From Fighting the Brits To Wearing Kilts, the Pedi People Are Something To Behold

From Fighting the Brits To Wearing Kilts, the Pedi People Are Something To Behold

  • South Africa's Pedi people have a long and rich cultural history that spans back centuries in the rainbow nation
  • From splitting with the Sotho people who migrated South to fighting the British, Pedi people have a diverse background
  • Briefly News explores the traditions, clothes, cultures, food and lifestyles led by the Pedi people of South Africa

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The Pedi people of South Africa account for 4.9 million of the country's population. They speak Pedi or Bapedi and their culture is rich in tradition. People like former president Kgalema Motlanthe and EFF CIC Julius Malema are just a few notable names from this ethnic group.

Briefly News delves deep into the cultures and traditions of the Pedi people in order to gain a better understanding of them and their practices.

Kgalema Motlanthe, Julius Malema, politicians, Pedi people, South African tribe
Former president Kgalema Motlanthe and EFF CIC Julius Malema are just two notable figures from the Pedi people of SA. Image: Max Mumby / Indigo and Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg
Source: Getty Images

History of South Africa's Pedi people

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The Pedi people originated from the Bakgatla offshoot of the Sotho people who migrated south from Central Africa. The Bakgatla people gained their tribal name from Cheif Mokgatla, reports Kruger Park.

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Several tribes made up the Pedi people who were quite wealthy under the rule of King Thulare who ruled the Pedi Empire in 1800. After his death in 1824, two years of disputes followed as fights over who would be his successor ensued.

King Sekhukhune 1, Pedi King, First Sekhukhune War, Second Sekhukhune War, Pedi people
King Sekhukhune 1 was victorious in his first battle against the British and fought against them again. Image: Print Collector / Getty Images and Ditaba tsa Sekhukhune / Facebook
Source: Getty Images

King Thulare's son, Sekwati, took over and stabilised the political entity. He was succeeded by his son Sekhukhune 1 who refused to pay any tax to Government. This resulted in the First Sekhukhune War that lasted months.

King Sekhukhune 1 was victorious in his battle but was attacked again by the British causing the Second Sekhukune War, reports Buzz SA. The King was arrested in 1879 and released in 1881 where he was murdered by his stepbrother.

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The religion and traditional practices of South Africa's Pedi people

The publication reported that a large number of Pedi people follow Christianity but there are still members who are heavily involved in their traditional practices.

Pedi women, Pedio people, South African tribe, history of Pedi people
The Pedi people are strong in their traditions although many are now believers of Christianity. Image: ALEXANDER JOE/AFP
Source: Getty Images

Although modern influences and technology can be expected to change certain things, the Pedi people who are strong in their traditions and have not changed much about themselves.

The Pedi people practice what is known as 'ancestral worship'. They participate in acts such as animal sacrifice and the offering of beer, reports SA History.

The culture and clothing of South Africa's Pedi people

Pedi people's creativity in their beadwork, colours and patterns are stunning. Pedi men wear clothes that are similar to kilts and adorn themselves in beads on their necks and arms.

Pedi warrior, Pedi man, Pedi people of South Africa, Pedi tribe, South African tribe, history of Pedi people
This image shows a Pedi warrior clad in traditional attire including a kilt. Image: Hoberman Collection / Universal Images Group
Source: Getty Images

Pedi women tend to wear large dresses or calf-length skirts paired with pleated tops. Women used to wear aprons which were known as 'ntepa' and 'lebole'. They also adorn themselves with beads and some tend to wear headscarves.

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The food eaten by South Africa's Pedi people

Although colonisation has played a massive part in changing the dietary habits of the Pedi people, many still maintain their cultural heritage. Like many Saffa cultures, Pedi food consists of vegetables, meat and traditional beer.

The language spoken by the Pedi people of South Africa

Pedi people speak Sepedi. Confusion tends to set in as many believe that Pedi people are speaking Northern Sotho. These are two different groups of people who speak two different languages. Sepedi is more closely related to Tswana and is spoken in Limpopo, parts of Gauteng and the North West Province.

The lives led by the Pedi people of South Africa today

Pedi people are still strong in their traditions and culture and display their lives on social media - as do many others. Modernised versions of traditional attire and westernised food make up their lives today.

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Britannica reports that the traditional territory of the Pedi people is between the Olifants and Steelpoort rivers in Limpopo.

"Put My Sotho Swag on": Lady has SA going gaga after sharing wedding snaps

In other news about SA cultures, Briefly News previously reported that a local woman had SA gushing after sharing some absolutely flawless pictures of herself from a recent traditional wedding.

While the guest had absolutely no intention of stealing the show, she shut it down in a red number that clearly had everyone talking. Heading online, Twitter user @MrSwaggLady shared the images of herself.

"Did my hair and showed up. My sister was getting married and I had to put my Sotho Swagg on," she enthusiastically captioned the post.

Peeps were really feeling the attire and took to the comments section to share their thoughts.

Source: Briefly News

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