Category Archives: Ancient history of Malawi

Ancient Malawi’s Theka, Theka…balancing stones scale, measuring the heart (mtima)

‘Mtima wabwino kapena woipa or is it woyipa’ – meaning a good or bad heart to mean a good or evil person in ancient beliefs…could that also refer to the soul as a spirit is mzimu?

Some ancient healers of Malawi in various rituals including oracles would say THEKA THEKA (HALF) in the Chinyanja language similar to balancing scales which was done by the one in the centre.

For figuring out oracles they would observe and sense a person’s heart to see what emotions were inside based on their belief system and they would also study the right and left eye to try and read into the person’s soul together with the hidden heart.

Gone are those days but sill worth recording as ancient myths as nature had rock scales which ancestors from priesthoods studied but it’s not known if Sanjika Rock where John Chilembwe spent time was a balanced Rock used in ancient times.

Now  when some ancient priesthoods (ansembe) used Ufa (flour) as a nsembe offering , it was in a cupped hand as K and measured as THEKA THEKA (HALF, HALF).

If the scale mythical balanced then they would say the person is balanced but if it tilted they would read further into that person using their belief systems.

So we have Theka as half -theka as in zitheka as to mean to be possible so using those words we can also say So Mote it be…it’s possible Ase.

Tekha in ancient Egypt was also the weigher, the pointer of the scales  according to the online book ‘The Sound of Meaning: Comparative Linguistics of Ancient Egyptian, Maya and Nahuatl’ on https://books.google.mw/books?id=vDXYMct_fRQC&pg=PA65&lpg=PA65&dq=tekha+ancient+egypt&source=bl&ots=INGAEhF1Yt&sig=G8mE5tK4kyZnxKasvuM9th-HIf4&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=tekha%20ancient%20egypt&f=false

However I’m not sure if that was in relation to Ancient Egypt’s mythical Hall of Judgement and if the scale was like the Western one not balanced as being flat on top like in the below online scroll.

An website for children has a comprehensive guide and fact sheet about the Hall of Judgement. These include:

The ancient Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’
The Hall of Double Justice or the Hall of the Two Truths
The 42 ‘Assessor gods’ or judges
The ‘Declaration of Innocence’ or ‘Negative Confessions’
The ‘weighing of the heart ceremony’.
The role of Osiris, Anubis, Ma’at, Ammit and Thoth
The ancient Egyptian ‘Judgement Day’

An overview of the Hall of Judgement in the Book of the Dead

Now eyes and their shapes have played an important role in African society with some beliefs associating witches and wizards with wide owl ones in contrast to slanted pigeon and dove ones.

In ancient Africa pigeons represented peace and were said to flee a home where there is conflict and constant arguments. A type of mphonda in the pumpkin family is placed by some healers near a village pigeon’s “home”.

Some mphonda are like African Wine Kettle gourds locally known as nsupa while others include gourds similar to the basket shape one on http://www.seedman.com/Gourds.htm

Eyes are also mentioned 502 times in the King James Bible and the word eye some 115 times.  The Big Brother show also had an eye for a logo like on http://www.36ng.com.ng/2013/05/26/big-brother-africa-season-8-the-chase-is-on-meet-the-28-housemates-for-2013/ and some currencies in western countries have a gazing eye as well as some television stations.

In Malawi, Mbona is known for his right protruding eye while ancient Egypt information online shows that the right eye of Horus, son of Osiris and Isis represented concrete factual information controlled by the left brain while the left eye controlled the right brain, dealing with esoteric thoughts and feelings responsible for intuition.

In the Ulendo Series Mtunda 8 Chichewa for Standard 8, in the tale, Mbona’s red eyes on p37 is described as sticking out like a snake.  In ancient times, the ancestors of this land did not view all snakes as evil but goat spirits.

Healers and other spiritual enlightened people were said to either have the right eye of an upright snake or the left eye of a goat which was considered evil.

In ancient Malawians teachings the eyes for seeing spiritual issues and spirits was believed to be in the heart, globally known by some as the “seat of the soul.”

It’s with those “eyes” that some Sapitwa healers like saying “ndakuona (I see you)” whenever they catch a person in the spiritual realm doing something evil like using magic to rob or harm innocent people.

They claim they can see the physical world with their two eyes but they use the eyes of their hearts to see the spiritual world or spirits so they say.  For them it’s like removing a cloth of one’s face to enable them see things of the spirit closely in dreams or visions (masophenya) could that be the reason for the saying “Kadaona maso mtima suyiwala” which in a nutshell means something like “seeing is believing” but literally something like what the eyes has seen the heart does not forget?

Online, the Eye is also attributed to Masonry with the all-seeing eye representing God referred to as the Great Architect of the Universe.  Internet sources also show that the Eye of the Providence is a symbol showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light and usually enclosed by a triangle.  It is sometimes interpreted as representing the eye of God watching over humankind.

Curious to know what it means in other belief systems or ancient teachings and whether or not this online statue of ancient Egypt’s Osiris (Ausar) has a protruding right eye and an African Wine Kettle gourd on his head locally known as Nsupa together with a fly whisk and mibawa staff?

 

‘Sapitwa was like Hobbit and Lord of the Rings’ Middle Earth (pamchombo pa dziko)’

Western side of Mulanje Mountain in Sunset, seen from Likubula Falls http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulanje_Massif#mediaviewer/File:Mulanje_Mountain_western_side.JPG
Western side of Mulanje Mountain in Sunset, seen from Likubula Falls
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulanje_Massif#mediaviewer/File:Mulanje_Mountain_western_side.JPG

Malawi is a beautiful land rich in ancient history and myths & tales about spiritual beings (mizimu) which were close to chosen women who were given the gift of ancient African prophecy (ulosi wakale).

This blog attempts to update an oral story told by some Sapitwa healers in Mulanje of a time many centuries ago before floods when creation began on a mound by spirits which they say existed way before that in the water and darkness.

Once again, this blog is not endorsing this oral story but only repeating words told by the healer and names used here are not the same ones used in other ancient Malawi stories.

This blog also appreciates fellow Malawians who correct ancient sayings and words which might be spelled wrongly.

This is the myth and ‘bush’ science told to this blog about Malawi being the mchombo (navel) of the world because of an ancient being’s’umbilical cord said to have been buried in a previously sacred termite mound making it the “centre of the world” and a few others around the world.

