Pondo Tribe – History, Language & Culture

Pondo, also referred to as Phondo, is one of the several ethnic groups than can be found on the the African continent. The Ponda tribe happens to be a group of people who reside in Pondoland or the sub-region of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. This term was used to denote the natives belonging to this region.

The members of the tribe are known for maintaining unity and building strong connections with their fellow brothers. They believe in sentimental qualities like sharing, oneness in diversity, togetherness, love and commitment. Like the Xhosa people, the Pondo people are also referred to as the red people on account of the russet red blankets they wear and their own red skins dusted with local clay. The red blanket is worn by boys and girls until marriage where it is changed for a blue one. Head-dresses of beads on copper wires denotes adolescence, but are worn only for ceremonial purposes.

Pondo Tribe

This tribe initially consisted of several minor groups which were later brought together under a single group called amaXhosa. This assimilation took place in the homeland of Transkei, a place that holds a deep historical significance for tribe members. After the unification of the clan, the elephant was chosen as the deity figure and represented their ancestry. The animal was symbolic of the peaceful nature of the natives and their compassionate hearts.

The tribe’s people were never involved in racism or wars in the past. They were never defeated in battles and they loved inviting other clans to their festivals so as to promote social unity.

pondo dances

Major Pondo Historical Accounts:

– In order to promote their culture and to gain recognition for the clan, Bishop Henry Callaway of St. John’s started his missionary services in 1973.
– In 1184, their ancestral territory was peacefully taken over and mingled with the Cape Colony.
– The Pondo Revolt took place in 1960 to 1962, against the Bantu Authorities Act. This act revolved Apartheid ideology that proposed the segregation and transfer of original “blacks” to their independent homelands. The act was in favor of independent development of different social groups thus, it was resisted by the natives.

READ
30 Fun and Interesting Facts About South Africa

Pondo Language

Xhosa is the native language of this ethnic group. It has been recognized as the official lingo of South Africa and is spoken by approximately 18% of the entire population (roughly 7.6 million individuals) here.

This language is a well-defined collection of vowels and consonants in a meaningful sequence, each of which has a unique meaning of its own. When spoken in ascending or descending ascents, each particular word has a different meaning. Special “clicks” are chief characteristic features of pronunciation in Xhosa language. Different tribes have adopted multiple dialects for the same language.
As of now, Xhosa is used as a means of verbal and written communication in minor communities and as a mode of instruction in primary school. A few musicians and translators have done notable works in the Xhosa language. Nelson Mandela was proficient at conversing in Xhosa.

Pondo Culture

Pondo
Culture

This clan celebrated the famous Pondo Heritage & Culture Festival. Just like other cultures in Africa, the Pondo tribe has a culture which is similar yet unique in its own way. The main events of the celebration include stick fighting, reed dance, music, dance, horse parade, art and crafts. It aims at spreading the tribe’s culture and message to the world.

Natives observe the ancient tradition of Umgidi, that is, the origin of the tribe priestess. This practice marks the development of a sick woman into a diviner. On the final day of the resurrection, the mystic lady appears naked on her homestead. Her face and torso are painted with white clay and her body decorated with leaves. These paintings express links between the lady and her ancestors. She dances to honour her forerunners and thanks them for her survival.

This tribe observes simple traditions and lifestyle. Not much is known about the people but, initiatives are being taken by the government to promote their flamboyant activities at the global level because there is a potential for such the culture to foster tourism.

See Also:

Was this article helpful?
Andile Smith
Andile Smith
Andile provides articles on anything from Politics, Sports, History and entertainment to funny, creepy and weird. His passion for writing allows him to take what is ordinary and transform it into a real masterpiece. He's a true storyteller with a passion for tech and literature
data-matched-content-rows-num="2" data-matched-content-columns-num="4" data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">

Recommended

Analyzing Cindy Mahlangu’s Role as a Siyanda From The Queen and Her Romance With Bongani Zungu

Cindy Mahlangu is a South African actress and model who is currently blazing the trails in the entertainment scene. Recently, she was one of...

Why Evodia Mogase Divorced Her First Husband and How Old She Is Now

Evodia Mogase has built an interesting Persona on The Real Housewives of Johannesburg. She is an iron lady who says what she feels like...

Mary Twala – Revisiting Somizi’s Mother’s Life of Successes and Legacies

Mary Twala was a South African actress whose life was a testament to duty, humility, and honor. A thespian per excellence, she left an...

How Evodia Mogase Built Her Net Worth and Affords a Luxurious House

Evodia Mogase has come a very long way having had to build her fortune independently after her divorce from her first husband. Although she...

Exploring Kealeboga Masango’s Rise To Fame on Rhythm City and Her Family Background

Kealeboga Masango has been under the spotlight since she snagged her breakout role in the popular South African musical drama series, Rhythm City. She...

Featured Today

READ
10 Lesser Known Facts About the Historical Zulu War

How Quinton Jones’ Met, Married and Started a Family With Minnie Dlamini

Quinton Jones' marriage to South Africa's sweetheart, Minnie Dlamini was one of the biggest events of 2017. The news also broke so many hearts...

An Interesting List of Nandi Mbatha’s Boyfriends – Past and Present

Nandi Mbatha apparently loves the feeling of love and being treated to dates. Since the actress stepped onto the scene, she has dated a...

How Did Themba Ntuli Become So Famous and What Car Does He Drive?

Lovers of entertainment in South Africa would know the popular filmmaker, actor, and comedian, Themba Ntuli. Perhaps, one reason he has gained so much...

A Deeper Look at Quinton Jones’ Net Worth and How He Acquired His Wealth

Quinton Jones is one of the most mysterious South African celebrities. He has managed to keep his personal life very much private through the...

Analyzing Litlhonolofatso Litlhakanyane’s Role as Tebello on Scandal and Becoming A Famous Child Actor

Litlhonolofatso Litlhakanyane has been a mainstay of the e.tv soapie Scandal! ever since he broke out onto the scene of the popular South African...
Was this article helpful?

Related Stories