"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.
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 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.
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.