domba, noun

Forms:
Also dhomba, and with initial capital.
Origin:
Venda
1. The period of initiation of young Venda girls into womanhood; the rites associated with this initiation; the dance performed during these rites (see sense 2 below). Also attributive. See also boyale.
1931 H.A. Stayt BaVenda 309The python dance of the domba, which has been described as a probable fertility rite, is made clearer when the beliefs concerning drought are understood.
1932 N.J. Van Warmelo Contribution towards Venda Hist. (Dept of Native Affairs) 52The Domba is held only at the kraals of chiefs. At intervals of about three or four years all girls who have attained the age of puberty must be brought thither, and remain there to dance the Domba...Boys are also required to join in the dancing but are bullied less, and the Domba appears primarily a rite for females.
1964 B. Tyrrell in Natal Mercury 1 Oct.Domba is initiation for marriage of Venda girlhood.
1976 West & Morris Abantu 96 (caption)Most famous of Venda rituals is the domba, or girls’ initiation rite. This can last three months or more during which time the girls live in special villages and use words secret to the domba.
1982 Pace Feb. 110The unending months of the domba, the initiation rites which today are still a general preparation for womanhood and marriage for some Venda women...The girls..would be divided into work parties to work the fields of the chief. Thus the domba was a valuable source of labour as well.
1987 J. Quest Burning River 36‘You do not know the domba?’ Dirk shook his head. Takalani looked surprised. ‘Nor the python dance, then, I suppose. It comes after the vhusha, the girls’ first initiation. The domba comes later on when they are ready for marriage. Every day they do the python dance in the honour of the ancestors and to obtain their favour...When the time of the domba is over, they are women, ready to be married.’
1989 Flying Springbok Oct. 166Domba figures made by Nelson Mukhuba (used ritually as teaching aids in girls’ initiation ceremonies).
2. combination
domba dance, python dance.
1932 N.J. Van Warmelo Contribution towards Venda Hist. (Dept of Native Affairs) 63To the accompaniment of several drums,..they begin to dance the peculiar Domba dance, moving slowly forward step by step and swaying from side to side.
1948 O. Walker Kaffirs Are Lively 80The dhomba dances are one of the real heathen spectacles of Vendaland...and are really initiation dances for girls crossing over from puberty to womanhood.
1964 B. Tyrrell in Natal Mercury 1 Oct.To the python is dedicated the mysterious Domba dance, performed by a slow-moving line of chanting initiates.
1979 P. Miller Myths & Legends 135The ritual python, or domba, dance performed by girls preparing for marriage.
The period of initiation of young Venda girls into womanhood; the rites associated with this initiation; the dance performed during these rites (see 2 below). Also attributive.
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