Asking Questions: Zulu Ritual

The following piece is an interesting read.  A member of an African Tribe describes a traditional ritual, where the killing of a bovine is required. The meat is left in a house for the spirits to eat. However, when morning arrives, nothing appears to be eaten.

Important note:  African theology and mythology was often collected by white colonists. As such, the information provided may not have entirely kept the true spirit of these traditions. However, this is the material that we have, so we encourage readers to take this information with a grain of salt.


When they slaughter cattle, they first praise the snake, and then the bullock is killed. When it is killed they skin it; and a little of the fat27 is taken, and put in the upper part of the hut on a sherd; and fire is placed on it. When the flesh of the bullock burns, the Amatongo eat (if they do come to eat the flesh of a bullock). The flesh of the bullock is taken and put in a house. One man stays in the house where the flesh is put, for it is said the Amatongo will come and eat flesh. But in the morning we do not see where the Amadhlozi have eaten; we see the limbs of the bullock all there, and the meat that was on the sherd has not been eaten by any thing; it remains just as it was; we do not see any that has been eaten.

But when we ask, “What do the Amadhlozi eat? for in the morning we still see all the meat,” the old men say, “The Amatongo lick it.” And we are unable to contradict them; but are silent, for they are older than we, and tell us all things, and we listen; for we are told all things, and assent without seeing clearly whether they are true or not.

To read the full text:

Related Reading

Names of Spirits and Gods
Independent Thinking


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