Mmegi Online :: Origin of Bakalanga
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Last Updated
Friday 18 January 2019, 12:49 pm.
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Origin of Bakalanga

DOMBOSHABA: According to history at Domboshaba Ruins, the Shona tribe is one of the oldest tribes to set foot in this country.
By Staff Writer Sat 19 Jan 2019, 07:30 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Origin of Bakalanga








History recorded at the site shows that the Shonas are the forefathers of the Bakalanga, Bakaranga and the Bazezuru tribes as we know them today.

Domboshaba Ruins are located in the quiet and protected hills just some 10km outside Masunga, one of the largest Bakalanga villages in the North-East District. The area, with its landmarks, stonewalls and cemeteries - proof that a community once thrived in the area a long time ago, has been turned into a national monument and heritage site.
The name Domboshaba, which means 'a trading centre' - explains the lifestyle of the Bakalanga forefathers at the time. Dombo means hill, while Shaba means trade.

Tour guide, Foster Motshola said: "On this site, the chief of the Shona tribe whose name we don't know, lived at the top of the mountain, while his subjects, wife and children stayed in the valley below. By living on top of the hill, it was because the chief was believed to be superior, and to attract some special powers. They are believed to have stayed in this area during the 15th Century.

This timeframe shows that the Bakalanga tribe lived in this country before the coming of the Bakalanga baka Nswazwi who are known for their misunderstandings with Kgosi Tshekedi Khama of Bangwato."

Many Kalanga families like to visit the site, especially during the festive season as they believe the site is a place where their ancestors once lived. During

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these visits, some bring traditionally brewed beer in clay pots as a way of honouring their ancestors.

Also the 'Kalanga arts festival' events are celebrated at the Domboshaba site. It is like nectar to the bee for local and international tourists who frequent the area as it is rich in history.

"On this site, we also recovered human remains, copper, gold, pottery and stone tools, which suggested that the Shona tribes were also miners skilled in technology. Though we don't have the name of the Shona chief, Mambo, which literally means the chief of the Shona tribe, once settled here," stated Motshola.

"After this area, the Shona tribe headed for Shoshong in search of greener pastures, but they soon realised that the Batswana were coming their way. In fear of possible wars, they headed back to present day Zimbabwe.

However, the Shona traditional sites are not only found at Domboshaba Hills. Their history is also recorded at the Majojo Hill located in the Central District, just 5km south from Serule along the Gaborone-Francistown highway on the right before Serule River."

Majojo Ruin on the east end of Majojo Hill was a muzinda - the residence of a chief or She, between 1300 and 1650. The geology of the area has evidently influenced the construction and architecture of the monument. The tabular cleavage of the rocks could produce brick like stones without the need to use technologically advanced tools.

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