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NYAMINYAMI


The Protector

NYAMINYAMI is the WATER GOD - river snake - of the ZAMBEZI RIVER. The TONGA people of the ZAMBEZI VALLEY pledged their allegiance to this spirit by performing ceremonial dances.

NYAMINYAMI (literal meaning: meat meat) showed himself often - especially in the dry season and allowed the people to cut meat from his body in their times of need. 

NYAMINYAMI, the great RIVER GOD with the body of a snake and a fish-like head, protected and brought good fortune to those who believed in him. One year, however, when NYAMINYAMI had gone up-river and his wife had gone down-river, each to help the people, the white man came to build THE WALL in mighty KARIBA GORGE. 

NYAMINYAMI did not want his movements along the many magnificent miles of the ZAMBEZI to be impeded. 
HE WAS UNHAPPY 

KARIBA DAM took five years to complete. Unexpected heavy floods, broken bridges and collapsed walls caused time delays and many lost their lives. 

The following is taken from information provided by the OMAY CRAFT CENTRE (5), in the NYAMINYAMI DISTRICT in ZIMBABWE.  

TONGA ELDERS AND THEIR SPIRIT MEDIUMS MANAGED TO PERSUADE NYAMINYAMI TO CALM DOWN. THE DAM WAS COMPLETED AND KARIBA LAKE CAME INTO BEING. HOWEVER, NYAMINYAMI WAS SEPARATED FROM HIS WIFE AND NEVER AGAIN SHOWED HIMSELF TO ANY HUMAN BEING.

 

 

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