Ju’Hoansi San set to shake it at Kuminda Farm
The annual Zhizha Cultural Festival at Kuminda Farm in Marobela is expected to culminate into a spiritual night, as heavens open for the healing Gods of the San.
Trance and healing dancers Ju’Hoansi San from Qangwa village near Tsodilo Hills will headline this year’s traditional gathering on May 26th at Kuminda Farm.
Themed ‘Ku-nzipo (ko monateng), Zhizha will feature the usual activities. Organisers have added more cultural entertainment to augment the usual food demonstration that has always been a hit amongst revellers.
Different traditional Ikalanga groups will perform Hosana, woso and other indigenous traditional dances.
Stinkana players from Lepashe will also add to the fun on the activities expected to start at 11am.
The stars of the evening will however be the Qangwa ensemble.
Known for their entrancing dance moves believed to have healing powers, Ju’Hoansai San will start performing at 7pm until 7 in the morning.
They will also have a stall at the event where they’ll be selling their artefacts.
The healing power of the San dance has sparked a lot of interest from both scholars and the public.
In 2008 Psychotherapist, Shaman and San researcher, Bradford Keeney,
published a six-CD audio instruction course, Shaking: the original path to ecstasy and healing.
The sleeve notes of Shaking explain that the course uses ‘full body interactive learning’ as a means of participating in the kinaesthetic world of the Southern African Kalahari San and thereby learning something of how San healers construe the world.
Further still, through this kinaesthetic interaction, Keeney promises to ‘reveal the ancient use of spontaneous motion and vocal expression as a path to spiritual ecstasy and healing’. Put another way, Keeney is claiming that the way the body is used in San healing dances profoundly informs San cosmology and by using our bodies in the same way we might get a glimpse at, not only the San art of healing, but a more widely found religious phenomenon, ‘shaking medicine’, the original medicine.
Based principally on his work with Ju/’hoansi San, Keeney recognises the San as the strongest shakers out of all the healers and shaman he has encountered.
He believes the aim of their healing dance is to use shaking to open up to ‘spirit’, or to work with the manifestation of god, which he terms the ‘Big Love’(Keeney 2004:67).
By drawing on archaeological arguments for the longevity of the San healing dance and genetic arguments for San as our oldest common living ancestors, Keeney frames San shaking medicine as our birth right, the original medicine in which we all can share.
Revellers attending this years’ Zhizha will witness this ancient healing dance first hand as they kill the night away with the San Gods.
Ikalanga cuisine although remains one of the key attractions at the event and some of the sumptuous dishes to be served include Serobe, Delele, Dobi (pounded dry red meat mixed with peanuts) morogo wa dinawa mixed with groundnuts, phane, tswana chicken, madila (sour milk), Mauru, Thopi, Bogobe jwa Mmidi, Chimoni, Samp, Seswaadi), Serobe, Delele, Dobi, phane, madila (sour milk), and there’ll be plenty of traditional Setswana brew for imbibers.
According to the founder of Zhizha Lucy Hinchliffe, Kuminda farm offers more than just an event venue.
The farm has also become a go to area for groups on cultural tours.
“For kids who want to know more about bee keeping, organic farming, worm farms and stuff like we usually make time for them,” said Hinchliffe.
She said she is also looking into moving into Agro tourism.
“I’ll focus on small stock, organic farming, beekeeping which I already have,” she said.
“I hope this will attract local and international schools and visitors on cultural awareness programmes,” she said.