On the Property where the Shoe is, a shallow cave was found. After digging into the cave several artefacts from the Iron Period was found. A literature study was done based on the findings. This is what the archaeologist Helgart Prinsloo said about this cave, the developing of the landscape and the people who lived in it:
Early in 1990 Mr Johan Vlock and Mr Ron van Zyl started developing the cave on this farm. The intent being to find more tunnels which would show stalagmites and stalactites for tourism. The following was found during this process:
• Utensils and whole pots (earthenware)
• Animal bones
• Tools and human remains
The Bushman rock shelter is in close proximity and has a long chronological evidence of inhabitants. For this reason the development of Mogaba Cave was started.
The Peopling of Southern Africa, by David Phillips 1978 of Cape Town.
The Pedi, Pretoria; by JL van Schalk of Pretoria
Cave systems are found in different stages of development in SA. Hollows are formed by the dolomite dissolving in water. When the water level resides, rain-water along with oxygen form travertine. By erosion opening are eaten in into the roof. This is how the cave under discussion was formed, now being used by bats and other small animals. Owl dung and the bones of small animals form breccias. The gaping hole now allows soil and bones of dead animals to wash in. The cave now provides protection for leopard, porcupine, hyenas, warthogs and more breccias forms.
Initiation of Pedi Boys
Fighting starts among the young boys of age to determine a leader. The leader is now called ‘Nkgwete’ and the loser ‘Tshiding’. Amongst the girls, the leader is chosen according to their ability to sing and dance. The girl leader is called ‘Malokwane’.
The non initiated boys and girls forms a groups. The Boys are known as ‘Leseboro’ and the girls are known as ‘Lethumasa’. They form their own community with their own social laws. Their parents are no longer responsible for their deeds. The leaders form their own court of law to discipline the others.
The Pedi people consider the initiation ceremony of so much importance that the tribal chief is in complete control. This is the cultural precept of the Pedi and counts for the whole tribe. It is unlawful for the females to be present at the initiation of men and vice versa. All youngsters of the tribe are obligated to attend all ceremonies.
Ceremonies are centralised around the leader of the group, which would usually be the highest ranking son of the chief. The leader is called: Khosana ya Mphatho. This person will remain the leader of this group for life. Blood brothers are not allowed to attend ceremonies at the same time. Those men who are not interested in the initiation process forever have the status of a Child. Non – interested children and those who die during the initiation process are forgotten as quickly as possible.
The normal age of initiation is between 12 – 16 years. Boys as young as 6 years of age are sometimes sent for initiation by their parents fearing that their children will be indoctrinated at school with Western concepts. These youngsters are often not strong enough to overcome the difficulties of the initiation process.
The initiation process consists of three stages:
For the Boys – The Bodika followed by the Bogwera. For the Girls the Byala.
Before the initiation process starts the ‘Rabadia’ (Initiation Chief) and the ‘Moditiana’ (Second in charge) is elected. The Rabadia is usually the younger brother of the Tribal Chief. The Witch doctor who will perform the circumcision is also elected. He is not a member of the tribe to eliminate the possibility of witchcraft.
This part of the initiation take approximately three months. The Initiates are not allowed to come into contact or be seen by females or people of non-interest.
The group of initiates are completely obedient to the leader.
Circumcision starts at the lowest rank to lessen any possibilities of witchcraft. All these operations are completed before sunrise. After this process they are considered as teenagers and are now called ‘Badikana’.
The Bodika huts are always built far from the kraal.
During this stage initiates white wash themselves with ash. They are taught a secret language and how to hunt and do wood and leather work. Certain manly qualities such as bravery, endurance, obedience to their fathers and disobedience to their mothers, respect for the tribal chief, tribal history, tribal genealogy and also sexual education are taught to them.
Before the end of this time the group forms a regiment and are given a name. A few days before the initiation process ends the tribal leader is informed so that he can give orders for a great feast to be held. During these last few days they are now taught how to break stones by heating and then cooling them off in water. Every boy must prepare a flat stone to give to the Leaders. When the boys are send to fetch firewood on the last day, the leaders construct three conical shaped rock piles near the entrance of the hut.
The boys now wash the white paint off and rub themselves with a red oak fat which their mothers prepared for them and sent along in a small container. They are no longer ‘Badikana’ but are now ‘Dialogane’. All deaths which would occur during the initiation would be made known to the mothers by placing their son’s container of red oak fat in front of her hut.
The boys stay with the tribal chief for 10 days after which they are allowed to go home. They are now known as ‘Magaola’.
During the bogwera the boys are now incorporated into the political system with the men. A day before the ending off the ceremony a pole is erected next to the initiation hut. On top of the pole a special grass mat is fastened, this is called a Sepekwe. The Sepekwe looks like a bird with outstretched wings. The Sepekwe is the sign to the community that the Bogwera is about to end. The length of the pole would be determined by the size of the regiment. All the members would stand in a row and place their hands on the pole covering the pole completely. The pole is placed in the kgoro next to the ceremonial fire and will never be removed. This is the formal incorporation of the regiment s as unity into the community of men.
After both of the initiation processes of the boys were completed the Byala begins for the girls.