Raluvhimba, Flame on a Platform of Rock

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(Venda/South Africa)

Raluvhimba (Raluvhimbi, Mwari), the supreme being, the creator, is a monotheistic deity. He is the maker and shaper of everything, providing for the community of humans, rewarder of good, punisher of evil. Ancestral gods, Badzimu (singular, Mudzimu), are mediators between humans and Raluvhimba. When a human dies, he becomes a Mudzimu. If he dies far from home, he returns to the mountain of his people to join his ancestors. After a period of some years, he is worshiped.

At a place called Luvhimbi is a cave which is visited at times by Raluvhimba. It is here that he presents himself to the people.

It is said that Raluvhimba is in all natural phenomena, in thunder and the stars. And when there is a rain storm, he reveals himself in the thunder, making his demands known. When he is angry with the people, he expresses his anger with drought or flood. It is with the chief that Raluvhimba is most closely tied; so it is that when rain is desired, it is the chief who performs a ritual which brings him into contact with God. When rains come, Raluvhimba is seen in a fire near the chief's home. See also: Mwari.

Subjects: Religion.

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