Original Research - Special Collection: James Alfred Loader Dedication

The making and prevention of rain amongst the Pedi tribe of South Africa: A pastoral response

David K. Semenya
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 69, No 1 | a1175 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v69i1.1175 | © 2013 David K. Semenya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 September 2011 | Published: 11 February 2013


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Abstract

This article attempted to respond pastorally to the rainmaking and rain prevention rituals which are practised among the Pedi tribes – also called the Northern-Sotho speaking nation of South Africa. The rituals of rainmaking and rain prevention have been practised among the Pedi for a long time – these rituals are in fact still being practised in some of the villages in and around the Limpopo Province. The rituals are practised in time of drought and also during activities such as weddings or traditional gatherings, this is normally called molato. When the village is experiencing drought, community members, upon instruction from the chief of the village, stage a rain ritual and the moroka [rain making traditional doctor] would take the lead in performing such rituals. Families would also perform rain prevention rituals when a gathering or a wedding is being organised to ensure that the rain does not disturb the gathering and everything goes as planned. Thus the purpose of rainfall rituals is to influence the weather conditions in order to cause rain or drought either for good or for destruction. The mentioned rituals and selected scriptural passages were discussed. This article presented the biblical view of rain and conclusion principles were formulated to understand the Bible’s perspective on the mentioned rituals. These conclusions were used for the formulation of practical guidelines.

Keywords

Pedi; rain making; rain prevention; Moroka [rain making traditional doctor]; magical horn; clay pots; gourds and rituals

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