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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mosinyi's Coronation

Late August, we had a really exciting event take place in Shoshong.  My brother, Mosinyi Mosinyi, was coronated as chief of our ward, Bokaa!  Shoshong has three wards: Phaleng, Bokaa and Kgamane.  Phaleng and Bokaa are the largest, each having roughly 35 sub-wards.

Mosinyi now presides over the customary court of Bokaa, deciding on matters that are brought there.  He also gives people advice independent of court proceedings.  He can try cases of land disputes, marriage disputes, etc.  He is also seen as a leader in the community now that he is a chief.

Here are some photos from the event and the week leading up to it:

A lot of people came the week before to help clean, cook and prepare for the coronation.  Here, they are preparing the mud mixture that they will put around the tree.

Collecting straw to cover the small house in the back of the compound

Both my house and the main house were re-painted.  This is Mushi, one of Mosinyi's friends, painting the main house.

At any gathering, there is a metal fence put up where people are cooking.  The women always cook the starches, greens and other salads.  The men take care of the meat.  I think 11 cows were slaughtered to feed people at the coronation.  You can see some of them behind the metal wall here.

One of my favorite dishes is bogobe jwa lerotsi.  It is a starch made from sorghum.  Then you put little pieces of melon in it.  Yum!  Here the women are peeling the melons.

Program for the event (I have a shirt with the top part on it...its PRETTY GREAT)

People waiting for the event to start

The seat of honor with all the male village elders sitting behind it

Here comes Mosinyi flanked by chiefs of Shoshong and nearby villages

A group of young men doing some sort of drama (you can see me on the left videotaping)

Me videotaping

The next to perform was a chorus from Shoshong

Then a traditional dance group from Shoshong Junior Secondary School

How it looked at the kgotla - lots of people!

I wrote a poem for the occasion.  It was mostly in English but I think people liked it.

There were many speeches by old men I didn't know, but I didn't put those photos up here.  This is the part when Mosinyi was actually being coronated.  I thought it would be more ceremonial, but they mostly read the history of the Bakaa tribe, said some words of advice and then we went on our way.  Here, Mosinyi is sitting down.  Standing behind him (l to r) are Chief Mosinyi from Kalamare, another chief from somewhere I don't know, and Chief Mosinyi from Shoshong (one of the chiefs at the main kgotla).

Mma Mosinyi sitting at the table of honor

The best part: when we get to eat!  Here is Susan helping out with the serving

It was a lot of fun being part of the celebrations.  I was honored to read a poem and be included as a real community member.  It was special for me (and much easier to sit through) because it was my brother becoming chief.  These ceremonies take hours and hours, so it is really nice when you actually know the subject of the proceedings.  I don't think I have ever seen that many people at an event in Shoshong.  It was truly a great day!

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