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Shaman Rain Making in Africa

Shaman 'Rainmaking' Center Discovered in South Africa


Archaeologists in South Africa have stumbled upon an ancient shamanic rainmaking site atop a 1,000-foot-tall hill at Ratho Kroonkop,(RKK) Zimbabwe, while investigating rock art. The shamans would have climbed to the top of RKK through natural fissures in the rock and when they reached the peak of the hill, they would have lit a fire to burn animal remains as part of their rainmaking rituals.

The latest finding, which has been published in the journal Azania, revealed two naturally formed “rock tanks”, which are depressions in the rock created when water weakens the underlying sandstone. Archaeologists also found more than 30,000 individual animals specimens, including rhinoceros, zebra and giraffe.

Shamanic rainmaking ceremonies are thousands of years old and were once practiced all around the world. In this tradition, a man or woman who shows a special predisposition will be trained for many years in the art of rainmaking. The paramount ability is the relationship that is developed with the weather. 

The rainmaking site at Ratho Kroonkop would have been used by the San people, an indigenous hunter-gatherer tribe in South Africa. "The site was possibly used by hunter-gatherers for many years, as there is San rock art at the bottom of the hill. Over time, farmers came onto the landscape and knew that the site was sacred in San cosmology; they would hire the San shamans to control the rain, but also left their own marks on the site by painting their own sacred animals over the San art, adding power to their own animals" said researcher Simone Brunton.

The art of rainmaking is still practiced today in a few places in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and wherever some knowledge of the old way remains.

By April Holloway

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April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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