Of ancient Malawi’s mythical mermaids and phande (pearl) shells

Hans Christen Andersen writes in ‘The Little Mermaid’, “But a mermaid has no tears.” 

This line directly contradicts other fanciful writers and dreamers who say that mermaid tears become pearls, or that the green pebbles found on the Floridan Iona shoreline are the tears of a mermaid. 

And maybe so.  Like the legend that mermaids are guardians and avengers of women, perhaps any remaining mermaid of legend cries unmercifully over the condition of the seas Mermaid Tears — Another Nautical Disaster 

Ancient Malawi's Phande shell also known as Ngale (Pearls) associated with female water spirits like mermaids
Ancient Malawi’s Phande shell also known as Ngale (Pearls) associated with female water spirits like mermaids

Ndine Nyangu ”, a woman says after dipping her head into a big red clay pot full of water goes the latest Sapitwa oral story which this blog is not endorsing but just telling it like it is.

This Nyangu known as Malira (“you have cried”) is a water spirit known by different names.

She proudly wears a “phande” also locally known as “ngale’ as a necklace which in English is a “pearl” but this blog is talking about the actual shell whose scientific name remains a mystery.

This blog does not know what exactly is found inside the Phande shell but some healers claim some thorn looking things and a secret as in Chinsinsi which sounds like Isis with chinsinsi the Chinyanja word for secret.

And when angry, Nyangu would say in a code “Muzalira ndine mkazi” which in English can be summed up as the Wrath of a Woman. So literally she was saying an enemy would cry because she is a woman who can be ruthless.

All genuine male healers admit that when the MALIYA spirit “comes out” it’s powerful and at times dangerous in that it’s the most powerful and close to all the male spirits they tap into. This spirit is also known as one of the many Nyangus of ancient Malawi but in the African water spirit world of mermaids.

The MALIYA spirit has both male and female sexual organs. She is also very dramatic and fierce with anger.

When trainee African priestesses (nsembe) got a shell like this one from Sapitwa as it was sourced in the Indian Ocean it symbolized the spirit world opening up to them especially MALIYA
When trainee African priestesses (nsembe) got a shell like this one from Sapitwa as it was sourced in the Indian Ocean it symbolized the spirit world opening up to them especially MALIYA

According to a Sapitwa healer such mythical spirits are half woman and half fish so priestesses who follow their teachings are not supposed to eat fish.

Nyangu means “manthongo” like the crust mucous stuff around the eyes and another rude version only for this oral story.

It also means “wopepera” like in foolish, a fool or someone lacking intelligence in relation to the ancient Nyangu spirit (mizimu) who was misunderstood and not the many royal official ones.

The clay pot she used like others were always broken into pieces to be disposed of in thick forests of hills and mountains whenever they were not needed. She was the last female to use it for that specific purpose and passed on some teachings to her priestesses.

Once upon a time in this ancient land of Malawi as this blog continues repeating oral tales about the creation of gods and goddesses which were locally known as mizimu as in winged spirits, there lived a powerful female one known as Malira Tapalia of the North.

These spirits were different from ancestral ones which are locally known as mizimu yamakolo.

This woman also known as one of the Nyangus of ancient times did not bath and only dipped her head in water because she used a lot of nyanga involving charms and horns which are easily diluted by water.

And since this Nyangu was from water hence her name also sounding like Tilapia fish with the most common species in Malawi being chambo….Malira was believed to appear as a mermaid because she could not get her lower body wet which was the source of her powers.

Woman not mermaid and python drawing from http://exploremalawi.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-it-rain-malawian-ancestral.html
Malawi woman not mermaid and python drawing from http://exploremalawi.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-it-rain-malawian-ancestral.html

Some healers claimed such beings would also put snails in their forbidden areas to protect themselves from water there or they had the body of a fish to keep the water out.

That is why Malira was believed to be of the sea or ocean and some healers use the name Dr Maliya or Dr Maria to mean Malira whose salty tears where like the ocean.

This blog is not saying all Dr Marias sourced their name from Malira but that some of them whom this blog interviewed did.

Malira who also specialized in magic (matsenga) like in Disney films is said to have always appeared crying and weeping with a baby on her back and her colour was blue like the ocean.

According to a Sapitwa healer this Malira whose name meant the way a woman cries during childbirth like in mwana amalira (the child cries) lived in what is today known as the Mandala area and the word “Mandala” was a Mang’anja nickname for a female autonomy.

The Mandala Nyangu acted like a Mangadzi (berothed maiden) because of the “oracle’s spirit marriage to the python (serpent spirit) or god, whose bow was the rainbow.

Now this serpent spirit was Tomasi Bona (Atom) also known as Napolo of the North Wind.

This is the winged spirit the ancestors would look for whenever they wanted rains and it is the one Mbona (the Seer) would point his kandalanga two-edged sword besides Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) whom they believed was further North up in the Universe and beyond the Sun.

Mami Wata Arts for Water Spirits in Africa photo from https://mayapedia.me/posts/mami-wata-arts-for-water-spirits-in-africa-and-its/
Mami Wata Arts for Water Spirits in Africa photo from https://mayapedia.me/posts/mami-wata-arts-for-water-spirits-in-africa-and-its/

They also believed that when the South met the North that would symbolize floods and they would calculate where it would happen.  This is where the Malira spirit would come in together with Tomasi Bona.

This Malira spirit of the North was the opposite of Chinsinsi Sungamwana (Secret, Keep the Child) of the South who was her sister.

Now when this blog uses the term Mangadzi or Mang’adzi it’s not confirming if the Nyangu mentioned was one and neither is this Nyangu the one of many in ancient Malawi’s history.

In the official version which are a different story, Mang’adzi was similar to Makewana (mother of the children) but of the Mang’anja belief system.

A “chosen” priestess carried the Tomas Bona spirit on their backs as a mother and it was through Malira where some belief systems originated that salt can cure many illnesses or problems.

Mermaids in ancient history are not unique to Malawi with other mother figures like “Mami Wata” (Mammy Water) being venerated in WestCentralSouthern Africa, and in the African diaspora in the Caribbean and parts of North and South America.

“Mami Wata” where “Mami” is the Pidgin English spelling of mammy (mother) “Wata” is the Pidgin English spelling of water is essentially a mermaid or humanistic water entity.

“Mami Wata is often described as a mermaid-like figure, with a woman’s upper body (often nude) and the hindquarters of a fish or serpent.  In other tales, Mami Wata is fully human in appearance (though never human).

“The existence and spiritual importance of Mami Wata is deeply rooted in the ancient tradition and mythology of the coastal southeastern Nigerians (EfikIbibio and Annang people). Mami Wata often carries expensive baubles such as combs, mirrors, and watches. A large snake (symbol of divination and divinity) frequently accompanies her, wrapping itself around her and laying its head between her breasts,” further reads the unofficial Wikipedia about Mami Wata.

In the West, tales by Hans Christian Anderson including 'Little Mermaid' were very popular
In the West, tales by Hans Christian Anderson including ‘Little Mermaid’ were very popular

And as a divine healer, Isis shared the secrets of healing and preparation of medical potions to her priestesses. Isis is also credited for bringing the secrets of law and agriculture.

The gems and stones equated with Isis are pearl, coral, lapis, geodes, and moonstone further reads http://www.touregypt.net/magazine/magf5.htm

The Temple of Aset, or Isis as she is known to most, at Philae was a jewel within a jewel and built on two tiny yet beautiful islands in the midst of the Nile waters.

The island itself was called the “Pearl of Egypt” by many, and was thought to be one of the burial places of Osiris – the husband of Isis, in ancient Egyptian mythology.

Pearls were prized by rulers and royalty with Julius Caesar limiting the wearing of pearl jewelry to the rulers of the Roman Empire during the first century BC In the glory days of the British Empire, only royalty were allowed to wear these lustrous gems.

Online sources also show that until fairly recently, pearls were still worn exclusively by royalty and wealthy nobility, as they were far too expensive for anyone else to afford.Daughters of Isis

According to Stephen Bloom, a journalism professor at the University of Iowa, real pearls grow in oysters and mussels, which are incredibly adept at filtering sand out of their systems.

“What happens is that a tiny piece of coral or an unfortunate tiny living organism attaches itself to the meat of the oyster and, in order to protect itself from the irritation, the oyster covers the invader with layers of nacre, the smooth, luminous substance that makes up the pearl. Now this is how natural pearls are created, but it’s extremely rare to find a natural pearl.

