Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Every month of October, more precisely, on the 22nd day of that month, a ceremony is conducted among the Lovedu people of South Africa to ensure that rain falls in abundance and that the community is spared the dreadful experience of droughts. The people approach their queen with gifts, dances, and songs, and they organize this elaborate ceremony, known as the Rainmaking Ceremony, to appeal to her benevolence. The ceremony takes place in the royal compound in the village of Khetlahkone. The Rain Queen, indeed, is believed to have the mystical power to control rain. In a community where agriculture and cattle rearing play a critical role in the sustenance of its members, as it is with the Lovedu people, the importance attached to the falling of rain comes as no surprise. Furthermore, rain, generally speaking, is linked in African life and religion to the fundamental notions of fertility and ...