Lobedu, Lovedu, noun

Forms:
Also loBedu.
Plurals:
baLobedu, unchanged, or vhaLobedu; occasionally also Balobelu.
Origin:
Northern Sotho, VendaShow more From Northern Sotho BaLobedu, plural form of MoLobedu a member of this people, probably an early variant of molobedi one who pays tribute or homage (plural balobedi), from lobela pay tribute or homage for, from loba pay tribute or homage; forms with vha- and -vedu are from the Venda spelling VhaLovedu (singular MuLovedu). See also quotation 1979.
A member of a people of the Northern Sotho group, living mainly in the Northern Transvaal, among whom the Rain Queen lives and over whom she rules. See also North(ern) Sotho (Sotho sense 1 c). Also attributive.
1931 E. Krige in Bantu Studies V. 207Among the Balobedu whose queen Modjadge is renowned for her great rain-making powers, rain ceremonies predominate.
1933 J. Juta Look Out for Ostriches 97Her Tribe, known as the Lovedu, is said to be an offshoot of the great migration of the Bantu race.
1943 E.J. & J.D. Krige Realm of Rain-Queen 52The Lovedu is an individualist, but life is hardly regarded as a competitive struggle, even in respect of the things that are limited in supply.
1949 J. Mockford Golden Land 156The people Mujaji rules over are the Lovedu, peaceful tillers of the soil. Against warlike tribes such as the Zulu and Swazi, Mujaji balances her higher wisdom and supernatural mysteries.
1974 A.P. Cartwright By Waters of Letaba 24The tribe who call themselves the Lovedu, or ‘the Modjadji’s people’, came into being early in the seventeenth century when one of the sons of Monomotapa quarrelled with his father and established a kingdom of his own.
1976 West & Morris Abantu 133The Lobedu are not entirely typical of the North Sotho — in some ways they stand mid-way between the Sotho and the Venda. They are also unique in Southern Africa in that they are ruled by a queen.
1979 P. Miller Myths & Legends 203Out of the hazy annals of tradition comes the strange, mystic story of Modjadji, the rain queen, and her people, the Lobedu.
1979 P. Miller Myths & Legends 204Modjadji’s people waxed prosperous and contented from the wealth and gifts showered on their queen by the tribes who sought her magical talents. The land of Modjadji became known as LoBedu (the land of offerings), and her people as the baLobedu.
1980 Sunday Times 16 Nov. 11The Vhalovedu were kept safe by their queens because chiefs from all over Southern Africa sent emissaries for help when their lands were hit by drought.
1982 Sunday Times 21 Feb. (Mag. Sect.) 1When she is installed as Modjadji V, Mokope will be expected to live out her years in seclusion in her village — also called Modjadji, the headquarters of the 100 000 strong Balobelu tribe.
1986 P. Maylam Hist. of Afr. People 50The Lobedu chiefdom also falls within the northern Sotho area...After 1800 the Lobedu were ruled by ‘rain-queens’, who attracted Pedi into their domains through their rain-making abilities. Gradually the Pedi language came to predominate among the Lobedu.
1988 H. Goosen in S. Afr. Panorama Mar. 38 (caption)Modjadji the legendary rain queen. A dense cycad forest near her kraal has been protected for many generations by the Lovedu tribe.
1990 J. Knappert Aquarian Guide to Afr. Mythology 205The Lovedu pride themselves on their female ancestry and give a high status to women, which is quite exceptional in Africa.
A member of a people of the Northern Sotho group, living mainly in the Northern Transvaal, among whom the Rain Queen lives and over whom she rules.
Derivatives:
Hence (nonce) Lobeduize transitive verb, to assimilate (someone) into this people.
1943 E.J. & J.D. Krige Realm of Rain-Queen 174The queen has accepted wives even from the Shangana-Tonga,..and after a time they become sufficiently Loveduized to be given in marriage to commoners.

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