“Almost all pearls today are cultured or cultivated pearls. In oysters, they’re grown by inserting a small bead — which is made of a piece of clam shell from the Mississippi River Delta — and a piece of oyster tissue into the mollusk; in Chinese mussels there are no beads, just tissue inserted.

“The shells are returned to the water, turned regularly, and harvested. Oysters produce one pearl, like an egg and a yolk, while a mussel can produce as many as 60 pearls of all different shapes and colors.

China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, French Polynesia, Australia, Mexico, and the Phillippines are producers. Pearls from Japanese oysters made up the largest portion of the market for many years. In the 1970s, the Chinese started producing freshwater pearls in mussels, and today, 99% of freshwater pearls come from China. Most people involved in crafts use Chinese pearls,” he said in a 2010 article titled ‘Tears of Mermaids:  The Secret Story of Pearls https://blog.etsy.com/en/2010/tears-of-mermaids-the-secret-story-of-pearls/

In December 2012 37thSTATE presented 'LADY IN THE WATER'- A mami-wata documentary. Published by @Lanredavieshttp://www.factory78.com/2012/12/37thstate-presents-lady-in-water-mami.html
In December 2012 37thSTATE presented ‘LADY IN THE WATER’- A mami-wata documentary. Published by @Lanredavieshttp://www.factory78.com/2012/12/37thstate-presents-lady-in-water-mami.html

In 1493, sailing off the coast of Hispaniola, Christopher Columbus reported seeing three “female forms” which “rose high out of the sea, but were not as beautiful as they are represented”.

The logbook of Blackbeard, an English pirate, records that he instructed his crew on several voyages to steer away from charted waters which he called “enchanted” for fear of merfolk or mermaids, which Blackbeard himself and members of his crew reported seeing.

In August 2009, after dozens of people reported seeing a mermaid leaping out of the water and doing aerial tricks, the Israeli coastal town of Kiryat Yam reportedly offered a $1 million award for proof of its existence.

Christopher Columbus online drawing from http://usa.greekreporter.com/2013/10/14/columbus-day-was-christopher-columbus-greek-2/
Christopher Columbus online drawing from http://usa.greekreporter.com/2013/10/14/columbus-day-was-christopher-columbus-greek-2/

In February 2012, work on two reservoirs near Gokwe and Mutarke in Zimbabwe stopped when workers refused to continue, stating that mermaids had hounded them away from the sites. It was reported by Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, the water resources minister according to a report in The Herald. http://www.herald.co.zw/mermaids-stopping-govt-work-sipepa-nkomo/

Online drawing of mermaid taken from http://urbansoulflower.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/when-mermaids-get-stranded-like-me/
Online drawing of mermaid taken from http://urbansoulflower.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/when-mermaids-get-stranded-like-me/

Some royal ancestors valued short finger nails (chikhadabo) and rhino horn (chipembere)

Rhino photo taken from Forbes http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
Rhino photo taken from Forbes http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

Rhinoceros horns have long been objects of mythological beliefs.  Some cultures prize them for their supposed magical or medicinal qualities while others have used them as dagger handles or good luck charms.

When attacking, the rhino lowers its head, snorts, breaks into a gallop reaching speeds of 30 miles an hour, and gores or strikes powerful blows with its horns according to various internet sources.

In ancient Malawi rhino horns (nyanga) were not hunted anyhow but passed down generations in royal families with the same one being used according to some elders familiar with the ancient history of this land which had no borders.

Fingernails were also viewed as having nyanga similar to the rhino horn which some ancient royal families stored charms in besides bathing in it. That horn was different from the goat horn (mbuzi) used in the evil magical oral Maula….as the Rhino horn was believed to give a royal person that authority so that people would fear them.

Internet photo of fingernails (chikhadabo)
Internet photo of fingernails (chikhadabo)

It was ten years ago on 13 April, 2004 when a Malawian village woman had a strange dream and saw the letters MBONA and blue deep water as chairs and tables were floating on top.

This woman also saw the colour black which symbolizes dark clouds which bring rain.

According to some Sapitwa healers this symbolized her “calling” to ulosi (African prophecy) and her role as an ancient priestess responsible for nsembe (sacrifices and offerings).

Malawi’s ancient Mbona was viewed as a rainmaker although in reality he only pointed his two-edged kandalanga sword to the North for Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe to bring rain claim some Mulanje-based elders.

Official Mbono Illustration taken from Ulendo series book for Standard 8
Official Mbono Illustration taken from Ulendo series book for Standard 8

As soon as Mbona pointed his sword to apparently somehow bring in the North wind of Tomasi Bona (Atom), he did not get struck by lightning (mphenzi) as the thunder roared and natures’ electricity tore trees apart.

But how did this happen, many of us would ask the elders.  Well they claim that the spirit (mizimu) of Tomasi Bona somehow possessed Mbona and this enabled him repel the lightning with his finger tips and short nails to show his strength and power (mphamvu).

Woman and python drawing from http://exploremalawi.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-it-rain-malawian-ancestral.html
Woman and python drawing from http://exploremalawi.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-it-rain-malawian-ancestral.html

According to such myths, Mbona was trained to make his body like a magnet in which the role of static electricity played because he was not only an ordinary person but the reincarnation or re-birth of the Tagoneka Mbona spirit of the West after he was born of a woman whose name was Nyangu.

There is no scientific explanation for such things as lightning is “a powerful sudden flow of electricity (an electrostatic discharge) accompanied by thunder that occurs during an electric storm. The discharge will travel between the electrically charged regions within a thundercloud, or between a cloud and a cloud, or between a cloud and the surface of a planet.”

“A moving thunderstorm also gathers positively charged particles along the ground that travel with the storm.

As the differences in charges continue to increase, positively charged particles rise up tall objects such as trees, houses, and telephone poles—and people so it’s best to avoid being the highest object anywhere during a storm and avoid taking shelter near or under the highest object, including tall trees.

“Avoid being near a lightning rod or standing near metal objects such as a fence or underground pipes,” according to the National Geographic news website. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0623_040623_lightningfacts_2.html

As one can see this is why women as female priestesses and prophetesses in this ancient land of Malawi played a huge role in the nation’s long forgotten history. They are also written about in lightning myths and their role in being the feminine energy (-) pulling the male charge (+) to create Light.

For example Rev Bozongwana wrote when rain came with thunder people said “Iphezulu liyakhuluma,iNosazana iyadlala meaning the rain-goddess is speaking and there were similar beliefs in ancient Egypt which was in line with many African cultures.

Ndebele religion

In ancient Malawi Chinsinsi Sungamwana (secret, keep the child) had a twin sister called Malira Tapalia (cry, fish) who was connected to both lightning, rains and water. She was the Nyangu who would put her head in a huge red clay pot full of water and say “Ndine Nyangu”….I am Nyangu. So she only bathed her head and not the rest of her body because of heavy use of nyanga (horns, charms).

“O Isis, O lightning that turns into god, extend your blessing on the people of that time.  You left your will in magical prayer, Lightning: A Perfect Mind, And all your kindness, for your so beneficial gift, for the strength of your light, we praise you, Isis…..

“Daughter of earth and sky, under your form of lightning, you show your dual origin by uniting both your parents in your embrace. You are the true benefactor of mankind, the Divine Mother….

“She is a thing. She is lightning. Remember that lightning, or thunder, is a feminine word in Greek as well as in French. Is lightning a thing indeed? In this particular context, lightning is both the flash that provides enlightenment and Isis, Great Goddess of Ancient Egypt.

“I am Lightning making the perfect mind.  I send the power to those who come to me.  Do not ignore me, you Greeks, armed with your beliefs.  For I am the first and last, the great goddess and the most humble of your servants.

“For I am the one who is honoured in the old religion, the one who is despised in the Greek worship.  I am the one who is sterile because enlightenment is not transmitted by heredity, and numerous are my sons because I have awakened many,” partly reads online sources about ancient Egyptian goddess Isis.

Internet photo
Internet photo

Now looking some images of the ancient Egypt figure of a woman with one leg bent reminds some uneducated Sapitwa healers of a Hamerkop known as Nantchengwa in Malawi.

It’s quite an ugly looking bird with a triangle shaped head and a cry that seems to shriek when flying by.

