meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252"> Changes in the religion of  Ndebele (Matebele) tribe   ::::
- The Changes In The Matebele Religious Beliefs  -
Changes in the Ndebele (Matabele) religion
When Mzilikazi settled in the area now known as Zimbabwe with his Zansi (the original people that left Zululand) they changed their approach to their rainmaking ceremonies. They started killing a number of oxen and burning sweet smelling plants and firewood, all lit up with a fire made from rubbing sticks together. 

The burning sweet plants’ smell mingled with that of the cooking meet and this was believed to be pleasant to the ancestors. As this will be noted later, it was a practice adopted by the Zansi from the Shona tribes as the Ndebele sought to adapt their religious practices to their new socio-economic environment and its challenges. Black oxen were also incorporated into the rainmaking ceremony, but they were not killed but kept as property for the ancestors.
The Ndebele had apart from the Inxwala festival, the Ukugwabula Inxoza ceremony where chiefs and their men would go into the countryside to knock down sticks and stones lodged in tree braches. The Zansi also believed in magic and they believed that certain body parts had extraordinary powers. People with these powers and used them for good were known as Izinyanga (wizard), and those who used these for evil were called abathakathi (witch) and they were killed when caught.

To discover the abathakathi, diviners (Izanuse) were used and unlike in Shona culture, Ndebele diviners did not use bones for divination. They instead used spirit possession and ukuvumisa, a process of asking leading questions to get to the problem. There are a number of factors that made the Zansi culture susceptible to influence from other tribes.
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The Zansi had left their sacred shrines of worship, their ancestors’ graveyards, in Zululand (South Africa) and they did have feelings that part of their religion had been left behind. Thus they harbored feelings of dissatisfaction with their rainmaking ceremonies in Zimbabwe. They felt that they were incomplete and ineffective since their ancestors were far away from them. Thus they gradually gained confidence in local Shona beliefs and rites which the Zansi believed were more successful.
Differences in Zansi and Enhla and Hole religions
Unlike the Zansi, the Sotho and Tswana believed in a high God, Modimo. They also believed that the chiefs’ ancestors were more actively interested in the welfare of their living relatives than Modimo. They also believed that Modimo was responsible for sending rain, but the chiefs were to act as intermediaries on behalf of the tribe. However because the high god was far away from the people he could only be approached by the spirits of the dead (Badimo) and it was the task of the chiefs to pray to his own ancestors so they could intercede with Modimo.
(more about Ndebele Religious beliefs here ===>>> continued)
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Changes in the Ndebele (Matabele) religion
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Ndebele Religious beliefs
Ndebele Social structure