The November Taboo

November is Mbudzi in Shona, often called Mwedzi we Mbudzi or “month of the goat”.

Wilbert Sadomba, in “Using Taboos and Proverbs as Oral Archives of Indigenous Knowledge” eloquently describes this month as follows,

“Women are regarded with the sanctity of nature because they possess power of regeneration through their fecundity. This is reflected in a number of values, beliefs and taboos. November is known as Mwedzi wembudzi, the month of the goat. November marks the period of regeneration of both flora and fauna following the first rains. With abundance of food, herbivores of all kinds start to reproduce and November is the peak period for this process of regeneration. This observation led to the development of the taboo thatforbids marriage during the month of November.

The taboo was developed to avoidaccidental killing of pregnant animals for marriage or other ceremonies.”