Hamerkop landing photo from the Internet
Hamerkop landing photo from the Internet

The mythical lightning-bird of ancient Malawi is also the hamerkop locally known as nantchengwa which has a triangular-shaped head and is known for its shriek cry as if some wicked women laughing or something.

This blog will continue trying to document oral history about the first Nyangu because so far nothing shows up on Google except a small mention of Mbona’s “virgin mother” according to the book the River of Blood: The Genesis of a Martyr Cult in Southern Malawi by Father J. Matthew Schoffeleers, a Catholic missionary.

It’s posted in the link: http://books.google.mw/books?id=4S4G7Lo5OZwC&pg=PA105&lpg=PA105&dq=Mbona+born+of+a+virgin+mother+River+of+Blood&source=bl&ots=m96h080MOW&sig=TGHw3eBDFM-A16QgSyOXNtJJKvg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=R2c4U7fNOcqM7AallIGIBw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Mbona%20born%20of%20a%20virgin%20mother%20River%20of%20Blood&f=false

Now before that there were many other Nyangus including the first one who fell from grace according to Sapitwa healers. But that Nyangu known as Malira Tapalia was different from Mbona’s mother or all the other official Nyangus of Malawi’s ancient history.

It’s also a fact that Mbona kept his finger nails short and filed but his hair uncut and dreadlocked but this blog is still trying to confirm what tools he used to cut his nails.

What is known is the secret behind short finger nails among many real African doctors in many cultures.

Photo taken from http://egyptiangiftshop.net/Egyptian-Gifts/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68&products_id=226
Photo taken from http://egyptiangiftshop.net/Egyptian-Gifts/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=68&products_id=226

In Malawi, fingernails are called chikhadabo or zikhadabo and they’re similar to the horn of the Rhino (Chipembere).

Now strong healers cut their fingernails and file their nails even if it’s with a razor because nails are the same as the horn (nyanga) of an animal and symbolize strength (mphamvu).

That is why some ancient kings are said to have used the Rhino horn with charms to make people fear them and others used the goat horn (mbuzi) which was different.

Animal horns as in nyanga played a major role in nyanga rituals performed by some royal families and asing’anga anyanga.

In English they say fingernails and toenails are made up of “a tough protective protein called keratin. This protein is also found in the hooves and horns of different animals.”

Kera is Greek which means “horn” and also sheep wool as in Nkhosa his similar to keratin found in human hair. This might have been one of the reasons in the 18th century British colonialists allegedly classified African hair “as closer to sheep wool than human hair”.

However it is a fact that the natural hair of some people of colour is sometimes described as “nappy”, “kinky” or “wolly” and it’s also know to revert to its natural state when it gets wet.

This means the hair will shrink and get puffy or curly and keratin is also present in hair.

The horns of most animals have a bony core covered by a thin sheath of keratin, the same substance as hair and nails. Rhino horns are unique, however, because they are composed entirely of keratin. Melanin and calcium patches are also know to appear in its yearly growth surges.

Sheep wool internet photo
Sheep wool internet photo

“Keratin is an extremely strong protein that is a major component in skin, hair, nails, hooves, horns, and teeth. The amino acids which combine to form it have several unique properties and, depending on the levels of the various amino acids, it can be inflexible and hard, like hooves, or soft, as is the case with skin.

“Most people interact with this tissue after it is actually dead; hair, skin, and nails are all formed from dead cells that the body sheds as new cells push up from underneath. If the dead cells are kept in good condition, they will serve as an insulating layer to protect the delicate new tissue below them.

“Keratin is formed by keratinocytes, living cells that make up a large part of skin, hair, nails, and other parts of the body. The cells slowly push their way upwards, eventually dying and forming a protective layer. Thousands are shed every day, and the process can be accelerated by various medical conditions, such as psoriasis. Damage to the external layer of keratin can cause skin, hair, and nails to look unhealthy or flaky.

Agnes Dumisani Mizere (Nankhoma) in her 100% natural self trying to give a voice to the VOICELESS...the untold and erased history of women of MALIYA...peace
Agnes Dumisani Mizere (Nankhoma) in her 100% natural self though mocked and scorned, she still tries to give a voice to the VOICELESS…the untold and erased history of women of MALIYA, MBONA, TOMASI BONA and never forgetting CHAUTA, NAMALENGA, MPHAMBE (God) who’s worthy to be praised…peace

“Hair and nails on humans especially tend to become dry and brittle, because the dead keratin is being pushed to great lengths. By eating foods like gelatin and keeping hair and nails moist, they can be grown out while still remaining healthy.

“In general, the thicker the layer of keratin, the healthier the hair or nail is, because the dead cells outside protect the living cells at the core. Keeping the external layer moisturized will also keep it healthy and prevent cracking and splitting, whether it is forming the hooves of a horse of the skin of a human”, according to http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-keratin.htm

Ancient Egypt’s Isis, Malawi’s Nyangu of hamerkop (nantchengwa) bird?

Agnes Mizere - Malawi Best Blogger 2015

Image Internet photo of ancient Egypt’s Isis (Aset) and Horus (Heru)

“O Isis, O lightning that turns into god, extend your blessing on the people of that time.  You left your will in magical prayer, Lightning: A Perfect Mind, And all your kindness, for your so beneficial gift, for the strength of your light, we praise you, Isis…..

“Daughter of earth and sky, under your form of lightning, you show your dual origin by uniting both your parents in your embrace. You are the true benefactor of mankind, the Divine Mother….

She is a thing. She is lightning. Remember that lightning, or thunder, is a feminine word in Greek as well as in French. Is lightning a thing indeed? In this particular context, lightning is both the flash that provides enlightenment and Isis, Great Goddess of Ancient Egypt.

I am Lightning making the perfect mind.  I send the power to those who come…

View original post 943 more words

The Science and Myths Behind Lightning Strikes

Science-Based Life

Lightning is unique in that it can inspire so much awe and wonder about the Earth in fractions of a second. Human fascination with lighting is, at least in part, due to the absolute raw power residing within the bolts.

Of course, as a consequence of this power and our fascination with it, humans have become intimately familiar with the effects that lightning can have on the human body. As we try to mitigate the damage caused by these seemingly random atmospheric discharges, myths have begun to take shape around the potential to do harm.

What we will explore here is some of the myths, and the science behind them, of lighting strikes and lightning injuries.

CLASSIFICATION OF MYTHS

Beliefs have grown up about these injuries that I will arbitrarily divide into the following groups:

  1. Occurrence and demographics
  2. Effects of the strike/types of injuries
    a. Positive effects b. Negative effects

View original post 2,330 more words

‘Ancient Malawi’s Mbona was against Mwabvi witch poison ordeals’

“It takes a witch (mfiti) to catch a witch (afiti) in the astral realm of ziwanda (demons) where evil spirits exist because both are dogs (galu).”

LESSON: Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) is above all mortal beings and evil spirits (mizimu) so why fear mortal man and not the immortal Creator?

Mwabvi tree photo taken from http://coincident.fallingrain.com/?v=ejhnRmDdUQ0,46UsaCkbTJk,Ieb7gJvF3o4,lJoRTpApoME,dlGLQQJp99I
Mwabvi tree photo taken from http://coincident.fallingrain.com/?v=ejhnRmDdUQ0,46UsaCkbTJk,Ieb7gJvF3o4,lJoRTpApoME,dlGLQQJp99I

If one travels throughout Malawi, they will discover that the majority of citizens believe that witchcraft (ufiti) exists and it’s not strange to meet many male asing’anga anyanga as in those specializing in charms and horns saying akhwiri nokumana to mean “witches we have met”.

So in a nutshell that in Chichewa means “ndakupezani afiti” meaning a witch has been caught and found by those who say they track them down and dilute their powers.

But many Malawians these days are against asing’anga giving Mwabvi concoction because they stress that sorcerers must live and it’s wrong to take a person’s life.

Another contributing factor is because in ancient times some royal families and healers used the Mwabvi ritual to get rid of innocent enemies who were not practicing witchcraft.

Today mwabvi concoctions are illegal and those who summon asing’anga to do such “cleansing” risk arrest.

African doctors today all grouped as asing’anga but called “witch-doctors” in Malawi have been in the news for several years now after efforts by some local NGOs to “stamp out witch persecutions in the country by launching a public education campaign against belief in magic and witches.”

