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ubulunga, noun

Forms:
Also ubulungu.
Origin:
XhosaShow more Xhosa, noun prefix ubu- + -lunga make right or good.
In traditional Xhosa society:
1. Either of two heifers, one given by a man to his bride, and one given to her by her father, sacred beasts which may not be slaughtered and from the tail-brushes of which necklets are made for the use of members of the family. Also attributive.
1897 W.C. Scully in E.R. Seary S. Afr. Short Stories (1947) 31All she wore in the way of clothing was a small apron of strung beads, unless a necklet of charms hung on hairs from the tail of the ubulunga cow can be counted as such.
1989 Greater Dict. of Xhosa III. 735The ubulunga beast, When a young man sets up his own home..he..sets aside one heifer as inkomo yobulunga, the ceremonial cow...Should a member of the family fall ill and the trouble be regarded as having emanated from his ancestors, hairs will be plucked from the tail-brush of one of these animals to make the prescribed necklace...When a bride goes to her new home, her father presents her with a heifer which will become the progenitress of her own strain of ubulunga cattle from which hairs will be plucked..when the cause of their illness originates from her mother’s ancestors...When an ubulunga beast becomes old, it is nursed and kept alive as long as possible.
2. A necklet made of hairs from the ubulunga animal, a means of establishing communication with the ancestors, especially when the wearer is ill or is to become a diviner. Also attributive.
1978 A.P. Brink Rumours of Rain 297You received..an ubulunga for your neck, made from the tail hairs of a pregnant cow.
1989 Greater Dict. of Xhosa III. 735The ubulunga necklet..is..made of the tail-brush hairs of the ubulunga ox or cow...The hairs (about 10–12 cm long) spread out in all directions over the chest, shoulders and back. The necklet establishes contact with the ancestral spirits and thus ensures good health...A diviner also wears an ubulunga necklet...The neophyte wears the necklet continuously until he is fully trained as it establishes contact between him and the ancestors.
Either of two heifers, one given by a man to his bride, and one given to her by her father, sacred beasts which may not be slaughtered and from the tail-brushes of which necklets are made for the use of members of the family. Also attributive.
A necklet made of hairs from the ubulunga animal, a means of establishing communication with the ancestors, especially when the wearer is ill or is to become a diviner. Also attributive.

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18971989