HOBBIT-TRAILER-EPIC-MOUNTAIN-LANDSCAPE-BLUE-SKY http://houseofgeekery.com/2012/12/15/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey-review/hobbit-trailer-epic-mountain-landscape-blue-sky/
HOBBIT-TRAILER-EPIC-MOUNTAIN-LANDSCAPE-BLUE-SKY http://houseofgeekery.com/2012/12/15/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey-review/hobbit-trailer-epic-mountain-landscape-blue-sky/

 When many movie-lovers globally hear the word “Middle Earth” they most likely thing of the setting of much of JRR Tolkien’s widely read works ‘The Hobbit and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ which take place entirely on Middle-earth.

According to online sources the term is equivalent to the term Midgard of Norse mythology, describing the “human inhabited world “i.e. the central continent of world of Tolkien’s imagined mythological past.

Within his stories, Tolkien translated the name “Middle-earth” as Endor (or sometimes Endórë) and Ennor in the Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin and sometimes referring only to the continent that the stories take place on, with another southern continent called the Dark Land.

In 2013, Henry Wismayer in the Washington Poste wrote an article titled ‘A trek across Malawi’s Mount Mulanje, long rumoured to have inspired JRR Tolkien.’

Hobbit internet photo
Hobbit internet photo

He took readers back to the1930s in the old British protectorate of Nyasaland, and imagined “a young J.R.R. Tolkien is taking in this same view, his unique imagination fired by a new geographical talisman for Middle-earth.”

“Apart from Lake Malawi, it’s this southeast African country’s most outstanding geographical feature, and a popular myth — propagated in forums as varied as travel blogs and scientific journals — has it that this sudden outcropping provided the blueprint for Tolkien’s Lonely Mountain, home to the dragon Smaug and his hoard of gold.

Mulanje mountain (2)

“There’s plenty of tenuous evidence to support the claim. Quite apart from its formidable dimensions, Mulanje is steeped in local legend. A community of diminutive people is said to have once lived on its plateaus (Hobbits, anyone?), and among the more superstitious, its nearly 10,000-foot apex goes by an ominous sobriquet: “the place where you are not supposed to go.”

“But what of “The Hobbit”? Weeks later, back home, an e-mail from Adam Tolkien, the author’s grandson, blows the myth away. “JRR Tolkien travelled very little outside of the British Isles,” I read in dismay. “He most definitely never travelled outside of Europe,” further reads http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/a-trek-across-malawis-mount-mulanje-long-rumored-to-have-inspired-jrr-tolkien/2013/12/12/0c45013e-5e9f-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.html

However in Sapitwa oral stories, the Abathwa/Abatwa pygmies were said to be the ancient guardians of Mulanje Mountain.  The Abathwa are also called Akafula meaning dwarfs and are similar in size to the “Hobbits.”

The TWA pygmies of SapiTWA were also believed to be born of the spirit of the mountain and different from dwarfs who have disabilities but not inabilities.

“Akka a modern Ba-Twa notice the x cross as is shown on Ptah
Ptah lord and of Memphis it was from his name Egypt was derived, as Hwt-ka-Ptah (home of the ka (soul) of Ptah) transliterated as Aígyptos by the later Greeks…Pan was connected to Bes, a central African or Great Lakes God worshiped all over the Med he is a Ba-twa or Pygmy he may also be linked to Ptah who is also a Ba-twa.”
Photo from http://egyptsearchreloaded.proboards.com/thread/1698/batwi-gods-kemet

According to 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.

These spirits called mizimu where believed to live in a spirit world under water.

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 come from the universe to be born into a termite mound where his mchombo (navel) is believed to have been buried hence making it an ancient place for a specific type of shrine.

Sapitwa oral stories talk of Mother Earth and the rest of the Universe resembling the womb of an Elephant (Njovu) and a spiritual world existing outside it in the Universe as loving motherly beings.

The being was known as Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) among many other names and according to ancient black science the entry to that world was difficult as one would bounce back like a ball which might have been their way of explaining gravity but this blog is not sure about that.

Now on earth, Tomasi Bona who is Napolo is said to have originated 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 in water because for them termite mounds are a good indicator of ground water.

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) somewhere in a remote village of Malawi stands out in the bush with three distinct trees growing out of it, mainly mpolowoni, m’manga mudzi, and msamba mwana.

M'manga Mudzi, Mpolowoni anthill tree/mound in Malawi believed to be the place where Mlauli buried Mbona
M’manga Mudzi, Mpolowoni anthill tree/mound in Malawi believed to be the place where Mlauli buried Mbona

Now mpolowoni is the main tree and udindo (responsibility of ancient Malawi’s first winged spirit called Tomasi Bona (atom). M’manga mudzi is the one used for kusilika grounds before some sacred dances by digging it into the dirt they say 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.

But this blog just like many others have not dug into the mound as it’s forbidden and taboo so that will never ever happen. However studying the area and some ancient writings hidden somewhere the anthill is believed to be a place where Tomasi Bona’s umbilical cord was buried but this blog does not know if he has ever been a baby.

It is from that area where elders in ancient times calculated his symbolic mchombo (navel) to be the Middle of the Earth and the place where a chosen priestess would get oracles from.

Drawing of Makewana not related to this article but an accurate portrayal of some other aspects of ancient Malawi where women were powerful - © 2013 Max Dashu - image created for Woman Shaman: the Ancients http://www.suppressedhistories.net/purchase/prints2.html
Drawing of Makewana not related to this article but an accurate portrayal of some other aspects of ancient Malawi where women were powerful – © 2013 Max Dashu – image created for Woman Shaman: the Ancients
http://www.suppressedhistories.net/purchase/prints2.html

In Chichewa the navel or belly button is MCHOMBO and PAMCHOMBO PA DZIKO means at the centre of the country while MCHOMBO WA MZINDA means at the centre of the city etc.

So the universe in ancient Sapitwa teachings is viewed like a WOMB hence the word THUMBA which is actually a BAG in English.

In ancient Malawi the priestess mainly got her oracles either from Mbona the python of the West or Tomasi Bona the M’bobo of the North wind. This blog however does not know how Makewana (Mother of the Children) got her oracles.

Elsewhere sacred rocks were placed in a unique way showing the magical ritual of crocodiles (ng’ona) which is not present in Mulanje.

