, but it is not that prevalent today.

    2) “[…]allowed to start courting at the age of 16 […] presented as adults at the age of 21.” Where on earth does this come from? Maybe in a few select families, yes. But it’s definitely NOT standard practice or even part of the general Afrikaner culture.

    3) As for the hobbies and the division of labour (with a “u”, as we’re using British English) – that is also a load of crap. Maybe those were the “traditional” hobbies in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but they’re definitely not the general set of “things do to” for a modern Afrikaner.

    Check your facts and many interview, oh, I don’t know, 500 families, THEN you can write an article about a specific “ethnic group”.

  • Riaan Grobler

    How utterly ridiculous. Apart from the many grammatical errors in this cretinous post, the assumption that Afrikaners are this homogeneous and archaic is ignorant and completely uninformed. How insulting to so many people of Afrikaner descent.

  • http://wolfieinu.deviantart.com/ PrtScrSysReq

    Valiant attempt, but about 200 years out of date! As an Afrikaner myself, I can provide you with an update:

    1. Religion
    Afrikaners, like most people, have all kinds of various opinions on religion. They are most likely to have a Protestant background of some description, but their exact opinions on the truth of religion or its role in society could be pretty much anything. The only reason that apartheid got mixed up in all this is because the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) set itself up as a state church and therefore it fell on them to justify government policy to some degree; segregation is not inherent to Afrikaner views on religion.

    2. Right of Passage
    Afrikaners don’t have a universal right of passage, though the Matric dance fulfills that role for some people. Their names are often not family names these days, but rather are from TV shows or are made up by adding up the parents’ names into new and horrifying combinations of syllables that were never meant to be juxtaposed that way.

    3. Cultural Relationships
    I don’t really know what that means, but going by your example … at a braai, usually the men are the ones who braai the meat and the women make salad. At a LAN, usually the men do most of the gaming and the women go to the other room and watch a chick flick or something, because shooting digital people bores them to tears. When you leave an Afrikaner’s house after visiting there, they consider it polite to see you off formally to the point of waving at your departing car as you drive away.

    4. Family Values
    Highly variable, running the gamut of most views common in Western countries. On the amount of children, most Afrikaners consider 2-3 children to be the norm; this number was much higher in the past due to lack of birth control, as well as high infant mortality rates (as in most places in the world in the 19th century and earlier) pressuring people to have more children so that more of them would survive to adulthood.

    5. Hobbies
    Anything and everything under the sun, though some of the more unique hobbies include making biltong and constantly threatening to emigrate but never doing so.

    There you go – now you’re up to date :)

  • Malachus

    Wat a pot KAK!

  • Jaco Jooste

    this is bullshit! im drinking on a NY

  • Carolien

    Hi there, the Aparthied regime started in 1948, not in 1654 when dutch settlers came to the Cape. Are you actually retarded?

  • lurker133

    Too bad they didn’t just replace the original text with this comment. Would have save me a lot of useless reading

  • http://wolfieinu.deviantart.com/ PrtScrSysReq

    Glad to be of service! :)

  • Odette Greyling

    Oops, according to this article, my family is not Afrikaans. This is a very insulting article and full of incorrect statements.

  • Barbara

    Tell me do you work for Fox America????????????????