I am Martina Pitjana Mashabela. I have finished three years at Boitumelo Sewing Project. There I gained more experience in arts and crafts work. I learned more skills there like beadswork, embroidery, sewing and making bowls for my ancestors. That bowls we use it to drink water or to put foods in. Sometimes amadlosi we pour blood of goats or sheep during the time we are visiting our forefathers at the cemetery. Sometimes we put some natural Fruits and Vegetables in our houses. Amadlozi use these bowls to drink blood of animals use to sacrifice for our ancestors by doing so these will help us by protection our God. So that God will forgive our sins.
It is very beautiful to do this bowls, I felt very strange. I was feeling ill before I cut one of the bowls. My womb was very painful. My right leg was paining. But after cutting the bowl I was feeling better and now I was okay. My ancestors help me. They appreciate what I did for them. I choose the pink and yellow flowers. Because my late sister likes flowers.
My name is Nolukholo and my clan name is Mqaxo. I wrote about my ancestors on the mealie bags. I chose those mealie bags because they symbolises mealies and that is what old people were eating. They used to go to the fields and plough mealies.
On the bags I embroidered a hut, cow and sun, and on the other one I embroidered a three legged pot and my clan name.
While I was cutting my bags I cut the one with the cow, hut and sun. The reason was, when we do our ritual we used to slaughter a cow and we put in the hut. The hut is were our ancestors live that is why we used round huts. And the sun symbolises that when you done your ritual and the light will come out. We say if bad things happen in your life you have to slaughter and split some blood so that your way will be clear.
When we finished slaughtering a cow we cook it with three legged pot on a fire place and we dance and enjoy.
My feeling about my rituals was like I see every door opens and I believed that my problem will be solved and I will live a better life than before.
I was very happy when I heard that we must make bowls for my ancestors. I knew that I must go and train as a sangoma but I ignored it. The first day while I was busy doing my ancestor bowls something happened to me. I feel like crying. I went to the toilette bathroom to wash my face. My whole body was hot and shaking, I nearly fell over but the students helped me until I recovered so it was a great day to me.
The topic ancestor is the first thing that gave me energy and ideas started to flow. I do believe in ancestors so I took this as a real thing. That is why I used beads, safety pins black fabric and shield because those things are associated with ancestors. It was a nice experience especially putting the bowls into the water. It was as if everything was real.
I am Florah Raseala from Hillbrow and I am now having four years at Boitumelo Sewing Project. And the reason why I am here for so long is because I enjoy what I am doing. And now I have learned a lot like Amadlozi dishes. Amadlozi dishes is the things that I did in faith of that my ancestors or my grand-grand-parents used it when they pour something inside the dishes so that they can eat or drink on it. So when I cut or burnt the dishes, I have believed that they can talk with me with actions, because I still thinking about my grandmother while I am still little young, she used to pray amadlozi and when she did so she call all his grandchild and sit around her and started to talk, at amadlozi to help us. Even there is somebody at home is not feeling well, she talk to amadlozi at that moment the sick person became hole immediately.
My name is Priscilla Glodile
When I start doing the bowls, I choose one for flower green yellow pink that means all bright colour green plants That means there is a bright light of my future.
The second bowl I burn it because there is a sign of my ancestor Izinyanga e.g. When I saw a dog or many dogs. And one bright candle that shows the ancestors are on my side looking at me.
Yesterday when I touch the second bowl I was shaking my stomach was full of wind.
Last nightg I hear my grandfather talking with me about my enemies I first I saw many dog brown in colour and wide river called Orange river, so this river is at home they told me to wash my body and the dogs bite me. In that way all my enemies are weak for me and I am very strong and I can feel that.
Last week I was praying in the mountain with my pastor, crying place to stay, God and the ancestors reply me. I have got a little place to hide with my children. But today the caretaker told me I bring only money to get a flat.
Hlengiwe Lindiwe Mathe
It was a great pleasure to remember my ancestors. Really I was surprised to learn that white people also realise the meaning of ancestors.
I made two tea cousis for my late parents. My father was a pastor and my family believes in Christ. Also in the bible there is a quotation about burning for the ancestors. I made the tea-cos for my late family.
My father dies in 18-02-1974 he liked tea so much. My first brother died in 26-02-1996. His name was Nicholas, he died at an early age of 32 yrs. I will always remember him. He left 2 children at the age of 2 and 4 yrs. My other brother died in 26-04-1999. He was my first born brother he was 63 yrs. My mother died on 01-09-2000. To my surprise my mother died on my birthday.
Today 11-02-2005 I burnt the tea cosis is remembrance of my late father, mother and my two brother. They lie side by side at family grave-yard. As I burnt they were with me, I talked to them, as I talked to them, may you be with us as we live.
My name is Lindiwe Hlangiwe means redeemed. They remove from sin, my mother nearly died on my birth day.
Posted 02 May 2005, www.face.org.za, authors: Boitumelo project participants.