Ironically in ancient Egypt, there were suspected rituals and spells involving “Kom Ombo and Sobek”, the crocodile god of ancient Egypt associated with the “wicked god Seth or Set” according to http://discoveringegypt.com/pyramids-temples-of-egypt/kom-ombo-temple/

Kom Ombo online is defined as (Arabic: كوم أمبو) (Coptic: Embo; Ancient Greek: Ὄμβοι Omboi, Ptol. iv. 5. § 73; Steph. B. s. v.; It. Anton. p. 165) or Ombos (Juv. xv. 35) or Latin Ambo (Not. Imp. sect. 20)”.

This blog would break down Kom Ombo and Sobek like this by looking at the first 2 or 3 letters using the ancient Malawi alphabet:

Sobek the crocodile god of ancient Egypt Internet photo
Sobek the crocodile god of ancient Egypt Internet photo

What do the words “Kom Ombo” and “Sobek” mean? Online Sobek (also called Sebek, Sochet, Sobk, and Sobki), in Greek, Suchos (Σοῦχος) is said to be from Latin Suchus used for a crocodile.

Is “Set” an English word or does it mean where the sun sets as in the West (Ku madzulo, Kuzambwe)?

So breaking it down using an ancient alphabet it’s SA E pronounced as EH and TA or SI EH TA and others.

That also has a meaning in Chichewa but not spelled as SAWETA but SITIMAWETA meaning we don’t farm as in livestock crocodiles etc.

KUWETA is defined online as “farm (v): kuweta (for livestock).”

Now what does Waset mean in ancient Egypt?

WA here can also be used to mean OF just like LA, KA, CHA, YA etc.

Now KU, MU and PA are AT so Ku madzulo means at the West where some god or goddess (spirit in Chichewa as in mizimu) would be said to come from.

In Chichewa Umbombo means greedy and Sobek in the ancient Malawi alphabet could be broken down to SA O BA E KA meaning Saopa yekha meaning he does not fear himself. That is taken from to fear as in wopa or kuopa.

“Wokwatira kwa mphenzi saopa ku ng’anima”…literally meaning the one who marries where there is lightning does not fear the flash or flickers…so that is a self-explanatory proverb.

That is an ancient crocodile ritual for those who believe in charms and the supernatural and connected to some Pharaohs.

Lord of the Rings

Now in ancient Greece, an omphalos (ὀμφαλός) is a religious stone artifact or baetylus according to online sources.  In Greek the word omphalos means “navel”.

Omphalos of ancient Greece http://www.tesionline.it/approfondimenti/articolo.jsp?id=16
Omphalos of ancient Greece
http://www.tesionline.it/approfondimenti/articolo.jsp?id=16

“In Greek lore, Zeus sent two eagles across the world to meet at its center, the “navel” of the world. Omphalos stones marking the centre were erected in several places about the Mediterranean Sea; the most famous of those was at Delphi which is both an archaeological site and modern town in Greece south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.

The Pythia commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi was the name of any priestess throughout the history of The Temple of Apollo at Delphi located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, beneath the Castalian Spring.

“The Pythia was widely credited for her prophecies inspired by Apollo and the Delphic oracle was established in the 8th century BC according to other online sources.

During that period the Delphic Oracle was the “most prestigious and authoritative oracle among the Greeks. The oracle is one of the best-documented religious institutions of the classical Greeks.”

Authors who mention the oracle include Aeschylus, Aristotle, Clement of Alexandria, Diodorus, Diogenes, Euripides, Herodotus, JulianJustinLivyLucanOvidPausaniasPindar, Plato, PlutarchSophocles,StraboThucydides and Xenophon.

Delphic Oracle - Heinrich Leutemann
Delphic Oracle – Heinrich Leutemann

Dziwe la Nkhalamba: Secrets of ancient Malawi priestesses and Mibawa staff (ndodo)

cane

This blog is once again only sharing an oral story as told by a SapiTWA priestess the type of asing’anga (traditional healers) who were responsible for nsembe (offerings) in ancient times.

In ancient times such a priestess would have a walking stick or cane made from Mbawa, an indigenous tree scientifically grouped as Khaya nyasica and known as Mibawa when many.

Today they lost their shrines including one believed to be near Dziwe la Nkhalamba in Mulanje and are grouped together with other healers who don’t make offerings at ancient shrines hidden in mountains. 

In ancient times such priestesses only worked with royal families who gave many of their offerings to an ancient spirit known as Nyangu in the same way some Malawians today freely make offerings elsewhere including donations.

In ancient times some of our ancestors made offerings whenever they wanted something from the spirit world and would go through ancestral spirits (mizimu yamakolo) or winged spirits which have never been human (mizimu) which some call angels in English to get to Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) whom they believed was in the Universe hence ABOVE.

 

Sapitwa healers say this image of
Sapitwa healers say this image of “Makewana” with a staff is accurate.
But this blog is not writing about this official “Makewana” and doesn’t know if she used a mibawa cane.
Photo – © 2013 Max Dashu – from http://www.suppressedhistories.net/purchase/prints2.html

The four winds of Sapitwa blow from the deep waters across the oceans and through the hilltops of Mulanje Mountain to announce the arrival of a priestess into a “village” led by the mythical but invisible spirit of Nyangu hitting the ground with a mbawa walking stick (ndodo) three times.

The ancient staff hits the ground as if waking up the world of the spirits believed to be in water throughout the world and under most land including the mythical ones globally known as mermaids.

Her eyes wide and staring in front and around, the elderly scary looking woman keeps walking in front of the one she chose to protect and clear her path to her destination.

Those who have the misfortune of seeing the elderly Nyangu would face her wrath because she only revealed herself to those who tried to harm the priestess she protects and creates a straight path for her to walk in to reach her destination like a Queen.

The one walking behind her was expected to hold their right hand towards the chest to symbolize holding the heart and not losing one’s temper but remaining calm as the ancient elderly spirit led the way.

The elderly spirit (nkhalamba) would move the head and eyes like a chameleon (nanzikambe) until it reached its destiny with a hunched back and face sometimes looking towards the ground meaning the area is a sacred place for mwala wam’nkhalamba (the rock of the elderly or elders).