An example of how the term "witch-doctor" has been used online to define people like this man whose name is not mentioned on http://malawilive.com/2013/02/a-program-to-eradicate-violence-against-suspected-witches-in-malawi/#sthash.uYglWHqS.f32796Jx.dpbs
An example of how the term “witch-doctor” has been used online to define people like this man whose name is not mentioned on http://malawilive.com/2013/02/a-program-to-eradicate-violence-against-suspected-witches-in-malawi/#sthash.uYglWHqS.f32796Jx.dpbs

The ancestors of this land believed witchcraft existed but did not believe that witches were more powerful than Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) so they counted on the Creator to protect them and expose all evil.

This is where the role of winged spirits (mizimu) believed to be close to the Creator and ancestral spirits (mizimu yamakolo) came in.

They also believed witchcraft as in ufiti involved bloodlines and happened within families especially the extended ones unlike what is believed today. Such issues were tackled by asing’anga who specialized in that area and had a specific name but unfortunately this blog does not have the name.

In ancient African traditional religions, witches could only be found where “evil spirits” were in the astral and not physical realm where mortal beings are supposed to be.

The teaching was that evil and good do not mix in the spiritual realm so for one to find evil they would have to travel to the evil realm among other things and also use the same evil demons to trace them.

So in other words the suspected witch accused of using evil and satanic spirits to harm innocent people including kutamba is tracked down by a witch who sees them in the world of ziwanda (demons) and uses charms to protect themselves in kukhwima rituals and other things.

As covens in witchcraft are said to involve a group are believed to fear those who “hunt” them down in the astral realm of evil spirits as such magic (matsenga) is said to only happen where there are demons (ziwanda) and not good spirits.

It is also said that covens have from 13 to more people with a “leader” whether it’s in a lichero (winnowing basket) “plane” or when travelling north to certain rivers to do their “rituals.”

Such wizards are said to use body fluids to propel their “flying baskets” and in many other rituals hence why women are usually encouraged to burn their sanitary pads, cloth or undergarments.

Normal lichero winnowing basket not used in withcraft
Normal lichero winnowing basket not used in withcraft

Such afiti are said to specialize in kutamba (a witch’s spell) and harming innocent people while the other type of ufiti involves sorcery where the narrow neck African wine kettle gourd dressed in beads and locally known as nsupa is not only used for protection but also to harm innocent people.

Afiti are also said to not react to stench like those of pit latrines or waste matter because many including the ones involved in kukhwima rituals do not bath because water is said to repel the power of such nyanga.

Some nyanga users are said to put ulimbo sticky sap inside their narrow neck African wine kettle gourd which works like glue for snaring birds but in the nyanga rituals it is said to work like a magnet and pull birds down so that it can be used for the nsupa or evil goat-horn maula.

Ulimbo is made from the seeds of a wild tree or “prepared from the milky rubber-like juice of some trees.”

This blog does not yet know which tree the nsupa’s ulimbo is sourced from but elsewhere among ordinary Malawians ulimbo is sourced from the nkhaze tree which grow very thick with branches covered in thorns or kachere tree.

“A long sterm of bamboo reed (Phragmites mauritianus) or nsenjere grass (Pennisetum  Purpureum) is cut some 3-4 metres  long, and on the tip the reed is smeared some plant latex (ulimbo) usually that taken from the freshly-cut inner bark of the Kachere tree (Ficus natalensis).  As with the use of latex in trapping birds, several other plant may be utilized to obtain the latex.  A winged termite may be used as bait.” https://books.google.mw/books?id=wKevAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA70&lpg=PA70&dq=ulimbo+tree+malawi&source=bl&ots=B3cKqIIu41&sig=CByKtySE1iBKGU0FSgX-k3UY6LE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qzuLVK22MJL67Qb50YGwBA&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=ulimbo%20tree%20malawi&f=false

Plant latex used as glue photo from http://www.alternativeconsumer.com/2014/09/18/exploring-eco-friendly-glues-and-adhesives-a-sticky-situation/
Plant latex used as glue photo from
http://www.alternativeconsumer.com/2014/09/18/exploring-eco-friendly-glues-and-adhesives-a-sticky-situation/

Another tool this blog has been told about is the Ulongo clay pot but specifically the red clay one use as m’phika for washing nyanga tools or the face of ancient Malawi’s Malira Tapalia, one of the many ancient Nyangus.

Normally a mphika is used as a pot for cooking relish while mtusko is used for carrying or storing water among other items and mkhate is a large, wide-mouthed pot used for holding water for bathing as captured in this link http://www.travelmalawiguide.com/ancient%20trade.html

Others use charms washed in miphika for self-protection and for ancient battles but were not considered to be witches (afiti). Such types of people used to claim they used the power of Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God).

This was also a major debate during Mbona’s era with colonialists capturing some of the debate and revealing their disbelief in their “Nyasaland” writings captured online.

In one document they wrote that “the chief superstition among the natives is the belief that the spirits of the dead can influence nature for the good or ill of the living, and those spirits are propitiated by making sacrifices (nsembe) to them, generally of native beer.

Latex glue photo not connected to this blog taken from https://www.tablix.org/~avian/blog/archives/2009/04/
Latex glue photo not connected to this blog taken from https://www.tablix.org/~avian/blog/archives/2009/04/

This belief is specially strong as regards Mbona, who is considered to be the “patron saint “of his district, with control of the rainfall, and conse- quently the food supply. “Mbona lives in Mlawi hill, Avhich is considered sacred to him, but his ” temple ” is a hut in a thick clump of forest known as Kuluvi, in section C, almost at the foot of Mlawi. A woman lives in this hut who is known as Mbona’s wife. Offerings must be made in this hut only and must consist of blue or black cloth.

“The persons making the offering, or anyone who approaches the hut, must be clothed in blue or black. Europeans are not encouraged to visit this “temple,” and very few have done so.

“There are several versions of the history of Mbona which differ in many particulars, but the following notes were communicated by Ngabu and Chipwembwe (principal headmen), who are Mbona’s ” High priests,” and who received the tradition from their fathers.  ‘It is impossible to ascertain, even approximately, when the events occurred.

“Mbona probably is not credited with possessing any special powers himself, but he intercedes with “Mulungu ” on behalf of the Amang’anja people, when he is pleased, and leaves them to suffer from droughts and floods when they have neglected or offended him : —  “Mbona came from Mala we, Kukambiritiya.O) near the Achipeta country.

“His father’s name was Chingale and his mother’s name Chimbe. He had four wives called Sawawa, Samisanje, Chungwe and Tiza.  “Mbona came down to this country on account of a ‘ Mlandu ‘ regarding an accusation brought against someone of being a witch, to whom a headman named Msumpi ordered ‘ mwabvi ‘ to be given.

“The accused drank the mwabvi and did not die, so the headman ordered a feast to be given to celebrate the event, and Mbona refused to take part in it as he objected to the ordeal trial.  “He told the people that he had power from ‘Mulungu ‘ to tell when people were guilty and that poison was unnecessary. They wanted to kill him, so he ran away and came towards this country, and across the Shire into what is now Portuguese territory.

“He wanted to make a village at Zambawe in that country, and planted rice there which the people still grow every year. There is a peculiarity about this rice that it cannot be removed from the locality in which it was first planted by Mbona,” partly reads http://archive.org/stream/handbookofnyasal00mala/handbookofnyasal00mala_djvu.txt

Official Mbono Illustration taken from Ulendo series book for Standard 8
Official Mbono Illustration taken from Ulendo series book for Standard 8

Malawi National Commission for Unesco in 2011 submitted that Mbona according to Mang’anja oral tradition was a “legendary figure with super human powers who lived in the area during the rise of the Lundu Kingdom.

Mbona is said to have had magic powers of bringing rain, creating wells of water on sandy lands, creating forests where they did not exist and hiding from enemies by turning into other creatures such as guinea fowls”, further reads the Khulubvi and Associated Mbona Sacred Rain Shrines website on http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5602/ 

In Malawi magic is defined as ‘matsenga” and all forms viewed as evil and not openly accepted by many cultures in the country. However in Europe and the Americas magic and witchcraft are defined differently with magic involving good and bad.

Maybe that is why some African doctors claim that dogs have witchcraft spirits and are able to see afiti when they walk passed so they howl and bark at them.

This is because in some ancient beliefs those who did evil in life were reincarnated into animals including dogs.  All those who practice ufiti or claim to catch or see them in the astral realm are also labeled dogs (galu) by Sapitwa and other healers.

