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Magôgôbya dance to celebrate an initiation

University of Cape Town. Libraries
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  • Lobedu (African People)--South Africa--Limpopo--Rites And Ceremonies


HaModjadji, Lebowa, Limpopo Province, South Africa. A male magôgôbya dancer in the khôrô or royal courtyard of the Balobedu people at their capital haModjadji in northern South Africa, then part of the Lebowa homeland. The dancers are there to celebrate the initiation of the so called Vyali from the male initiation school - the Vuhwera. This image was taken during the reign of Mokope Modjadji V, who was the fifth Rain Queen. She played a very traditional role, followed all the customs she was expected to and lived in seclusion at the royal compound. In time past, tribes from all over Southern Africa paid homage to the reigning Modjadji as it was believed she could control the rain. Sir Ryder Haggard used her as a model for his character Ayesha in 'She'. 1990.

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