This was in line with an ancient sacred place called Dziwe la Nkhalamba where elderly spirits and white robes were said to appear to lucky ones but it no longer happens because the place has been defiled and is no longer considered holy and pure according to the priestess who still follows the ways of her ancestors.

Dziwe la Nkhalamba (sacred ancient swimming pool for the elderly) is below like in WATER
Dziwe la Nkhalamba (sacred ancient swimming pool for the elderly) is below like in WATER

This spirit was also believed to appear like a western definition witch (mfiti) with a pointed chin when fighting battles in the astral realm because the elders believed it sometimes took a witch to fight and catch a witch in the same way some in the West claim there is so-called “white magic” which they say is good and “black magic” which they say is evil.

The pointed chin is also part of the upside triangle of ancient Malawi which symbolized ziwanda (demons) and that one brother of this ancient land now called Malawi turned everything of Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) upside down so go oral tales.

However some would tap into the powers of ziwanda during battles but in a different way from Christian and other beliefs.  This blog uses ancient African meanings and terms which are different from those known today.

Upside triangle of the star
Upside triangle of the star

In Malawi black magic is associated with kutamba as in witchcraft involving flying to harm innocent people and to graveyards in the spiritual form and white magic is viewed as kukhwima protection rituals which don’t involve harming innocent people but protecting oneself from harm.

When such problems arise, some elders do a primitive exorcism to get the possessing spirit out which was different from the banned ancient mwabvi poison concoction ritual to rid villages of suspected witches (afiti).

Now the elderly spirit known as the first Nyangu of this ancient land fell from grace and she’s said to walk with a cane and at times appear as a beautiful young woman but a Sapitwa oracle shows all her wrongs are being corrected by her descendant chosen to the ancient priesthood but with no one to serve.

This elderly spirit was the Queen of Magic and is said to possess a certain innocent village woman in Malawi who is expected to live over the age of 100 because of her.

Elders have been trying to tame this spirit which has become her shadow in order to dilute its kukhwima powers so that it can only do good and get back to her husband is what the priestess told this blog.

She has almond eyes, high cheekbones but white hair which in ancient times was also a symbol of royalty which would be the equivalent of a Traditional Authority who has land named after their name.

Ancient Malawi's Nyangu spirit was called Sungamwana (keep the child) and resembled this statue of ancient Egypt's Isis whom a healer nicknamed Chinsinsi Sungamwana (Secret, Keep the Child)
Ancient Malawi’s Nyangu spirit was called Sungamwana (keep the child) and resembled this statue of ancient Egypt’s Isis whom a healer nicknamed Chinsinsi Sungamwana (Secret, Keep the Child)

You see this elderly female spirit is said to have two hidden symbolic horns which resemble the one of some statues online described as being of ancient Egypt’s Isis.

She’s also said to have some magical (matsenga) words which only worked when she or those she possessed used them.

But this blog is not claiming that statue of Isis is definitely ancient Malawi’s Nyangu but just making an observation and would like to hear from those familiar with the ancient story of Isis to explain all her symbols.

It’s because of this ancient belief that elders would gather at Dziwe la Nkhalamba (swimming pool for the elderly) and start singing a sacred song as they called the spirit of Nyangu who also used the name Sungamwana (Keep the Child).

Inu mayi ee, bwera, bwera ee, Sungamwana ee, uzamudalise ee….inu mayi ee, bwera, bwera ee” (oh you our mother yes, come, come yes, Keep the Child yes, bless this one yes….).

The elderly men and women would hold suspected Mibawa canes or walking sticks which might be a type of African Mahogany in English and tap on the ground three times while moving their feet in rhythm with the sacred music.

Online Mibawa is defined as Mbawa when it’s a single tree while others are Muwawa and Bulamwiko listed as Khaya nyasica scientifically. http://sdnp.org.mw/enviro/action_plan/table_4_5.html

Internet photo showing the tree locally known as M'Mbawa http://www.watchinga.com/pages/ntchisi-124118.html?stream=photos&view=title
Internet photo not connected to this blog showing the tree locally known as M’Mbawa
http://www.watchinga.com/pages/ntchisi-124118.html?stream=photos&view=title

The sceptre or staff is said to be one of the most ancient symbols of authority.

In ancient Egypt the words “nobleman” and “official” both included the hieroglyph of a staff, so at an early stage the staff seems to have represented the authority of any person with significant power, not just the king.

“One of the oldest staffs discovered in Egypt was recovered from a pre-dynastic grave in El Omari Lower Egypt (a neolithic site now absorbed by the suburbs of Cairo). We do not know whether the owner of this staff was a local chief, or priest, but it is generally agreed that the staff was an emblem of his authority. The staff soon became associated with pharaonic authority.

“An early scepter carved from wood to resemble a bundle of reeds was recovered from a First Dynasy mastaba in Saqqara. Similar fragments were found in royal tombs at Abydos and the pharaoh Den is depicted on an ivory label holding a long staff. A beautiful gold and sard ceremonial sceptre was recovered from the tomb of Khasekhemwy partly reads http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/royalemblems.html

And Horus the Elder, from his flat-share temple at Kom Ombo as in Heru wer, known to the Greeks as Haroeris, Horus the Elder or Horusthe Great had in the second half of the god’s name a stooping old man leaning on a stick.

“This is usually the determinative for an old man but it can also be used for a chief or great man, as the village headman would probably be a wise elder – or so one would hope, anyway,” according to https://susanllewellyn.wordpress.com/

“The sceptre or staff is one of the most ancient symbols of authority.”
http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/royalemblems.html

Of ancient Malawi wild grape vine (mpesa or nthudza?) and Tomasi Bona (Atom) tales

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?

Many ancient civilizations (Greek, Norse, Roman, etc.) have an extensive mythological story that has an explanation for just about everything that goes on in the world. From the reasons why the seasons change to why humans feel emotion, mythology allowed ancient people to be at peace with the way things are.

It’s a fact that a lot of Malawi’s ancient history involving female priesthoods as in those responsible for nsembe (offerings) has been erased and most Malawians don’t bother researching or caring to know about it.

This blog therefore tries to fill that void for the few who might be interested in ancient history the way it is done in many countries globally including in Europe.

This blog is also still researching the English names for some fruits, plants and trees and appreciates all assistance to ensure information shared here is accurate especially the translations into Chichewa.

In Egyptian mythology, the world started out as a chaos of churning water, known as Nu or Nun.

