One of the strongest themes in the Venda Culture is that of water and probably one of the most sacred sites is Lake Funduzi. This beautiful lake is fed by the Mutale River, but it doesnâ€™t seem to have an outlet and hence believed to be waters that covered the earth before creation.
Lake Funduzi has always been related to the spirit world with a legendary large white python God living below the surface of the water and sometimes you can hear the Tshikona sing, although no one appears to be present. Here annually the Domba Python Dance is held, an offering of beer is poured into the lake, and young maidens, at their final stage of their initiation into womanhood, line up in single file and dance in long winding lines, like a snake. The Domba is important to secure good rains for the following season.
Permission from the Chief and the Priestess of the Lake is needed to visit the Lake (which can easily be obtained) and you are also requested to follow Venda tradition and stand with your back to the lake and view it throughyour legs.
The second most sacred site to some Venda people is Mashovhela rock pool, â€śThe place where the drums can be heardâ€ť. Venda tradition states that the powerful Venda King, Thohoiyanda, had a mystical drum called the Ngoma Lungundo, ('drum of the dead'), which when beaten, when they were under attack, would protect his people.
One night the king and his drum disappeared into the Soutpansberg Mountains and neither were ever seen again. Legend has it that the drum can still be heard in the echoes in the cliffs surrounding Mashovhela rock pool.
The Venda people also believe in the zwidutwane or water spirits, which according to Venda culture beliefs, live at the bottom of waterfalls.
These beings are only half visible; have only one eye, one leg and one arm. One half of man can be seen in this world and the other half in the spirit world. They have to be appeased so the Venda offer tributes such as food, beer, gifts or a tuft of hair, should they happen to cross their residential river or stream.
It is believed that the zwidutwane can get their own meat, but as they cannot grow grain under water beer and grain are left on a sacred stone near the top of the falls to foster good relations with the ancestral spirits.
The Venda area is filled with crocodiles and these dangerous reptiles are thought by the Venda to have very poisonous brains and they are not even hunted for food.
Venda, situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, is a truly captivating experience filled with mystical forests, sacred lakes, water spirits, stunning scenery and world famous crafts.Venda is culturally unspoilt, un-commercialised and totally authentic; once you have visited you will want to return.