Dikgafela Stage 1 Stage2

© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Drinking beer in the local kgotla

Then for the next few days the “owners” of the household brews will arrange to visit the households to “claim” their pots of beer. They come with their friends who each bring their drinking calabashes and kgotla chairs. They will sit around in the lwa-lapa (clay terrace in front of the house) drinking the beer until it is finished. Other people may drink this beer but it is always given to its “owner” first. There is much jollity and gossip, before returning to their homes.

The Ancestors like people gathered together having a good time and they are believed to be there. When they are pleased, they were traditionally believed to help bring about the Rains for the forthcoming ploughing season.

At the end of this period of conviviality, it will then announced that it is time to go to thefamily Lands to prepare for the ploughing season. Families pack up and move their possessions - water containers, rations etc to their Lands homes. Most family Lands are twenty to thirty miles away from the main village. Richer families travel by their ox wagons or perhaps family pick-ups etc often giving lifts to neighbours. Others travel by hired pick=ups, bus, ox wagon etc.

The village becomes deserted except for the school children and some grandmothers who care for them, remaining. Family members employed in the wage economy also remain their wages helping to subsidise the Lands work. Those family members remaining in the village will typically visit at week-ends to assist with the arduous work at the Lands.