However, in British mythology the dog is seen to be faithful, loyal seen to serve it’s master well. ‘Cabal’ wasKing Arthur’s trusty companion and symbolises how the animal has continued to be considered through to modern times whilst there are also many references to ‘Black Dogs’.

“Perhaps the most powerful universal belief associated with dogs is that they possess the ability of second sight. It is said that a dog can see apparitions and sense if death is imminent. This may be because we now know that the dog can sense chemical changes in the air, and it is known that the human body undergoes such changes close to death.

Cerberus (Greek: Κέρβερος, Kérberos) in Greek and Roman mythology, is a multi-headed dog which guards the gates of Hades , to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerberus
Cerberus (Greek: Κέρβερος, Kérberos) in Greek and Roman mythology, is a multi-headed dog which guards the gates of Hades , to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerberus

“Evidence abounds that supports this with dogs howling when the owner is ill. It is understandable then that to hear a dog howling has long been considered to be a death omen, and the same is said to be true if the dog howls by an open door.

“Just before the moment Abraham Lincoln was assassinated his dog is said to have howled and run about the White House. The explorer, Lord Carnarvon, discovered Tutankhamen’s tomb; he died in Cairo and his faithful dog is said to have died within a few hours.

“Dogs, being able to sense death close-by were also believed to be able to see earthbound spirits and ghosts, and this can be sensed when a dog snarls. Visions of dogs have also been seen and are indeed famous the world over commonly known as ‘spectral black dogs’. These dogs normally have flaming red eyes and are known as servants of the Devil. What seems to be common to all the sightings is that the person being hunted initially seems unaware of their presence until they actually meet.

“Horror stories indicate that the victim is often aware of them much sooner. They were thought to be most common in country lanes and in areas of wilderness in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Reports alleged that the hounds appeared to be restricted within an area as if bound by invisible walls, hedges, or roads. Perhaps one of the most famous is the ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The headless ‘Yell Hounds’ are alleged to have influenced his writing, said to appear only during twilight hours.

“These hounds were thought to be hunting either a person or a spirit, some believe it was the Devil. Yet some believe the quick moving hounds it is the Devil himself who is controlling the hounds, in some cases the huntsman. The idea of the hounds being out on a hunt is often an occasion associated with ‘black dogs’ also known as ‘fairy dogs’ (also known to lead people to safety on occasion).

Janie, a witch (mfiti) in the West who "takes her religion, Wicca, very seriously" according to  http://pvtimes.com/news/conversation-witch-helps-dispel-myth.html
Janie, a witch (mfiti) in the West who “takes her religion, Wicca, very seriously” according to
http://pvtimes.com/news/conversation-witch-helps-dispel-myth.html

“Contemporary conjecture indicates that such sightings or hauntings of black dogs accompany a ‘wild hunt’ which can be seen at key times of the year and some believe only on ley lines. The majority of apparitions have been reported in Cornwall (UK) and Devon (UK) but alleged sightings have been forthcoming across the British Isles,” partly reads http://www.mystical-www.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=266&Itemid=357

Now in Malawi when a dog has normal manthongo as in the mucus which forms crust just outside the inner eye and not a eye discharge because of an infection.

Dogs of ancient Egypt taken from http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/dogs.htm
Dogs of ancient Egypt taken from http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/dogs.htm

Our ancestors believed the ones appearing within the eyes meant spiritual headaches (mutu waukulu) or problems with the eyes or normal headaches and the one on the outer eyes meaning good luck. This manthango is like the ones dogs (agalu) have amongst other animals.

And this was the basis of the name Nyangu especially in relation to mutu waukulu and ulosi wakale as in ancient Africa prophecy and prophetesses also known as priestesses. This was part of ancient African spirituality involving the Creator but not witchcraft.

Some of the ancient Nyangu women had “magical” chants and “spells” to protect tombs which the communities back then thought was vital but not today.

In the West this is summarized as Black Magic and White Magic….terms many people of colour are not comfortable with.  In western nations what is called “Black magic” has traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magic for evil and selfish purposes while White magic” has traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magic for good and selfless purposes.

“With respect to the philosophy of left-hand path and right-hand path, white magic is the benevolent counterpart of malicious black magic. Because of its ties to traditional pagan nature worship, white magic is often also referred to as “natural magic”, partly reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_magic

Some of these debates are captured in the Journal Article titled ‘UFITI. Foundation of an Indigenous Philosophy of Misfortune: The Socioreligious Implications of Witchcraft and Sorcery in a Central African Setting’ by E. R. Wendland.

In his classical study of the Azande of colonial Sudan, Evans-Pritchard (1937) distinguished between ‘witchcraft’ and ‘sorcery’ by their technique. He defined the former as the innate, inherited ability to cause misfortune or death and by contrast sorcery as the “performance of rituals, the uttering of spells, and the manipulation of organic substances such as herbs, with the conscious intent of causing harm.”

Jackal of ancient Egypt locally known as Nkandwe in Malawi http://www.museumofmythology.com/Egypt/duamutef.htm
Jackal of ancient Egypt locally known as Nkhandwe in Malawi and also in the Sapitwa “Book of the Dead”
http://www.museumofmythology.com/Egypt/duamutef.htm

“There is a recurrence of widely shared details in witchcraft beliefs cross-culturally. (1) Though human, witches incorporate non-human power. Witches are possessed by Satan; have pythons in their bellies; work with animals such as snakes, cats, baboons and owls, that they own as familiars; or witches themselves change into the shape of familiars. (2) Witches are nearly always adults. They may bear physical stigmata like a red eye, a Devil’s mark, or a special witchcraft substance.

“(3) Witches tend to become socially important in times of crisis, when all sorts of misfortune are ascribed to them. (4) Witches harm their own kin and neighbours rather than strangers. (5) Witchcraft is motivated by envy and malice, rather than by the pursuit of material gain. (6) Witches reverse usual expectations of behaviour. They work at night, commit incest, practice cannibalism, go naked instead of clothed, or may stand backwards when they knock at doors. (7) Witchcraft is nearly always immoral,” further reads http://what-when-how.com/social-and-cultural-anthropology/witchcraft-and-sorcery-anthropology/

But the laws of Malawi do not recognize witchcraft and those that accuse a person or label one a witch could find themselves in trouble with the law if they are not careful.

But so far this law seems to have applied to asing’anga with their ufiti beliefs and not other beliefs or religions that openly label people afiti.

“The belief in witchcraft in Malawi permeates all sectors. Most Malawians regardless of age, education or social position hold the belief that witchcraft exists and that witches are real. In a study by NSO (2008), 76% of sampled Malawian households said that they know of witches in their community, and 62% said they know someone accused of witchcraft.

“The Constitution of Malawi does not mention the word witchcraft in any of its provisions. However, it provides for the fundamental right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought and belief (Section 33, Constitution of Malawi). While the Constitution allows the right to belief, it prohibits any criminal activity or harm to anyone as a result of belief.

“In order to protect people from harm, the Witchcraft Act of 1911, prohibits witchcraft accusations towards anyone and the calling of witch finders by chiefs and individuals for witch hunts and cleansing. It calls upon DCs to summon chiefs that allow witch hunts. It is a crime to participate in witch hunts and to pretend witchcraft, which in effect, is not in tandem with the Constitutional right to a ‘belief’.

“The Act is, however, being reviewed by the Law Commission”, further reads a research paper titled ‘The Extent and Nature of Witchcraft-Based Violence against Children, Women and the Elderly in Malawi’ by Dr Charles Chilimampunga, Sociology Department, Chancellor College, University of Malawi and George Thindwa, Association for Secular Humanism which was submitted to The Royal Norwegian Embassy.

Witchcraft has created heated debates in Malawi as most citizens believe it’s real and some also talk of seeing them or being attacked by them.  However despite some disturbing things the forces of evil are known to do, the fact remains that Chauta, Mphambe, Namalenga (God) remains Almighty and everything else below the Creator and not as powerful as the One who sees all.

Golden jackal photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals_of_Eritrea
Golden jackal photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals_of_Eritrea

Of Y and F in ancient Africa alphabet… Napolo, mpolowani and two fish?

Mpolowani 2
Mpolowani (the Steganotaenia Araliacea tree) from the M’manga Mudzi termite mound some healers claim protects them from nyanga (horns, charms) “attacks”

A Mpolowani branch (the Steganotaenia Araliacea) looks like the letter representing Y and most likely also F in an ancient African alphabet.

