The Cosmos of Mophatho

By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2015

When they arrive here
A white ochre they wear
The colour of the moon
To sanctify beauty of the moon
To show stages of learning
Teachings of the ancestors
Must permeate
To confer healing knowledge
To know about them
To celebrate philosophical strategy
To show their cosmic beginnings

When they depart from here
A red ochre they wear
The colour of the sun
To attest to the convocation
When they reach the village
There is ululating
The Mophato graduates
To know about them
The genesis in the cosmos
To revere strategy of the buffalo

Contextual Commentary

When the sacred triangle of Sefalaboho (Venus), Tosa (Jupiter) and Kgwedi (Moon) brightened the night sky, Mophato exploded with ancestral chronicles and poetic renditions as a tribute to the cosmos around the fire. The throbbing sequences of the Basotho calabash instrument Lekodulo ignited a trancelike state. The instrument also evoked memories of Mamkgorong. The African griots and their students were justifiably entranced by the cosmic phenomenon. One particular narrative celebrated Botodi (the mongoose clan) for having converted their weaknesses into virtues. Thus, said the griot, the new generation must trade their blunted minds for sharp minds. This narrative was about using the moral code to defeat chaos as a mark of respect to the transcendental attributes of the indomitable mongoose. Hereafter, the wisdom keepers reassured the initiates that the future belonged to them for as long as they trusted their instincts and allowed themselves to be directed by the teachings of the erudite ancestors.

 

View this Youtube video: Lesotho: Basotho Women performing a traditional Basotho Song and Dance credit to Lesotho Pretoria.

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