Modjadji V, Rain Queen, South Africa

Modjadji V, Rain Queen, South Africa

South Africa: Queen Modjadji V has thirty-three wives. She is not allowed to marry men, but must choose her “wives” among the eldest daughters of the Lovedu people, while her dynasty has ruled for two centuries. Modjadji V the Rain Queen has mystical rainmaking powers. The Zulu have always feared these queens, who live in the mountains of the Transvaal. They believed they were four-lunged witches, who haunted ponds and marshes. When the ruler died, the empire of the Monomotapa was divided between her two sons. One of them was the sacred king of Mambo. His daughter, Dzuguzini, and her lover had a son out of wedlock. Since she refused to reveal her lover’s name to her father, he expelled her from the kingdom. Before leaving, she stole the sacred beads and the secret of the rain, which she gave to her son as a gift. Later, she admitted that she had a committed incest with her brother the prince. Thus Dzuguzini’s son became the new king of Mambo. Born of incest, the dynasty perpetuated itself by incest. Mugodo, the fifth king in the dynasty, was paranoid. He saw plots everywhere. He murdered his sons, and as his madness worsened, he became convinced that all men wanted to assassinate him. Mugodo had a vision that only a woman born of royal incest could govern the people. Since his eldest daughter refused to commit incest, King Mogodo convinced his second daughter, who was more naive, to do so. She gave him a son whom he immediately strangled with his bare hands. Her second child was a daughter who became Modjadji II, the Rain Queen.

from African Kings by Daniel LAINÉ
Source: flickr.com