It’s shape is said to resemble lightning and tree branches.

Mpolowani also represented two triangles…one above, and the other below to draw the Sirius with fire as the tree was also associated with fire.

This was in the same way two cupped hands scooped fire from the mafuwa traditional three stone cooking place to place on the chest (chifuwa) to also mean Sirius.

And this symbol was also a HOOK, not only as the metal object but to hook or catch a person but in ancient Malawi’s oral tales, a woman who was associated with water and fish in the spiritual realm.

It’s a fact that fishing for a large amount of fish using traditional means in Lake Malawi is sometimes not easy at times and requires strong fishermen to pull in the huge catch in the net.

Chambo, the most popular fish in Malawi - Internet photo
Chambo, the most popular fish in Malawi – Internet photo

This is because they have to fight the “weight” of the water or something, to bring in their expected heavy load of fish for the day.

Strangely in ancient times some men would just put their hands in the water and manage to capture plenty of fish which would somehow just appear says a female Sapitwa priestess (nsembe).

Mpolowani (the Steganotaenia Araliacea tree) from the M'manga Mudzi termite mound (chulu) locally known as "Sambani chulu" believed to protect healers from nyanga (horns, charms) "attacks"
Mpolowani (the Steganotaenia Araliacea tree) from the M’manga Mudzi termite mound (chulu) locally known as “Sambani chulu” believed to protect healers from nyanga (horns, charms) “attacks”

She stresses these men would consult the “spirits” of the water who would somehow give the fish to them so all they would have to do is put their hands in the water like a magnet go some oral Malawi stories sourced by this blogger.

Of these fish Chambo and Matemba with one thorn (minga) like in a fish bones or something like that could appear in the freshwater.

This “bush science” in this was similar to the one of which was different from the index finger which healers refer to as the “kuloza” where one points at something to curse it.

Some other Facebook friends refer to the index finger as chala chamkomba phala which describes the way it was used to scoop and stir porridge etc.

The index finger used with the middle finger symbolized the rhinoceros popularly known as a Rhino and locally called chipembere, the animal and the middle finger represented a man meeting a woman intimately.

The middle finger is suspected to have represented the long horn of the Rhino so combined it represented the two Rhino horns which is different from what we know today as a peace sign and another meaning from a different culture.

There is also a possibility that the Rhino horn represented a dagger or kandalanga sword of Mbona as it also was said to stir up confusion just like mvundulamadzi (the Fish Eagle) when it wants to catch fish among other things.

Rhino photo taken from Forbes http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
Rhino photo taken from Forbes http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml

If one analyzes the F and Y of the 3200 BC online alphabet they will noticed that both are hooks with one have a sharp v on top and the other a u.

Internet peace sign photo
Internet peace sign photo which also means victory

Globally a hook is a piece of metal or other material curved or bent back at an angle, for catching hold of or hanging things on and it’s also part of a fishing rod for catching fish.

The hook in ancient Malawi was what today in English would be called a magnet and it’s code name was kumata  as in to stick which would have many meanings including the way a snake with a fork tongue eats it’s meal and how Napolo or Mbona serpent spirits would clean as in kupukuta the chosen priestess who acted as the “wife”.

This blog will not go into graphic details about that to avoid being misunderstood as posting pornographic material.

Scientifically, the high resolution proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of human cervical mucus is many online research papers explaining the human autonomy of a woman’s body. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S073170850100680X

It’s for these many reasons that the favourite “wives” of ancient Malawi’s Napolo winged spirit were Malira Tapalia as in one of the many ancient Nyangus and Chinsinsi Sungamwana (secret, keep the child).

Malira as in cried symbolized tears and water and this had to do with childbirth were the first water breaks like a flood and the labour pains make a soon to be mother cry.

Ndine Nyangu”, she would say after dipping her head into a big red clay pot full of water.

And when angry she would say in a code “Muzalira ndine mkazi” which in English can be summed up as the Wrath of a Woman go oral stories.

So literally she was saying an enemy would cry because she is a woman who can be ruthless.

Nyangu means “manthongo” like the crust mucous stuff around the eyes and another rude version only for this oral story.

Red Clay Pot photo not related to this blog taken from http://www.ezakwantu.com/Gallery%20African%20Beer%20Pots%20…
Red Clay Pot photo not related to this blog taken from http://www.ezakwantu.com/Gallery%20African%20Beer%20Pots%20…

It also means “wopepera” like in foolish, a fool or someone lacking intelligence in relation to the ancient Nyangu spirit (mizimu) and not the many royal official ones in our history.

The clay pot she used like others were always broken into pieces to be disposed of in thick forests of hills and mountains whenever they were not needed. She was the last female to use it for that specific purpose.

And since this Nyangu was from water hence her name also sounding like Tilapia fish with the most common species in Malawi being chambo….Malira was believed to appear as a mermaid because she could not get her lower body wet which was the source of her powers.

Some healers claimed such beings would also put snails to protect themselves from water.

That is why Malira was believed to be of the sea or ocean and some healers use the name Dr Maliya or Dr Maria to mean Malira whose salty tears where like the ocean.

Internet magnet photo
Internet magnet photo

This blog is not saying all Dr Marias sourced their name from Malira but that some of them whom this blog interviewed did.

Online drawing of a Reaping hook
Online drawing of a Reaping hook

In the oral story, she was also a woman who went against the teachings of Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) by not loving her own children and doing all sorts of bad things including being full of revenge and pride says a Sapitwa healer.

All genuine male healers admit female energy in the spiritual realm is more powerful and they tap into it including trying to duplicate the hour-glass figure of a woman and her “sacred” womb of creation in the narrow neck calabash locally known as Nsupa.

They even “dress” it in beads, both the Ebony ones and African wine kettle gourd ones.  But such “power” can be used for the wrong things.

Tools of asing’anga anyanga who are usually men include the Nsupa..both Ebony ones and those made from the African Wine Kettle gourd locally called Mphonda losadiwa (forbidden to eat).

How lightning works photo taken from http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/lightning.htm
How lightning works photo taken from http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/lightning.htm

All genuine male healers also admit that when the MALIYA spirit “comes out” it’s powerful and at times dangerous in that it’s the most powerful and close to all the male spirits they tap into.

Now in ancient Egypt, two fish were very powerful symbols and the Tilapia and the Nile perch: Lates niloticus (wrongly called “Captain”). Tilapia was a fish living in shallow water, mainly in lakes, river banks or ponds and dark deep water among others.

“The name Tilapia is a Latinization of “thiape” in the Tswana language of the Bantu (Niger-Congo languages).  And Tilapia was associated with protection too because the female is during danger sheltering her babies in its mouth.

“Then Tilapia is cleaning the lotus stems of its micro organisms so that you get the impression that the flower and the stem of the lotus is going out from its mouth”, partly reads http://www.gigalresearch.com/uk/article-201301.php

Could this also be an ancient Malawi "as below so above ritual"  Photo taken from 'How To Make It Rain; A Malawian Ancestral Story of Mbona the Rain Maker" photo from http://exploremalawi.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-it-rain-malawian-ancestral.html
Could this also be an ancient Malawi “as below so above ritual” Photo taken from ‘How To Make It Rain; A Malawian Ancestral Story of Mbona the Rain Maker” photo from http://exploremalawi.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-it-rain-malawian-ancestral.html

Could the two Tilapia of ancient Egypt been Nephthys who was typically paired with her sister Isis or is that tale different from the ones in this region of Africa?

Nephtys sister of Isis photo from http://www.bazaarinegypt.com/catalog/papyrus-nepthys-the-sister-of-isis-and-wife-of-seth-p-400.html
Nephtys sister of Isis photo from http://www.bazaarinegypt.com/catalog/papyrus-nepthys-the-sister-of-isis-and-wife-of-seth-p-400.html

“As comforter, she stood at the birth-bed to offer comfort and help with the birth of new born children – Isis was seen as the midwife. The two sisters were often together, only being able to be told apart by the hieroglyph on their heads. Also, like her sister, she was thought to have great magical powers – she was the Mighty One of Words of Power.

“Yet, originally, where Isis was visible, birth, growth, development and vigour, Nephthys was invisible, death, decay, diminution and immobility. She was the darkness to Isis’ light. Isis was the day, her twin sister the night.

