Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
Limpopo
Attractions
Culture
History
Food
Family
Polokwane
Cultural Discoveries

TThe Bapedi tribe (also known as Pedi and Basotho) arose from small chiefdoms that were formed before the 17th century. They were defeated in the 19th century by the armies of Mzilikazi, the king who founded the Matabele kingdom. They were then revived by Pedi chief Sekweti.

The Bapedi tribe practices the ancestral customs. The Malopo ritual is the most ritual of understanding the Bapedi culture. This is overall called go phasa.  This ritual usually involves the animal sacrifice or the presenting of beer by the most key figure family member called Kgadi. Some slaughter goats or cows when they need to communicate with their ancestors while some use snuff and tlhotlwa (African traditional beer). Ancestors may come to you via a spiritual power and give you strength to heal through ditaola (bones).

WWhen they prepare traditional beer, they use different kinds of mabele (sorghum meal), which is mixed with hot water. They then store the mixture in a cold place, a self-made traditional house made of tree branches. When it’s ready, the old women brew it, and then pour it into moeta (muddy pots), and serve it to the elders. They don’t drink from regular cups, but from mokgopu (traditional cups). Traditional beer for others is only cooked and served at weddings and ancestral ceremonies.

Bapedi also have different kinds of cultural music:

  • Mpepetlwane, played by young girls.
  • Mmatšhidi, played by elderly men and women
  • Kiba/Dinaka, played by men and boys, and now joined by women
  • Dipela, played by everyone
  • Makgakgasa, played by older women

Bapedi eat meat and vegetables, and popular dishes include thophi (made from maize meal and a fruit called lerotse, a melon), mashotja (Mopani worms), moroga wa dikgopana (spinach cooked and left to dry in the sun), and dikgobe (coarsely ground corn/samp and beans).

Foods are cooked on the ground using firewood and a three-legged pot - the Bapedi don’t use gas or electricity to cook.

AAbout the author

Mankgase Mashabela started writing Pedi books in 1992. He has published seven books and edited two others. In 2011, when the Society for Bapedi Culture and Music was formed, he was appointed as spokesperson. In 2015, he was honoured for his contribution to Sepedi culture and music. He is currently shooting a documentary on Bapedi culture that will be screened on local television.

To visit

Related articles

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Xhosa cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Venda culture

Venda culture

Venda culture and traditions are rooted in the responsibilities of the royal leaders, who are referred to as mahosi or vhamusanda in the Luvenda language, which means chiefs or traditional leaders who are royal leaders.

African ancestors

African ancestors

African ancestors continue to give Africans a shared and personal sense of self-affirmation, identity and unfettered belonging.

Zulu cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Zulu cuisine: the dishes and traditions

Zulu cuisine is still very much influenced by tradition and its celebration of history and a commitment to culture.

Traditional African food in South Africa

Traditional African food in South Africa

The food story of South Africa.

The culture of Basotho: history, people, clothing and food

The culture of Basotho: history, people, clothing and food

As a nation that boasts about its rich culture, the Basotho can trace their origins to the pre-historic age.

Culture and expression of identity: The Ndebele of South Africa

Culture and expression of identity: The Ndebele of South Africa

The Ndebele of South Africa constitute one group of people whose identity has survived precarious conditions and existential crisis under the weight of changing power dynamics of internal and external factors from pre-colonial to present times.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2019 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy