[ Note to historians: This is not an academic or scientific work. The text and pictures are in support of a fictional account of the adventures of Coenraad de Buys. ]
Giant baobab trees dot the landscape and elephant still feel some
attraction to the "Royal Hill". Almost every morning a few elephant can be seen browsing in the foothills of Mapungubwe. This "Forbidden Hill" has a similar influence on humans. Following the secret path and reaching the top at first light, is an eerie feeling that
gave me goose-bumps. I couldn't help thinking about the young maidens
that must have walked this way many centuries ago.
The Mapungubwe Kingdom features prominently in a historic novel about Coenraad de Buys
and his search for the African cities of gold. King Solomon's Mines,
the Queen of Sheba and their elusive land of Ophir with its riches,
forms the mystery in his historic quest.
If you are on top of this mysterious hill very early in the morning, it is an extraordinary feeling. The view and the feeling of being watched gives you goose bumps but for very different reasons!
The whole area teems with legends and stories some of them dating back
thousands of years. Bushmen hunters left their first rock art pictures
all over the valley, the most beautiful at Kaggen Koppie.
The Mapungubwe Song:
"For the offering of rain, clay
pots are filled with sorghum. And if it does not rain? Then the last offering is a
10-year-old child. When the jackal begins to call
'Ma-pun-gub-we, ma-pun-gub-we', meaning, 'many children are dead', it is the
season of drought Many people gather, and call upon
the Rainmaker, Then clay pots are filled with
sorghum And young women carry these pots to
the summit of the hill, Via the secret ladder They place the pots down upon the
ground, And then the snake comes to bite
them, Some survive, some do not Singing and dancing takes place, and
a ten-day old goat is killed, Cremated, and placed in a clay pot, Then, the young girls put more pots
down on the ground, And the vultures come to peck their
eyes out, Then there are festivities, dancing,
eating and drinking, And the witchdoctor comes to sniff
out the young boy of ten years old He is burnt, and placed in a pot, Once again, the young girls carry
the pots up the hill. THEN IT RAINS."