Several traditional leaders and the communities taste the first marula beer at Ha-Mukomaasinanndu village.
With the beginning of the marula/vukanyi season, the rural village Ha-Mukomaasinanndu outside Thohoyandou has organized the so-called muhwedzo wa u luma mukumbi (tasting of the first fruit) or ku luma vukanyi ceremony on Saturday.
Several traditional leaders, such Khosi Masikhwa Thavha ya Vhathu of Ha-Luvhimbi, Khosi Mulindathavha Tshinetise of Dovheni in Ha-Piet Booi, Khosi Mmbangiseni Nemalamangwa and community members gathered in Khosi Nndwamato Nnyambeni’s chief kraal in Ha-Mukomaasinanndu village to taste the marula beer.
A community member who participated in the ceremony, Mr Kanakana Sumbana, said that at the beginning of the season, marula beer must first be tested by the traditional leader with the villagers, allowing marula beer makers the opportunity to brew and sell to the people.
He said the marula fruit ripened between January and March each year and collecting them to make beer was an age-old tradition where the mukoma of each village informed the marula beer makers, who are mostly women, to collect the fruits and start making beer.
They each donated five litres of marula beer to the chief’s kraal, so that it could be consumed by the traditional leaders and communities during the ceremony. “In our Vhavenda culture, no one is allowed to start tasting the marula beer without its being tasted by the traditional leaders,” Sumbana said.
He added that the drinking of marula beer also made people to come together as it was the beer they enjoyed drinking together in a group.
One of the women who brew marula beer, Ms Makhadzi Mudzuli, said that it took three to four days for the marula beer to ready to be consumed. She added that rural women must now start collecting the fruit, so that they could empower themselves economically by selling the beer.
On Sunday, some traditional leaders, including Thovhele Nkhaneni Ramovha, gathered in his chief kraal in Mulenzhe for the same ceremony of tasting the first beer.