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 Zulu War Memorial

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littlehand

littlehand

Posts : 7077
Join date : 2009-04-24
Age : 52
Location : Down South.

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PostSubject: Zulu War Memorial   Zulu War Memorial EmptySun Jun 06, 2010 3:41 pm

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Umphafa is the type of tree in the memorial (acacia). It's said to bring the spirits of the ancestors so that they can be buried. After the battle, family members of killed Zulus would've taken branches of imiphafa (that's plural for umphafa) and waved them around over the battlefield to capture the spirit of their deceased relative, then they would've taken the branch home and used it in the burial ceremony to lay their soul to rest. Interesting.
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johann engelbrecht



Posts : 108
Join date : 2010-06-06
Age : 57
Location : Piet Retief

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PostSubject: Re: Zulu War Memorial   Zulu War Memorial EmptyMon Jun 07, 2010 9:57 am

The umphafa tree is not an acaia, but belongs to the Rhamnaceae family, Ziziphus mucronata or commonly known as the Buffalo Thorn or in Afrikaans "Blink blaar-wag-n-bietjie". In Zulu it is also called" umlahlankosi " referring to the fact that it is used to bring home the deceased chief! This ritual is still practisced widely amongst my Zulu workers: when a relative passed away distant from his home village, his spirit is brought home using a branch of this tree.
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