PONDO (amaMpondo, amaMpondimise; Xhosa, Pondoland, South Africa)



IndexAfricaSouth AfricaXhosa→ Pondo


Featured: Zulu, Basuto, Swasi, Bovale, Pedi, Lemba, Xhosa, Xesibe, Tshidi Barolong, Venda, Fingo, Lobedu, Pondo; ®!Xo

Largely regarded as Xhosa as a subgroup of the larger Xhosa-speaking peoples of what is now the Eastern Cape. “When a girl reaches the age of puberty, she is secluded in a hut of her fathers "kraal" and stays there up to three months, during which time she is fattened, her complexion is treated, and she is instructed in what is expected of a wife. Most girls marry between sixteen and eighteen. The groom's family is expected to hand over a number of cattle to her father. She can't marry until him or his family have acquired the necessary cattle, either as payment for labor or for a dowry for his people”[1].


A full exposé of Pondo initiation in the early 1930s was offered by Hunter[2]. Boys are circumcised.






Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. VolumeI. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1]Carlisle, R. (Ed.) The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mankind. New York: M. Cavendish, 1984, 1989, p1599-1601 [unconfirmed]

[2]Hunter, M. (1936) Reaction to Conquest: Effects of Contact with Europeans on the Pondo of South Africa. Cape Town: David Phillip, 1979, esp. p320–48