Ancient Egypt mound photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_creation_myths
Ancient Egypt mound photo taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Egyptian_creation_myths

“Out of Nu came Atum, the lord of Heliopolis. He stood on a single mound he created called ben-ben and this is where the temple of Heliopolis was built.

“The creation of ben-ben brought light into the world and Atum became known as Atum-Ra. Ra, the sun god that rises in the east and dies in the west. Ra then created the gods Shu (the air) and Tefnut (the moisture) through asexual reproduction. Together, Shu and Tefnut produced Geb (the earth) and Nut (the sky).

“Geb and Nut conceived Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Seth (or Set). After conceiving, Geb and Nut were separated by their father, Shu.

“Now the sky is high above, while the earth is way below with air in the middle. Many ancient drawings of this show Geb the earth laying down with Nut the sky arched over him with Shu the air holding her up. Ra the sun is usually traveling along Nut’s body,” reads the 2013 Great Discoveries in Archaeology website at http://anthropology.msu.edu/anp264-ss13/2013/02/28/the-gods-of-egypt/.

Now this blog is not posting this 2014 information again to debate whether the ancient Egypt belief was right or wrong or to endorse any beliefs but just to document things posted online and some ancient Malawi oral stories never documented before.

Similar to some elements of the ancient Egypt creation myth in ancient Sapitwa mythology everything began with water and there was a spirit (mizimu) kingdom in the water led by the Dziwe la Nkhalamba elderly spirit and 7 others mainly Tomasi Bona of the North Wind, Tagoneka Mbona of the West, Chandiona Goneka of the South and Nthanda mwana wa mwezi of the East.

Tomasi Bona also known as Napolo has never been human but is said to have mounted from one of the M’manga Mudzi anthill hill mounds somewhere in Mulanje near the mountain.

Tree vines

It’s not easy to get to the mound as some vines or something grab your hands and feet and trip you over so one has to be patient and untie themselves from the mess and make sure they don’t touch any buffalo bean (Chitedze) which causes extreme itching of the body.

This anthill locally known as chulu represented the triangular mountain above and all the water bodies underneath and healers familiar with the area call the vines surrounding it mpesa or nthudza which in English is Rhoicissus tomentosa but this blog failed to get a photo of them.

Could mpesa or mphesa be the vines and nthudza the fruit?

The name Rhoicissus is derived from the Greek rhoia, meaning pomegranate and kissos, ivy. Perhaps not the most accurate of names: like ivy, it is a climber, but it has tendrils; and the small fruits, although spherical, do not seem very like that of a pomegranate.

“The Latin species name tomentosa means felt-like, with a dense woolly covering, and alludes to the rust-coloured hairs that cover the young growth, the underside of the leaves, buds and tendrils. It has picked up an impressive number of common names, mostly regarding its resemblance to the cultivated grapevine, or its rope-like stems.

Rhoicissus tomentosa photo taken from http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantqrs/rhoicistom.htm
Rhoicissus tomentosa photo taken from http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantqrs/rhoicistom.htm

“The grape family (Vitaceae) is a large, with approximately 1000 species spread throughout the warm countries of the world and is famous for its most celebrated member, the grapevine, Vitis vinifera. In southern Africa this family is represented by five genera (Ampelocisssus, Cayratia, Cissus, Cypostemma and Rhoicissus) and 53 species.

“In southern Africa, the genus Rhoicissus is represented by 10 species that occur in all the provinces of South Africa except the Northern Cape and all other southern African countries except Namibia and Botswana.

“Rhoicissus tomentosa is relatively easy to tell apart from the others because it and only three of the other southern African species have simple or shallowly lobed leaves and it is the only canopy climber among them,” partly reads http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantqrs/rhoicistom.htm

According to online sources this wild grape occurs from the Cape Peninsula, where it is abundant in the kloofs of the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, and along the coastline in a narrow strip all the way through the Eastern Cape up to northern KwaZulu-Natal and then inland through Mpumalanga into Limpopo Province, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

It is almost always associated with forest and grows in riverine fringes where it clambers over trees and bushes. This type of Mpesa is in the grape family and it’s common names include wild grape, bush grape, African grape, forest Grape, monkey rope, wild vine (Eng.); Bosdruif, Wildedruif, Bostou, Bobbejaantou (Afrikaans), isaQoni, iDiliya (Xhosa), isiNwazi (Zulu), Moaparo (Sotho); isiNwati (Swati) and Dyathoho, Makhulu-wa-khundwi (Venda).

Common Rhoicissus vine photo taken from http://www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/Rhoicissus%20tomentosa
Common Rhoicissus vine photo taken from http://www.ispotnature.org/species-dictionaries/sanbi/Rhoicissus%20tomentosa

“Rhoicissus tomentosa is a handsome, vigorous, evergreen tendril climber with ornamental, vine-like leaves and bunches of purple grape-like fruits which are edible and “pleasant tasting but acidic.”

“The juicy, pulpy ripe fruits boiled with plenty of sugar (7 grapes to 30 g sugar) make a brilliantly coloured and delicious jam or jelly. A reasonable wine can also be made from the fruits, described as sour with a pleasant fragrance. The fruits are also used to make vinegar. The pliant branches are split and used as rope for tying down thatch and also in basket-making.”

“The tuberous rootstock is poisonous and is used in traditional medicine The roots boiled in milk are given to calves to expel intestinal worms. They may also be used during pregnancy to facilitate delivery, although R. tridentata is the more commonly used species for that remedy,” further reads the same online source.

It’s role in pregnancy would connect it to a female spirit known as Chinsinsi Sungamwana (Secret, Keep the Child) as in ancient times female healers were also experts in childbirth unlike today when azamba (traditional midwives) have been banned.

Now Tomasi Bona who is also the elderly spirit of Dziwe la Nkhalamba is born of women to make them powerful ancient priestesses of the Nyangu blood who no longer exist as they can no longer freely practice their ancient ways.

Oral stories talk of that spirit implanting itself in their wombs but disappearing before delivery to appear as a full-grown adult man.

Mother Earth and the Indian Ocean of her womb –  Photo borrowed from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_Ocean-CIA_WFB_Map.png
Mother Earth and the Indian Ocean of her womb –
Photo borrowed from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_Ocean-CIA_WFB_Map.png

The same is said of the Sapitwa version of Mbona on how his mother conceived him just like in other stories in Africa and Asia. This blog is only repeating what healers say and not endorsing any views.

