Modjadji, noun

Forms:
Madjadja, MjanjiShow more Also Madjadja, Mjanji, Mjantshi, Mochache, Modjadge, Modjadje, Mujaji.
Origin:
Northern SothoShow more In Northern Sotho, the name of the woman who became the first rain queen; perhaps from personal prefix mo- + tšatši day, sun.
I. A personal name.
1.
a. The hereditary name adopted by the Rain Queen of the Lobedu people.
1897 C.W. Mackintosh tr. of F. Coillard’s On Threshold of Central Afr. 77I had set off with two of the evangelists to Mochache’s...Mochache, you must know, is the high priestess of the neighbouring tribes. She has her sanctuary in a wooded gorge.
1929 A.T. Bryant Olden Times in Zululand & Natal 210To fall into disfavour with queen Mjanji was ever a matter of gravest concern; for she was the magician par excellence of those parts, and the fear she inspired and the extent of her fame surpassed those of Mantatisi herself...She was the most extraordinary, most powerful and most mysterious female of her time — if indeed, as was asserted, she was not eternal — in all South Africa.
1929 A.T. Bryant Olden Times in Zululand & Natal 211It would appear that Mjanji is not a personal, but a class name, applied to each successive ruler of these people, all of which rulers, at least for some generations, seem to have been females. This perpetuation of the name will explain the supposed attribute of immortality.
1956 T.V. Bulpin Lost Trails of Tvl 22Among the many myths gathered round the person of Mujaji was the idea that she lived for ever.
1979 P. Miller Myths & Legends 204The female dynasty was founded. To his daughter-bride Mugado gave the hereditary name of Modjadji, meaning ‘the ruler of the day’, and into her keeping..he entrusted the sacred rainmaking medicines and magic rituals.
1988 [see Lobedu].
b. Followed by a numeral: a particular Rain Queen, identified by her position in the succession.
1943 E.J. & J.D. Krige Realm of Rain-Queen 11A cheerless panorama unfolds before us as Mujaji III ascends the throne...When the white man, coming to arrange for the recognition of the new queen, sees old Mathogani, who had impersonated Mujaji II, the proceedings are stopped.
1979 P. Miller Myths & Legends 204Father Time..cut Modjadji down some time in the 1860s, leaving her daughter to don the mystic mantle of her mother. Modjadji II maintained her power and her mystery..as skilfully as her mother had done.
1980 Sunday Times 16 Nov. 11Modjadji IV, Rain Queen of the Vhalovedu, had always wanted an umbrella...‘I bring the rain for other people,’ she complained bitterly. ‘Why can’t somebody think about keeping it off me?’
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.
II. A common noun.
2. Plural Modjadjis, or unchanged. Rain Queen sense a.
1943 E.J. & J.D. Krige Realm of Rain-Queen 1Amid the convulsions..the kingdom of the Mujajis arose to prominence.
1982 Sunday Times 5 Sept. (Extra) 2This Queen is said to have died childless and to have nominated her successor...They accepted the black girl as the true Modjadji.
3. Usually in the phrases Modjadji palm, Modjadji's palm, or (less commonly) Modjadji cycad. The cycad Encephalartos transvenosus, protected by and sacred to the Rain Queen; also called bread tree. Also attributive.
1965 S. Eliovson S. Afr. Wild Flowers for Garden 223Modjadji Palm, A tall-stemmed species.
1974 C. Giddy in E. Prov. Herald 13 Nov. 23It has been my privilege to stand in the swirl of cloud and mist among the age-old stems of the Madjadja Palms on the hill below the Kraal of the Rain Queen.
1977 E. Palmer Field Guide to Trees of Sn Afr. 67Modjadji’s Palm, Encephalartos transvenosus...Tall, up to 13m, usually un-branched...A handsome and famous species, protected by generations of Rain Queens (Modjadji), making the territory near Duiwelskloof the only cycad forest in Southern Africa.
1980 S. Afr. Panorama Sept. 43The romance of Rain Queen country clings to this largest Modjadji forest, in the Duiwelskloof garden of Dr Louis Botha.
1988 H. Goosen in S. Afr. Panorama Mar. 36 (caption)Rain queen territory. Modjadji cycads (E. transvenosus) can grow 13m tall, with a stem diameter of 45 cm.
The hereditary name adopted by the Rain Queen of the Lobedu people.
Followed by a numeral: a particular Rain Queen, identified by her position in the succession.
Rain Queena.
The cycad Encephalartos transvenosus, protected by and sacred to the Rain Queen; also called bread tree. Also attributive.
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