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The Legend of Nyaminyami

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posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 09:53 AM
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Nyaminyami, the river God. He has a body like a snake and a head like a fish and no one knows how big he is, for he never showed himself in full display. But he is very big! The people of Zambezi Valley in Zimbabwe were protected by Nyaminyami, their ancestral spirit (Mudzimu), who fed them from his own meat in times of hunger.

www.safariafrica.co.za...

I was born in Zimbabwe and my father was a District Commissioner dealing with Native affairs way back in the 60's. He was fluent in Shona and very well-versed in this legend.

Nyaminyami the river god:

Whilst the waters of Lake Kariba were only just rising and the Tonga were being relocated they invoked Nyaminyami in a spirit of resistance. Although he was never used as a political symbol it was generally agreed that he disapproved of the white man's plans to build the dam. In 1957 when a 1000 year flood was recorded on the Zambezi, construction was halted and set back by flood damage. The locals nodded knowingly and waited for the final destruction during the next rainy season. This of course nearly happened with the 1958 flood which was only slightly less violent than the previous year. Elders today claim that it was only their intervention which placated Nyaminyami. In Kariba there are still occasional earth tremors from the load of the lake on the earth's surface. Locals claim that this is Nyaminyami who at the time of the sealing of the dam wall was philandering down stream towards Mana Pools He's now very lonely and only the destruction of the dam will reunite him with this wife.



There are numerous reports that the Kariba wall was built on unstable ground and will soon break causing massive downstream floods.
Kariba Dam Wall under threat of collapse




posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 10:13 AM
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this is cool stuff. i had never heard of any of this before. thx for sharing the articles and your time!



posted on Oct, 9 2008 @ 10:23 AM
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Thanks, I thought it would nice to share some of the legends that I have heard as a child growing up in Africa. Africans have the best legends and mythical beasts. If you are interested, also look up the tokoloshe which other have already posted about on this site.
The tokoloshe is a very feared creature even in modern day South Africa.



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 01:03 PM
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Saw a thing about this on a programme about monster hunting. All they found is a couple of hippo's which they did actually think was this thing until they reviewed the tapes. In the end they determined its more of a spiritual, almost god like myth rather than a myth with hard evidence.



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 08:22 AM
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Originally posted by Liamoville
Saw a thing about this on a programme about monster hunting. All they found is a couple of hippo's which they did actually think was this thing until they reviewed the tapes. In the end they determined its more of a spiritual, almost god like myth rather than a myth with hard evidence.


I think it is pretty much accepted that this is a myth and a legend - something like King Arthur or Atlantis (although some may dispute that either of these are myths).
This is the reason I posted it here, and also gave it the subject which included the word "legend".
If I thought for a second this was real, I would have included lots of exclamation marks and some links to Barney the Dinoasaur's website as "100% PROOF!!!!".



[edit on 13-10-2008 by deltaalphanovember]



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 09:24 AM
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Im South African as well, Grew up in a little town called Lydenburg, we had the same name for a weird creature of the deeps there as well



posted on Oct, 13 2008 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by bskivss3
 


Hey welcome ... Lydenburg is a beautiful area -I have done some fly fishing there in the past.

I really didn't know that the myth was more widespread in Southern Africa, thanks for the update!



posted on Nov, 23 2008 @ 02:40 PM
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I was also born in Zimbabwe and so know of that legend. Something I only found out much later though is that some Zimbabweans believe that you should never go onto Kariba without wearing a Nyaminyami pendant to protect you...otherwise you are likey to be eaten by crocodiles, apparently.

I had seen the pendant many times before, but always thought it was a shell, until I looked up close and noticed the serpent. Heres a pic of the design:

And the pendant itself...


I imagine this part of the legend was thought up by the enterprising local craftsman.



posted on Nov, 24 2008 @ 04:32 AM
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reply to post by the siren
 


If you ever go to Victoria Falls and get a chance to look at the local wood and soapstone carvings, you may find some examples of the pics you have linked to. Stunningly beautiful craftmanship.

I have swum and fished in Lake Kariba many times and so far have not had any encounters with crocs. Of course the swimming only took place in the very middle of the dam (very deep) where croc encounters were less likely (or so the theory goes)


Where were you born? I was born in Hwange.

Thanks for the post

D.a.n



posted on Nov, 24 2008 @ 01:53 PM
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I was born in Bulawayo. Wasn't Hwange previously known as Wanky or something like that?



posted on Nov, 25 2008 @ 04:16 AM
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reply to post by the siren
 


Siren, yes you are right but whenever I mention it's original name (Wankie) I get odd look and quite a few chuckles. It's slightly embaressing.


Anyway it's good to have someone from my birth country here on ATS




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