Now Nyangu’s spirit is said to be an elderly woman who walks using a cane with a serpent head but like other spirits she is also believed to appear in the form of a young woman.

She stands with very bright presence, her veil covering her knotted black hair as her wide eyes stare blankly at those who visit her and seek guidance.

Her name is hidden but Chinsinsi Sungamwana and her title is Nyangu, the goddess of the mythical Sapitwa from the beginning of time and not any of the ones who have lived on earth including Mbona’s mother Nyangu.  Her colour is blue like the deep ocean and her origins, a sad mythical story about goddesses locally known as mizimu (spirits).

Sometimes she sits under the shade of a fig tree locally known as mkuyu to breastfed her baby.  The woman is dark-skinned with very smooth skin that makes her face look like she dipped it in a jar of cocoa-butter and milk further go oral stories.

Her black eye-lashes stand out together with her eyebrows which seem well drawn and her uncombed hair forms tidy knots but her hair is not necessarily dread-locked.

Also standing out on her beautiful face are beauty spots on her cheek. Her brown almond shaped eyes also stand out and piercing as if searching a person’s soul.

However, the strange thing with this woman is that whenever people see her she’s holding a small baby even when its months later….the baby does not seem to grow.

An elderly man suddenly calls out to her “makewana” (mother of the child) and she greets him politely but does not remove her eyes of her baby whom she sometimes carries on her back.

She wanders from place to place like a lost and mad person ever since she lost her husband, the elderly spirit of Dziwe la Nkhalamba. Her symbol is similar to one of the ancient Malawi female winged spirits known as Sungamwana (Keep the child) because that is who she is too.

The others are Tomasi Bona (world in one’s hands), Tagoneka Mbona (put to sleep Mbona), Chandiona Goneka (It’s seen me, put to sleep), Nthanda mwana wa mwezi (Child of the moon, Sirius), Dziwe Ntambawana (Magic pool) and Ife Zonse (All of us).

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

In ancient teachings these 7 pulled each other to create energy viewed as light like that of lightning which today will probably be called electricity. Now in physics there are two types of electric charges…positive and negative.

“Positively charged substances are repelled from other positively charged substances, but attracted to negatively charged substances; negatively charged substances are repelled from negative and attracted to positive. An object will be negatively charged if it has an excess of electrons, and will otherwise be positively charged or uncharged.

“The SI derived unit of electric charge is the coulomb (C), although in electrical engineering it is also common to use the ampere-hour (Ah), and in chemistry it is common to use the elementary charge (e) as a unit. The symbol Q is often used to denote charge.

“The early knowledge of how charged substances interact is now called classical electrodynamics, and is still very accurate if quantum effects do not need to be considered,” partly reads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_charge

Ancient Malawi priesthoods and their Phoenician like alphabets

Some ancient SapiTWA healers also known as the Nganga or asing’anga amizimu (traditional healers dealing with the spirit) in Malawi have been using an alphabet similar to the Phoenician one online despite being “illiterate”.

Online Phoenician alphabet taken from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/24/Phoenician_alphabet.svg/2000px-Phoenician_alphabet.svg.png
Online Phoenician alphabet taken from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/24/Phoenician_alphabet.svg/2000px-Phoenician_alphabet.svg.png

Such healers were responsible for nsembe which included mapira (sorghum) hence them being priestesses (nsembe). The sole remaining one in a village in Mulanje cannot read and write this alphabet but she uses an ancient alphabet which resembles the Phoenician one especially when she writes what she calls Ah on the ground as in A and Ba which is B and Ca which is C.

Other letters she draws using a stick are Ka for K which looks like a bowl but meaning a cupped hand for making nsembe offerings and M which is drawn like water. In ancient times the female priesthood was in charge of the ancient rain shrine on Mulanje Mountain and the priestess would do ULOSI WAKALE which is ANCIENT AFRICAN PROPHECY.

The priestesses worked with the king and his induna and spoke in code languages just like the mizimu (spirits) in their beliefs who don’t say many things at once. Sapitwa priestesses draw A (ah) EAST similar to the Phoenician one but others are not there as they don’t have a Q etc in their rituals using WORDS (MAU/MAWU) from the SapiTWA oracle.

Words are drawn on the ground like this
Words are drawn on the ground like this

They draw some letters to the EAST (kum’mawa) and some to the WEST (ku madzulo) etc with the EAST meaning the spirit (mzimu) should be behind the word. In one of their ancient alphabet, the letter T was also drawn as an X in the ways of the TWA “pygmies” by the now nearly extinct Sapitwa priesthood.

T means KULIMBITSA (MAKE STRONG) in Chichewa/Chinyanja of Malawi hence priestesses say Kulimbitsa mabere or some say mabele (breasts) meaning put an X on the chest like the TWA pygmies of the forest with an X on their chests.

“Akka a modern Ba-Twa notice the x cross as is shown on Ptah
Ptah lord and of Memphis it was from his name Egypt was derived, as Hwt-ka-Ptah (home of the ka (soul) of Ptah) transliterated as Aígyptos by the later Greeks…Pan was connected to Bes, a central African or Great Lakes God worshiped all over the Med he is a Ba-twa or Pygmy he may also be linked to Ptah who is also a Ba-twa.”
Photo from http://egyptsearchreloaded.proboards.com/thread/1698/batwi-gods-kemet

Ptah lord and of Memphis it was from his name Egypt was derived, as Hwt-ka-Ptah (home of the ka (soul) of Ptah) transliterated as Aígyptos by the later Greeks…Pan was connected to Bes, a central African or Great Lakes God worshiped all over the Med he is a Ba-twa or Pygmy he may also be linked to Ptah who is also a Ba-twa.

If one looks carefully that means two triangles hence As ABOVE SO BELOW ….meaning the spirits (mizimu) of the air and those of the water (madzi) etc. This blog wonders if PTAH is ABATHWA/ABATWA or BATWA as in PI as -PITA (TO GO) which also sounds like PETER in English. Another phrase used is SESANA MADZUWA which means RESURRECTION as in rising from the dead.

