Dikgafela Stage 1 Stage2

© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Procession to Chief’s Kgotla

When all of the sub kgotlas are assembled, the men fold up their kgotla chairs and then in procession, with their Headman at the front followed by the other men, followed by the women with their baskets of sorghum, make their way in single file uphill to the Chief’s Kgotla. They sing the Dikgafela songs as they go and playfully beat spectators and each other with moologa branches shouting “Pula! Pula!” (Rain! Rain!) as they do so. Moologa is an evergreen tree and the wish is that the harvest should be everlasting and is a wish to bring the rain.

N.B. Moologa twigs on top of baskets of sorghum. This is believed to bring a good future harvest - the present sorghum should last until the next harvest.

Processing through Kanye on the way to the Chief’s Kgotla. N.B. one local kgotla arriving and one departing in the background.

As they arrive at the Chief’s kgotla they are singing the Dikgafela songs and there is much ululating. Several local kgotlas are arriving at once. There is a crescendo of noise. The ancestors like noise and so this is all believed to help bring good Rains for the forthcoming ploughing season. As each kgotla group arrives at the Chief’s Kgotla, they may process  around the Chief’s courtyard, then past the tribal grain store, where each woman pours out her sorghum into the appropriate pile – red, white, hybrid types etc.. Then they return to their local kgotlas where the men will sit on their kgotla chairs and the women on the ground until the local Headman dismisses them to their homes.

Showing the local kgotla’s contribution at Chief’s house

Exiting Chief’s house and then processing to tribal granary.

The tribal granary - a careful record is kept by the Chief’s administrators of each local kgotla’s contribution (records in book at table, the official is  supervising the “pouring” into correct piles in the tribal granary - red, white, hybrid sorghum etc.).

Pausing  for breath on the steep uphill climb  to  the Chief’s Kgotla, then at the top re-forming  procession to Chief’s Kgotla

The procession from the local Kgotla to the Chief’s Kgotla uphill.