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  • noun , class(3)
  • dialects: Karanga, Manyika, Zezuru

Animals, or (animal) body organs believed to be sacred to family, clan, or lineage.

Totems should not be consciously consumed by a member of the clan. Sexual relations between persons of the same totems is forbidden, since they share a common ancestor.

Totems also serve as an account of a lineage's history and character. For example, the Moyo (heart) totem people are known for the Rozvi Empire they built, their kindness, and bravery.

List of Shona Totems:

Totem Male Praise name Female Praise name
Bepe (Lung)    
Dziva / Mbedzi (Pool) Chidzivachepo Masiziva
Dzivaguru
Mlambo
Chuma (Tortoise)   Machuma
Hove (Fish) Muzvidziwa MaSiziba
Gurajena
Dziva
Pakuru
Gumbo (Leg) Chitova Magumbo
Madyarapanze
Hwai / Gwai (Sheep) Chuma Machuma
Gumbi
Mbizi / Tembo (Zebra) Dhuve Madhuve
Mazvimbakupa
Samaita
Mhara (Antelope) Chikonamombe Mashayamombe
Mhofu (Eland) Mhofu ye Mukono Mapofu
Mufakose
Nhuka
Musiyamwa
Sekemutema
Shava
Moyo (Heart) Chirandu Mamoyo
Murozvi mukuru
Dhewa
Moyondizvo
Ngara / Nungu / Chikandamiseve / Chikandamina (Porcupine) Chivasa Maposa
Zimuto
Nhewa / Ingwe (Leopard) Simboti Marozva
Nhire / Gwizo / Chimaherani (Spring hare) Mugombi Vanhenga
Matutu Mandlera
Muwariwa
Vhenya
Nyati (Buffalo)    
Nzou / Zhou (Elephant) Samanyanga Chihoro
Mhukahuru Musanha
Shato (Python)    
Shiri / Hungwe (Fish Eagle) Nyoni Manyoni
Chasura
Hungwe
Mawuruka
Shumba (Lion) Nyamuzihwa Masivanda
Murambwi
Muzeketwa
Tsiwo (Male genetalia) Gushungo Mangwenya
Tsoko variant: shoko, soko (Monkey) Madyirapanze Mancube
Murehwa
Mukanya
Makwiramiti
Ncube
Twiza / Ndudza (Giraffe) Nondo  

** The table is not complete. Please contact us to add more totems to the table. You can also expand our definition. Thank you.

English translation
totem
last updated: Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 9:20:46 AM GMT-05:00

Shona word of the day

Chino nyenga chino kotama, chino simudza musoro chawana.

Shona Proverb