They use the code DZUWA LAOMBA as in KUTULUKA (COMES OUT) and LIWOMBO is the part of the head which “breathes” in a baby. KUOMBA M’MANJA means to CLAP HANDS in Chichewa/Chinyanja. When some priestesses say Sesana madzuwa that means your eyes are open and you have enlightenment hence no darkness.

Then there is BONA and MBONA with -ona meaning TO SEE and CHOONADI meaning the TRUTH hence akunena zoona as in he or she speaks the Truth… When enlightened the RIGHT EYE PROTRUDES and sticks out as in SHINING (KUWALA) more than the left one representing DARKNESS (MDIMA).

The RIGHT EYE (KUMANJA) and MANJA is hands sticks out like this “Osiris” statue unlike the LEFT EYE (KUMANZERE). Mbona Ostiriza (the last Seer) as in MBONA from -ONA to see and TOMASI BONA also with -ONA as to see has a right protruding eye like a SNAKE (Njoka) and not a left protruding one like a GOAT (Mbuzi).

They call that MASOMPHENYA (VISION) and being able to see what is hidden in the DARK like an OWL (KADZIDZI), the night-bird so the NGANGA as in asing’anga African doctors and healers can also see the MIZIMU (SPIRITS) who are hidden and also the MIZIMU YAMAKOLO (ANCESTRAL SPIRITS).

Sapitwa is SApitwa and SapiTWA which is also Sapita which means “don’t go there” in Chichewa/Chinyanja……in other words where no man goes. Sapita is from -pita and in KUPITA which means to go.  However there are others words that need to be broken down including KEPETA or KHEPETA, or KE PE TA and KHEPERA with a specific meaning as told by Sapitwa healers.

Ancient Egypt's Ptah internet photo
Ancient Egypt’s Ptah internet photo

Kepeta is a different word and what they call Capetown and with the Table Mountain but the spelling needs to be verified. Words are also spoken briefly as codes. For example when they said bowa muntengo (tree ear mushrooms which grow on dead wood or trees) it would mean those who have ears, listen.

Bowa is a mushroom and muntengo is in the tree so mushrooms in the tree. And those who have eyes “see” not with the two eyes we know but with your “other eyes”….this we call masomphenya (vision) to see even what is hidden in the dark like owls created by the Great Spirit who is God (Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe).

According to Asar Imphotep in his blog, Kulu is also one of the words used for God in Africa with “Proto-Bantu /l/ was /d/, so it was KuDu.” What is interesting is that in Chichewa/Chinyanja Akuluakulu are the elders and mkulu is an elder hence sayings like akulu a mvula ya kale to mean the elders of old rains and mawu a akuluakulu akoma akagonera etc.

Then there is Gule Wamkulu as in the Great dance and the Nguni’s Bonaabakulu Abasekhemu re-written in Kikongo as Bana ba Nkulu abaSe N’semi hence: “Bona abakhulu base Khemu meaning We see or have seen (Bona) the great (Abakhulu) from KMT (Khemu) while an Elder is Mkhulu or Khulu”- Nguni/Ngoni and the ancient god called KhuluKhulu” is some information that has been made available to this blog about their presence in ancient Egypt.

Like the Nguni/ Ngoni word Khulukhulu meaning “a grandparent of our great great-parents” then Akuluakulu amati is the great-great ones say.

Western side of Mulanje Mountain in Sunset, seen from Likubula Falls http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulanje_Massif#mediaviewer/File:Mulanje_Mountain_western_side.JPG
Western side of Mulanje Mountain in Sunset, seen from Likubula Falls
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulanje_Massif#mediaviewer/File:Mulanje_Mountain_western_side.JPG

And then there is something like “mawu a akulu akoma akagonera” (elders‟ words are always good advice) besides the popularMalawi proverb “Akulu ndi mdambo mozimira moto” (elders are fountains of wisdom that solve all problems).

In Malawi Bona and Mbona as in -ona also means to see and Akuluakulu means elders so Mbona was like a seer and some South Africans on Facebook explained that “the ancient god called KhuluKhulu has been distorted to be Nkulunkulu. Khulukhulu is a grandparent of great great-parents. “Bona abakhulu base Khemu means We see or have seen (Bona) the great (Abakhulu) from KMT (Khemu).

An Elder is Mkhulu or Khulu”- Nguni/Ngoni Excited to confirm from a SA friend the words “Bonaabakulu Abasekhemu” re-written in Kikongo as Bana ba Nkulu abaSe N’semi as explained in the book ‘The  Quantum Vision of Simon Kimbangu: Kintuadi In 3D’ by Dom Pedro V in the below link. https://books.google.mw/books?id=Jql8gymEI_kC&pg=PT42&lpg=PT42&dq=%22Bonaabakulu+Abasekhemu%22&source=bl&ots=Gv07nnhYIY&sig=hbSky-_h2esnk5UzV6Y-ObJoJzw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PDjoVPqdD9XWaoOqgLAN&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22Bonaabakulu%20Abasekhemu%22&f=false

Many rain shrines were abandoned but the history of many ancient priestesses of Malawi was never ever written about till last year. Some of the ancient writings they have resemble hieroglyphics so it would be interesting to know how many other existing priesthoods have such writings including the ones that were forced into extinction. Book

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

wheelernamora_sitephoto

 

Ancient Malawi ink: Kachere fig tree, Mlombwa (Bloodwood) and Acacia (Mpamba)?

Detail of the god "Thoth" creator of writing, science and medicine from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer 19th Dynasty British Museum EA 9901/3 Room 62, Egyptian Funerary Archaeology, Case 24, No. 8
Detail of “Thoth” the creator of writing, science and medicine from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer 19th Dynasty British Museum EA 9901/3 Room 62, Egyptian Funerary Archaeology, Case 24, No. 8

Travelling to a certain village in Mulanje one cannot help but notice the various tree branches and sticks some real traditional healers (asing’anga) use besides the finger to write on the ground.

Some elderly healers claim that only a few trained ones are left as there are many vendors allegedly masquerading as healers and giving the profession a bad name.

But it’s in some rural areas where one can see some of the elderly “writing” or drawing on the sand or dusty ground with their fingers.  The symbols created usually resemble circles and crosses among other things.stock-photo-16484548-writing-in-the-sand

When asked some insist that is the only way they can get a “message” from the spiritual world.

Some healers in Malawi and in the Sadc region use sticks or a certain type of tree branch to write on the ground and claim the drawings they make are messages and words they can read which are told to them by mizimu (winged spirits).

