Five Mapungubwe royal families had their dreams come true yesterday at a symbolic handover of human remains from the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape at the University of Pretoria.
The Vhangona Cultural Movement, Tshivhula Royal Council, Leshiba Royal Family, Lemba Cultural Association and Machete Royal Family were presented with certificates that declared them as owners of the remains at the unique occasion.
During the presentation, members of each family gathered on the stage where the men welcomed the certificates with poems, while the women, who were dressed in colorful traditional attire, lay on the ground as a sign of respect.
Between 700 and 1100 years ago the Shashe-Limpopo River confluence area was a place where not only rivers met, but where people from different origins and economic backgrounds came together.
Together they shaped the first state in southern Africa called Mapungubwe. At the height of its power, Mapungubwe included large areas of what is today South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
In 1933, gold lured treasure seekers to Mapungubwe. During their search they discovered human remains and archaeological artifacts, which they reported. UP launched a large inter-institutional project to investigate the archaeology and oral traditions of Mapungubwe and surroundings.