“The goddesses were personified by two priestesses who were virgins and who were ceremonially pure…” further reads http://www.touregypt.net/godsofegypt/nephthys2.htm#ixzz3LV9PKzbX

Fishing in ancient Egypt drawing taken from the Internet
Fishing in ancient Egypt drawing taken from the Internet

Was ancient Malawi Mbona’s Thyolo Mountain shrine like Stonehenge or not?

This blog is appealing to mountain hikers to confirm if there are rocks like the 3 stone traditional cooking place on top of Thyolo Mountain and the size of the huge rock said to be in between them.

Or are the villagers who gave this blog that information lying?

Are the rocks like Stonehenge in the UK? According to UNESCOS’s World Heritage list “Stonehenge and Avebury, in Wiltshire, are among the most famous groups of megaliths in the world.

“The two sanctuaries consist of circles of menhirs arranged in a pattern whose astronomical significance is still being explored. These holy places and the nearby Neolithic sites are an incomparable testimony to prehistoric times,” reads http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/373

Stonehenge photo and the sun taken from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stonehenge_(sun).jpg
Stonehenge photo and the sun taken from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stonehenge_(sun).jpg

The author of this blog captured Thyolo Mountain from a distance and it barely can be seen but there is an obvious part standing out like a sharp peak or rock.  So far online the only beautiful photos of Thyolo Mountain show it looking flat and easy to climb near Tea Estates as in this blog http://gavemandjoshi.blogspot.com/2011_09_01_archive.html

Besides ancient Malawi’s Mlauli burying Mbona’s body in the M’manga Mudzi termite mound in Mulanje and a shrine being at Sapitwa, this blog has confirmed that a Mbona shrine also existed on Thyolo Mountain and that is where Mbona’s heart (mtima) was buried according to oral stories told by a Sapitwa healer.

British Anthropologist Brian Morris in his book ‘Animals and Ancestors: An Ethography’ also confirmed a Mbona shrine on Thyolo Mountain.

This is besides official stories including one on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) website that “Mbona’s head was placed at Khulubvi sacred groove, where the shrine exists today.”

Oral history also talks of Mbona’s head being buried at Ndione where it sprouted a river to this day that flows into the Shire River.

However online photos don’t show the “forbidden part” of Thyolo Mountain where the ancient shrine is believed to have been just like many online photos don’t show the “forbidden side” of Sapitwa on Mulanje Mountain where an ancient shrine is believed to have been.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as of special cultural or physical significance.
“A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as of special cultural or physical significance.”

Shrines and sacred sites in Malawi have been in existence since 1500 AD They were used by our ancestors to offer sacrifices to their Mphambe (God) in times of drought or other calamities. These sites are spatially located in different areas throughout Malawi reads a Malawi National Commission for UNESCO submission about Khulubvi and Associated Mbona Sacred Rain Shrines on 1 February, 2011.

Khulubvi sacred shrine is located in Nsanje District, in the lower Shire Valley in Southern Region of Malawi.

“It is an important spiritual place among the people of Mang’anja tribe. It is a place where the Mang’anja worship the spirit of Mbona. According to Mang’anja oral tradition, Mbona was a legendary figure with super human powers who lived in the area during the rise of the Lundu Kingdom.

Sacrifice to Mbona photo taken from http://exploremalawi.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-it-rain-malawian-ancestral.html
Sacrifice to Mbona photo taken from http://exploremalawi.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-make-it-rain-malawian-ancestral.html

“Mbona is said to have had magic powers of bringing rain, creating wells of water on sandy lands, creating forests where they did not exist and hiding from enemies by turning into other creatures such as guinea fowls.

“It is said that Mbona’s uncle Mlauli, who was also a magician envied his nephew and wanted to kill Mbona. Mlauli, however, failed to kill Mbona because he wished to die on his own by telling Mlauli and his enemies to cut his throat with a leaf of a reed after other weapons had failed to harm him.

“His head was cut and placed at Khulubvi sacred groove, where the shrine exists today. People who knew his magic works began coming to the place periodically to worship the spirit of Mbona. A traditional hut within Khulubvi natural thicket of approximately 100 square metres was constructed as a worshipping site,” further reads the UNESCO website on http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5602/

Some ancestors believed some ancient royal spirits could be re-born through a woman by somehow implanting themselves in their womb. It was believed that a spirit could only become man by being born of a woman.

Mbona whose name means Seer as in –ona to see was one such mizimu (winged spirit).

Tomasi Bona of the spirit of the North Wind also known as Napolo was also believed to become man when born of a woman and also to be at the centre of the 4 winds of Sapitwa (mphepo zinayi) which in oral Myths and Tales were put in one place as Chivomerezo (agreement).

In Sapitwa Mythology, the West wind was Tagoneka Mbona (we’ve put to sleep Mbona) who was in the beginning but born again of a woman, the South was Chandiona Goneka (it’s seen me put to sleep) and the East was Nthanda mwana wa mwezi Nandi, (Sirius, child of the moon).

However this part of ancient Malawi has never been captured by scholars and historians for reasons best known to themselves unlike scholars and historians in other countries who don’t edit the ancient history of their own countries.

There is a possibility some scholars and historians deleted that part because they found it “primitive” and “pagan” despite it being part of ancient history no longer believed by the majority of Malawians today.

Online there is rich information from a Cherokees of California in the United States in a blog about the “Four Wind Messengers” by David Michael Wolfe, Virginia Cherokee Descendant, Cherokee American Artist N.G.E.D and Historian.

He partly wrote on his blog without erasing any part of his culture that “the Four Winds in that culture are spirit beings, the Creator’s messengers that were placed at four corners of the world in the beginning of time by the Creator.

“The task of the Messengers is to attend to the cycle of the four seasons of the year.

When people do wicked things, disobey their priests and refuse to listen to their counsel, the Creator, “Ouga”, sets all four wind messengers against the earth to destroy crops and bring hunger to punish people for their wicked actions,” further reads http://www.powersource.com/cocinc/ceremony/fourwind.htm

Four winds in other different cultures like this online one about "Four Wind Messengers by David Michael Wolfe Virginia Cherokee Descendent Inage.i AniYunwiya Cherokee American Artist N.G.E.D. and Historian" taken from http://lightworkers.org/wisdom/knight-shadow/179678/four-wind-messengers
Four winds in other different cultures like this online one about “Four Wind Messengers by David Michael Wolfe, Virginia Cherokee Descendent Inage.i AniYunwiya Cherokee American Artist N.G.E.D. and Historian” taken from http://lightworkers.org/wisdom/knight-shadow/179678/four-wind-messengers

In Malawi there is nothing online about the ancient 4 winds of Sapitwa (mpepho zinayi) and nothing drawn by artists to capture this.  There is also nothing about a Sapitwa river called Tambani which was believed to be like an “oracle” of future events as it would change colour from blue to black and when it was red it meant bad news in oral myths and tales.

According to this blog’s own amateur Sapitwa mythology, in the beginning there was a world of spirits for an unknown time maybe millions of years including the winged ones which have never been human and those who went on to occupy other “worlds” including earth.

On earth the spirit (mizimu) said to have existed in the beginning was Tomasi Bona (atom) or a word which sounds like atomic mass.

He’s said to have originated elsewhere into a primordial mound/anthill as electrical energy with water bodies below since in the beginning they believed there was water and spirits which lived there because for them termite mounds are a good indicator of ground water.

Is that an Orb or dust spot on the left side of the M'manga Mudzi mound photo?
Is that an Orb or dust spot on the left side of the M’manga Mudzi mound photo?

From there he is said to have exploded like lightning into other spirits in twos and this lightning was throughout the new created world.

Under the M’manga mudzi anthill tree or mound there was said to be several water bodies which healers refer to as Nyanja and inside that mound the Tomasi Bona spirit is believed to look like an elderly man (munthu) who evolved from a serpent spirit in oral tales.

The Primordial Mound locally known as the M’manga Mudzi anthill tree (chulu) stands out with three distinct trees growing out of it, mainly mpolowoni, m’manga mudzi, and msamba mwana.

Now mpolowoni is the main tree and udindo (responsibility of Tomasi Bona.  M’manga mudzi is the one used for kusilika grounds before some sacred dances by digging it into the dirt while msamba mwana is used during childbirth.

