Palatsina Hlungwani

Palatsina Hlungwani is the daughter of the legendary Jackson Hlugwani the famous sculptor and pastor.

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Gift had told us that she, too makes jewellery and has some wonderful stories to share with us about her family and the area. As we arrived Palatsina pulled out her mat and showed us all of her jewellery and beading.

She explained that her son was in Training to be a Sangoma (traditional healer) so she, as his mother, was expected to make beads for him for his final ceremony. Her mother had taught her how to do the beading from a very young age. I was very curious about how her son came to realise that he had to be a Sangoma.

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She told us that her son had been very very sick. She had taken him to doctors but still he was not getting any better. He also started to have very strange dreams. This was his calling. Usually, when you are called to become a Sangoma you get incredibly sick until you go into training. Now, she told us, her son is much better and doing very well in his training.

She told us that next year he would be graduating and they would hold a huge celebration at her house. They would cook a lot of food and him, as well as other Sangomas would come to her house. Her son would be expected to do a traditional Sangoma dance.

Her son would only graduate once they had killed a goat on top of him and take out some of its organs. His teachers would then hide the organs far away from her son, sometimes even digging a hole to hide them in. Her son would then be expected to find all the organs by smelling them or using his powers. Once he has found all the organs of the goat he will graduate as a Sangoma.

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We sat with Palatsina for around 2 hours as she told us myths and legends about Venda. It was so incredibly interesting. We also bought 2 beaded traditional Tsonga Necklaces from her which will be up on our shop soon.

 

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