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"Zwifho zwa vhakololo vha fundudzi". Mutale River crosses through the river but underneath it without moving the lakes water. Possibly the most sacred spot of all in Venda is Lake Fundudzi, a supposedly enchanted body of water formed by a massive landslide that blocked the valley of the Mutale River.

Venda people believe the lake is the home of the great Python god who cares for their crops and whom they heave placate annually by pouring sacrificial beer on the water. The lake is 5km by 3km and is infested with crocodiles, regarded as holy by the vhaVenda. No-one is allowed near the lake except with special permission from the Chief and the Priestess of the lake.


The name Fundudzi refers to the ritual, which must be performed to newcomers who must turn their backs to the lake and view the water between their legs. Such is the influence of this lake that it has percolated through to Venda rituals and customs. In Venda one encounters the past at every turn

It is situated between Thohoyandou and Malamulele with a catchment which stretches from Makhado in the west to Malamulele in the east. The overall length of the dam wall will be 2,215 kilometers. The height of the dam wall is 47 meters. The dam was initially known as the Mutoti Dam, but the name was changed to Nandoni Dam in 1995.

Its main purpose is to supply water for domestic use. The areas and communities that will benefit are the urban areas of Makhado and Thohoyandou and the rural communities in the northern part of the Limpopo.

The estimated total cost of the Nandoni Dam is R373,3 million. People directly affected by the scheme include those communities who lived within the dam basin.

The communities of Budeli, Mulenzhe, Tshiulongoma and Dididi have relocated to new houses built by the Department of water and forestry. The relocation applied to approximately 400 families.

Map

Phiphidi water falls are situated less than 15km away from thohoyandou in the Mutshindudu River and is one of the cultural sites. The falls are named after a chieftainess called Phipidi, which means melodious.

They are one of the many Sacred places that the vhaVenda people have. According to the Locals the Mahovhohovho as the water falls are know in Venda ,are a place were one can talk to the ancestors and they are also known to be a sacred burial site for the Tshivhase royalty. In some instances they have also been used as an instrument to forecast rain.

It is said that the mahovhohovho make two types of sound. One is a very load noise and the other a soft relaxed noise. If the falls produce a soft noise then it is an indication that there will be good rains coming and if the noise from the falls in load then this is an indication that the will be no rains and this call for a sacrifice to be made.

Sacrifices are made by women, no men is allowed to offer sacrifices to the ancestors. Women make mullet beer and carry it to the fall were it is then offered to the ancestors. This will be accompanied by a dance called Tshikona that is also done by women. If the sacrifice is accepted by the ancestors then there will be legendary rains.

It is believed that water will evaporate from the sacred lake Fundudzi and it will rain only between the Luvubu river and the Soutpansberg mountains hens it is called legendary. Below the mahovhohovho lies Guvhukuvhu, the pools below the falls which is the hiding place of the Zwidudwanene - immortal, animated beings that are half-human. Of their bodies, only one eye, one arm and one leg can be seen as the other halves are visible only to the spirit world.

These are the paintings made by Bushmen. They killed/hunted animals for food. They would smear the blood of that particular animal on the rock by making a painting of that particular animal, the reason for that is that they wouldn't like to kill and eat the same animals because they will get exhausted.
The Caves
The cave was primarily used for staying and protection.

Matavhela ha Vho-Rebecca Matibe
An old woman, who is well known for producing arts and crafts


Tshiungani Caves
Basically the caves were used for protection and for storing food


The Big Tree - Baobab
This is the largest baobab tree in the country. The tree has survived more than 3500 years.

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