According to a plant expert, mpolowoni in English is known as the Steganotaenia Araliacea tree and its family name is Umbelliferae.

A female healer in the village in Mulanje says mpolowoni is some kind of “bush” science.

“Chochepa chimakulitsidwa ndi kuima pamwamba anthu apansi azafuula ngati mphambe mpolowoni,” she explains.

In a nutshell it means a small thing is made big by standing on top and the people (anthu but mizimu like in spirits) below will shout like thunder mpolowani which is like lightning. The above Chichewa saying also briefly means “as above so below.”

“Mlauli drew his kandalanga dagger to stab Mbona, but its blade bent as if it were something utterly soft. He thought that he could cut Mbona’s throat like a chicken’s but Mbona told him mockingly, “Uncle, when your rival stands on an anthill, never say ‘I have caught you’ until you are up there yourself.”

He went on, saying, “If you want to kill me do not bring against me anything made of iron as an arrowhead or spears and knives. Those have no power over me as I’ve eaten medicine against them.

“Instead, use the sliver of a maize stalk or the leaf of a reed: those are the things dreadful to me.  You will see that I die like a chicken.  However uncle when I’m dead, I beseech you to bury m head at Khulubvi where I ended my journey.

But my body is to be buried here, ” – wrote Fr J. M. Schoffeleer in his book ‘River of Blood: The Genesis of a Martyr Cult in Southern Malawi c. A.D. 1600′ about “Mbona’s death.”
http://books.google.mw/books?id=4S4G7Lo5OZwC&pg=PA195&lpg=PA195&dq=When+your+rival+stands+on+an+anthill+never+say+Ive+caught+you+till+youre+up+there+yourself.&source=bl&ots=ma_i5d-PJY&sig=597bVaumlcpHOMFpgIBKUFv4qCk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=CziBVP_EJNDjuQSXi4HIBw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

River of Blood The Genesis of a Martyr Cult in Southern Malawi, c. A.D. 1600 J. Matthew Schoffeleers
River of Blood
The Genesis of a Martyr Cult in Southern Malawi, c. A.D. 1600
J. Matthew Schoffeleers

If Mbona’s head was buried at Khulubvi then on which anthill was his body buried this blog asks many authors, scholars, historians and experts in ancient asing’anga (traditional healers) like Mbona of royal blood.

It remains a mystery why Fr J. M. Schoffeleer and those who wrote about Mbona for reasons best known to themselves only wrote where Mbona’s head was buried but not his body yet the author clearly states in his book that he was buried in an anthill which is also known as a termite mound and that he used medicine.

This blog can reveal that when Mbona said when one stands on an anthill they’re untouchable he was talking about “sambani chulu” which is only found at Sapitwa and not Khulubvi.

Mbona sourced Sambani Chulu from Mpolowani (the Steganotaenia Araliacea tree) which held upwards and bathed in so that those with nyanga charms could not touch him.

It is also drawn as an E in the man shouting of the 3200 BC African alphabet.

This tree was believed to make his skin (khungu) as slippery as a tortoise (kamba).

Mpolowani and Sambani Chulu also played a role in the area where the Tomasi Bona (Atom) meteorite or asteroid known as Nthanda fell in the EAST in Mulanje and the source of the M’manga Mudzi anthill/termite mound.

Names given to this spirit are Napolo, Mbewula as in run away so fast or get away from me and Robert.

Other meteorites or asteroids included the nameless one of the NORTH falling in Kumbasa, Tagoneka Mbona falling in Dima or Midima and Chinsinsi Sungamwana (ChInSInSi sounds like Isis) in the SOUTH which is South Africa but this blog is not sure about the crater or the presence of gold there.

Tagoneka Mbona was the spirit believed to have been born through a woman called Nyangu and it’s his head that is believed to have been buried at Khulubvi.

The spirit/snake Mbona was often mentioned by the early missionaries and travellers, and was specifically associated with 2 shrines, one on Thyolo Mountain, the other at Khulubvi forest at the foot of Malawi hills near Nsanje is information written in the ‘Animals and Ancestors: An Ethnography’ by Brian Morris to prove that Mbona shrines were not only in Khulubvi.

Morris online is described as an “emeritus professor of anthropology at Goldsmiths College at the University of London an a “specialist on folk taxonomy, ethnobotany and ethnozoology and on religion and symbolism.

“He has carried out fieldwork among South African hunter-gatherers and in Malawi. Groups that he has studied include the Objibwa.” http://books.google.mw/books?id=pwWUUqApcj8C&pg=PA212&lpg=PA212&dq=Thyolo+mountain+and+mbona&source=bl&ots=am7aj4Jz34&sig=gmy9AILrAkpmFbHj6I1fgyT3ZUI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0juEVOCrBtCPuATFzILQDQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Thyolo%20mountain%20and%20mbona&f=false

Animals and Ancestors: An Ethnography Paperback – October 1, 2000 by Brian Morris  (Author)
Animals and Ancestors: An Ethnography Paperback – October 1, 2000 by Brian Morris (Author)

For those who like adventure, some villagers in Thyolo around Satemwa Tea and Coffee Estate who live near Thyolo Mountain claim there are huge rocks on the mountain like mafuwa meaning the three rock traditional cooking place with fire.

Now they claim in the middle of that is a huge rock which is shaped like a termite mound and that can clearly be seen right behind the Mwala wa Mthunzi rock along the Thyolo road.

That rock belonged to an ancient chief called Mthunzi and it was used for nsembe (sacrifice offerings) and is directly across Thyolo mountain because somewhere there was an ancient shrine for Mbona where Mlauli is believed to have buried his heart meaning ancient Malawi’s Mbona’s heart is in Thyolo.

Mwala wa Mthunzi belonged to a Mang'anja chief whose name was Mthunzi and not the "Rock of Shade" or "Rock of Shadow" online translations says a Sapitwa priestess (nsembe)
Mwala wa Mthunzi belonged to a Mang’anja chief whose name was Mthunzi and not the “Rock of Shade” or “Rock of Shadow” online translations says a Mang’anja priestess (nsembe) in Mulanje

This blog has not seen those huge rocks yet but it’s worth exploring and photos are needed.

So that is the Thyolo Mountain shrine of Mbona and the 3 rock traditional cooking place with fire means Sirius, the brightest star which in Chichewa is Nthanda mwana wa mwezi, Nandi of the East.

The sign for that is holding the hands close to the chest near the heart to represent 2 triangles which symbolize Sirius. Chifuwa is the chest.

That is where Mbona’s heart is…as UNESCO on their heritage site only mentioned a head being at Khulubvi and the rest of his story involves Sapitwa of Mulanje Mountain where Menno Welling found an ancient rain shrine but said he “did not know the deity”.

There is a possibility that the rocks on Thyolo Mountain were used for ancient Astronomy and not Astrology…could it be the the ancient Stonehenge of Malawi….if so then the information UNESCO has needs to be updated because it’s incomplete and just as important.

Ancient Malawi's Mbona symbol to represent fire and the Sirius 'star' and black rooster (tambala)
Ancient Malawi’s Mbona symbol to represent fire and the Sirius ‘star’ and black rooster (tambala)

The University of Texas under ‘Astronomy in ancient Africa online shows classes about the Ng’amoritung’a stones and rocks while we most likely have something similar on Thyolo mountain but some are growing maize there.

The side near Satemwa Tea Estate looks green while the other side away from the estate they have cut trees!

We might not value ancient rocks and history but there are many in the world who do and study such things so maybe the experts and the learned can get researchers to investigate and foreign colleges to have such things in their syllabus one day.

Part of the University of Texas website reads and I quote:

“Lastly, a Turkana concept which made me smile: back in 1996, I was in Eliye Springs, supposedly also researching the Rough Guide, but actually taking a short break from it all. Problem was that the lift back to Lodwar I’d arranged never turned up, and to cut a long story short, I ended up having to hire a local to guide me 50km across the desert to Kalokol on foot and night.

“Wonderful for the first few hours, the mzungu’s feet began getting sore rather quickly thereafter … “How far are we from Kalokol” I’d ask. “Not far”, he said. Same question an hour later, then at half-hourly intervals.

“Finally, he turned and explained, “if you walk faster, the distance will be shorter”. He’s absolutely right, of course – except it took us wazungu until Einstein and our modern comprehension of space-time to work that one out,” – http://www.as.utexas.edu/~wheel/africa/namoratunga.htm

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