Lion/Shumba/ Isilwane

Shumba Samaita is a Zimbabwean totem/mutupo/isibongo. The totem has a very long history among the indigenous societies which include the Shona, the Ndebele, Tonga, Venda, Kalanga, among others. Every totem has a branch which distinguishes it from the others. In Shona, these small branches are referred to as chidawo in Shona and in Ndebele. In this particular instance, Samaita is the chidawo for the totem.

Shumba Samaita, which belongs to the main Shumba cluster has a close relationship with the animal lion found in Zimbabwe and its taboos include refraining from lion meat. It has for long been used as a form of identity; identifying people of a particular totem with a unique social, economic, or historical background and past. It was thus a common unifying factor which bound together individuals, families and clans.

Totems in Zimbabwe are not a thing of the past despite the changes that have come with time. Many people are still identified by their respective totems. Like other totems in Zimbabwe], the Shumba Samaita totem is used in addressing people, by and large the elders, and is associated with family dignity and respect. It has also been used in praise poetry, thanksgiving, even in times of mourning.

Praise Poetry

Mwaita Mbizi,
Mwaita Chiwara,
Njuma yeRenje, Mashongera.
Hekani vene veChirovarova,
Vakabva Marenje.
Mwaita Tembo Shumba,
Zvaitwa Muroro, Musimira, Maruki.
Mwazviita Mupiyaniswa,
Magunde avasikana,
Wazviita Mbizi yokwaChikanga.
Totenda vaChifambausiku, Tendai waMutasa,
Muzungu, Mutakurwa,
Mushambadzi wamachira, Chitendera chamambo changu chichi,
Mbizi yakashonga mikonde savakadzi.
Maita Shumba Tembo,
WaSenwa avete Gorongozi,
Mwaita vari Makarati,
Vari Marenje, Guruuswa
Tatenda VaMoyo,
Zvaitwa Dhuve rangu riri,
Rina makwapa makwapa,
Hekani VaChikanga,
Mbizi Chiverekete.
Mwaita Shumba yapasi.
Mwaita Zenze, Romo,Kuwa kweBinga zuva rinoora.
Mwaita vari kuGwara, Mahwemachena,
Zvaitwa vari kuTsoka,
Vari Chirovarova neMahwemasimike.
Maita Chihwa, Shumba yevese,
Maita henyu vari kuChai, Mahwemanyoro,
Aiwa zvaitwa Dehwerembizi, Gakangoma,
Zvaitwa Samaita.[1]





References

  1. , Shumba Samaita,Harare Tees, retrieved:16 Mar 2016"