Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Musina People: Vhalea (Venda Clan)

The people of Musina were Vhalea, and they mined copper. They called musina,
meaning spoiler. They, like Vhadau of Tshakhuma, Vhafamadi of Ha-Mashau,
Vhakwevho of Luonde, Vhania of Niani, Vhagoni of Magoni, and Vhaluvhu, are
the Vhangona. The Vhangona and the Vhambedzi are the original inhabitants of
Venda. According to oral accounts the Musina clan consisted of two groups: Musina and
Tshumbe. The Makushu clan is part of the Musina clan.

The Vhatwanamba of Tshivhula settled in Musina and
surrounding areas and subjugated the Musina people. It is said that the
Vhatwanamba came from Zimbabwe. The Vhatwanamba intermarried with the
Musina people.

Tshivhula was succeeded by his son Ramasunzi. After Ramasunzi’s death, the
chiefdom split into two: Lishivha and Mankadiko Sebola. The Sebola section is
today made of Venda-speaking (Tshivhula) and Pedi-speaking (Sebola)
communities, while the Lishivha section is largely Venda-speaking.
Lishivha settled at Ha-Matshisevhe (where the Lishivha Wilderness
Resort is situated) next to Mavhambo.The other clan which is an offshoot of Tshivhula is the Matshete. They descended from RaĜidaba, the son of Ramasunzi. RaĜidaba was
nicknamed Matshete after he was given his own area as a way of silencing him.
The word “tshete” means silence in Tshivenda. It is said that RaĜidaba used to
nag his father demanding his own land. After the father relented and gave him
his own piece of land he told him “to stay there and be quiet” (fhumulani ni
tshete).

Matshete’s land was at Luongwe Hill, Mapungubwe.
Matshete was succeeded by Rantsana whose descendants were Mudimeli and
Tseisi. The ěishivha, Tshivhula, Matshete, and Mulambwane communities have lodged
their claims with the Land Claims Commission, and their claim has been verified.
It, however, looks like that the claim will take longer to settle since the four
communities’ claims overlap and they cannot agree on the boundaries. They
have all staked a claim on land where the Venetia diamond mine and
Mapungubwe National Park are situated.

In November 2007 the human remains excavated at Mapungubwe in 1932 were
symbolically handed over to Tshivhula, Lishivha, and Matshete clans. These are
the clans whose ancestors lived in Musina and Mapungubwe.

Bibliography

Mamadi, M.F – “The Copper Miners of Musina”. Government Printers, Pretoria

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