The Batubatse, their Story and Traditions
by Adv. Ponele R Seshai (Shai), as told by David Hilton Barber
This is a fascinating narrative of the Batubatse people, their early origin and their migration to their present settlement in today’s Limpopo Province. It tells of their language, story-telling, riddles, idioms and games, arts and crafts, their way of life and cultural practices; how thy worshipped their ancestors, their sacred places, burial rites and visiting of gravels, their views of witchcraft and sorcery, divination, magic and medicine. We learn of Batubatse marriage requirements, the ‘kgoro’, lineage, kinship system and totemism; how authority is exercised by the chiefs and how law is enforced and wrongs are redressed through tribal courts.
The Batubatse people trace back to the Shai Kingdom in ancient Ghana. Their story is an intriguing one of perseverance and resilience.
Author Ponele Seshai has given us a splendid insight into the history, culture and identity of the Batubatse people which resonates with the Eskia Mphahlele Centre for African Studies which hosts a qualification in Indigenous Knowledge Systems.