Winged spirits are the African version of angels and not ancestral spirits locally known as mizimu yamakolo.

Some of the main winged spirits include Mikolo Njinjinji (Ritual of the African sacred Ibis) and Kabadula nicknamed Kaba to mean Kabudula (shorts) and Thewera (nappy) of the Universe and Tomasi Bona (Atom) of the Earth.

Now the Ibis is a bird known to sleep with it’s head folded beneath its wing with its body assuming the shape of a heart, which online sources about the Nile Valley Civilization regard as “the seat of the soul and true intelligence.”

“The footstep of an ibis was said to be equal to one cubit, which was considered a sacred unit of measurement.”

fingers

Now the winged spirit Mikolo Njinjinji was similar to ancient Egypt’s Netcher Djhuiti and the Greeks’ Thoth/Hermes said to be the “keeper of the sacred cubic and the creator of science, writing and medicine.

The Romans identified him with Mercury and the Nether Djhuiti was portrayed with an ibis head and he represented “articulation of speech and intelligence” further reads the same Nile Valley source.

However ancient Malawi’s Mikolo Njinjinji showed his dark skinned and smooth chocolate face to women “called” or “chosen” to be priestesses.

African sacred Ibis
African sacred Ibis photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_sacred_ibis

This blog has also discovered that some ancient healers also known as priests and priestesses of this land also used their finger to write on the ground thousands of years ago. They were responsible for nsembe (sacrifices and offerings).

When talking to a “patient” or “client” they would write whatever the spirit tells them.  If they drew a plain circle on the ground and a cross either inside or next to it, that would symbolize “blessings”.

Those who knew that symbol would be happy and expect blessings because in ancient times they believed in the power of words.  Mind you they did not use this alphabet we are using to type on this blog but they had drawings which they could read.

Another symbol cross-like with black soil written on the left and what looked like the healer’s blood but was actually red sap from the Mlombwa tree (Bloodwood) was used to write on the right which would scare the person who saw it as they would think they have been cursed and so forth.

"Bloodwood" tree taken from http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html
“Bloodwood” tree taken from http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html

All this was done using the index finger which some Malawians on Facebook refer to as chala chamkomba phala which describes the way it was used to scoop and stir porridge etc.

This was believed to be similar to the ancient Malawi symbol of the cupped hand still used today to clap for chiefs of this generation and for greeting or showing politeness among other things.

The same cupped hands were also used by the ancestors of this land when asking Chauta, Namalenga, Mphambe (God) for things.

They would kneel down and clap their hands three times and then start the ancient African way of praying through their ancestor whom they assumed were closer to God in the spiritual realm.

The ancestors felt only spirits could communicate with the Great Spirit and other spirits among other things and not physical beings on earth. This was also captured through “writings” and “drawings” including some on rocks where the cultures white and red where mostly used.

In ancient Malawi these two colours were also used in waist-beads with the white meaning all is clear for the husband and the red….a no-go zone. Red was also the colour of POWER as in MPHAMVU.

This red was also used in the ancient bark cloth of Malawi’s asing’anga known as Nyanda.  This first “paint” was the “Bloodwood Tree’s” red sap known in Malawi as Mlombwa. http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/05/the-bloodwood-tree.html …

And the Kachere fig tree was used for some white drawings and was different from Mkuyu which is the Sycamore fig with Nkhuyu (figs). Its Scientific name is Ficus sycomorus and online sources show that in Swahili it’s mukuyu and mkuyu among other names.

Mukuyu tree Internet Photo
Mukuyu tree Internet Photo

Online sources say the Sycamore fig is native to Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Israel, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

However it is also found in Malawi with mainly two important Mikuyu types. One has figs which can be eaten while the other has figs which are not eaten.

The edible figs sometimes dry out including inside making them not edible because of the sun while other dried out ones are said to be eaten.

Now the other fig tree is Kachere which is native to Malawi. It’s the one which has a white sap which was used for writing in ancient times together with the Bloodwood tree (Mlombwa) for making the Nyanda bark cloth.

Kachere tree leave with white sap
Kachere tree leave with white sap

This blog is yet to establish how the ancestors wrote using the red and white sap and what role the chicken and rooster feathers played when used to “write” or draw including on some rocks.

There is also a high possibility that the Acacia nilotica tree locally known as Mpampa or Ngagaga was used for black ink as it is sometimes also used for dyeing cloth black.

And like many trees of Malawi, many also had medicinal purposes. What is also interesting to note is how the Ancient Egyptians thought it was important to record and write down information.

“It was believed they wrote things down to honor the God, Thoth, the god of writing and knowledge. Their writing language that is mostly known today was hieroglyphics – drawing and symbols, and Latin.

“The ancient writing can be found in temples, on clay boards, on papyrus (an ancient form of paper made from ground reeds), on limestone flakes and on pieces of ancient pottery, such as plates, vases and basins. The hieroglyphics were also used to communicate, tell stories to others, cautions and warnings, feelings, record-keeping and also for government uses.

“People who were able to read hieroglyphics were called Scribes, and were used to interpret the symbols and pictures drawn by others. They were also thought of as very important people and were highly paid for their job because they could communicate very well.

Cut Kachere Tree
Cut Kachere Tree

“The fact that ancient Egypt had ways to interpret, communicate and write symbols as a message to others, gave them an advantage to other countries, as they could document and refer back to history; as well as also being able to account for different things such as being able set prices for goods, tokens, supplies and services more consistently.

“Many different countries used different ways to tell other information. In some countries, people used their fingers to write things in sand, on trees and just in the air to express stories and expressions to an audience; whilst other countries used twigs, leaves and bark.

“Some countries even just used an early form of Sign Language. However, these ways could not be referred back to. But, the ancient Egyptians were one of the first countries to use pens to write down their language. The pens they used were used for thousands of years and were made from inter-twined reeds, vines, wood and leaves.

They mostly wrote on papyrus sheets with ink that was made of tree gum, honey, sap and soot. They also used firm and bendable branches to write and also painted with their fingers. It is believed that the ancient Egyptians were some of the first people to invent and create an older version of today’s ink,” partly reads http://ancientegyptianwritingandart.weebly.com/information.html

Behind colourful masks: Telling stories through words, pictures and videos….traveling with me back to ancient times