What You Might Not Know About the Pedi Tribe


Not as commonly known as the Zulu or Xhosa (say it with a click), the Pedi tribe are beautifully unique with a history worth appreciating! Originating from the Northern region called Limpopo, these Northern Sotho speakers are well-known as the Pedi.

With the beautifully knitted dresses in common three colours, Yellow, purple and blue is one of the common dresses for the females. Most people may confuse Pedi to Sotho because of their similar tongue touching. They are so similar in language that you may think Sotho is Pedi. Although Setswana may also be one language that is close to Pedi.

The lifestyle here is mostly that of a rural type. With cooking on the floor by the ‘three-legged pot’ that is made out of the special clay.

Limpopo is not a rural place as such and most people seem to say that the province, in general, is a poor infrastructure area. The Northern Sotho speaking were amongst the first tribes to find South Africa.

Pedi people are one of the least populated tribe across the South African border. Where they have become one of the least memorable people in South Africa. Wherever you go in South Africa, the isiZulu language becomes a primary contact to people. People would rather greet in a common language being Zulu rather than their home language. Wherever you go, you will get to meet someone who speaks of this language.

Traveling down to the Limpopo province, South Africa you will see how beautiful and peaceful this province actually gives you. A free range of breath-taking mount fewer mountains. A fresh warmth of life greets you and you actually blend in properly with the locals from here. These individuals for me I should say are commonly stubborn. They actually correspond well with the Zulu tribes. Both of them being stubborn and hard headed. They turn to refuse to reason with people (ask anyone). Walking around this beautiful destination of the Pedi people really felt warm and good.

Ritual practices are done through the Malopo people and are easier to understand regarding their customs and rituals. During their ritual’s cows/goats/sheep’s and /or chicken will be slaughtered. A very common practice amongst most of the traditions.

Traditional clothing customs:

Pedi culture is one of the most vibrant cultures most like the Ndebele where they are very famous for their beautiful beadwork. Their vast selection of different colours has really made a notice across the globe. With simplicity yet very attractive. Traditional skirts for women vary as the eldest can wear calf-length skirts, pleated skirts, and voluminous dresses.

Women dress according to the different stages of their lives, of which the attire may differ from that of a virgin and to someone who is married. An engaged woman will normally cover her chest with a decorative cloth as a sign of respect to their in-laws. Pedi women, however, don’t wear anything see-through, but all their clothes were covered with little or no skin revealing at all.

The traditional attire for the man is more interesting as they just don’t have anything traditional besides just following the female pattern or colour.

Traditional dialects:

They are over many dialects ranging from this language which many people have even rather confused the whole language with some of the local languages.  The upper section of Limpopo with residents here speak in a much different tone. Places like the Roka, Ntwane, Mphahlele, Tshwane, Dikgale. The low-key residents speak more of your Lobedu, Narene, Phalaborwa, Mogoboya, and Molepo has a different pronunciation.


About Author

Lorraine is a South African based junior journalist with Nomad Africa magazine published by 2414 Publishing (Pty) Limited. She is very passionate about travelling and a lover of the African culture. Lorraine had a Diploma in Journalism from Rosebank College in Johannesburg, South Africa and worked as an intern with The Star Newspaper. Fluent in English and other South African languages she is very eager to learn about new cultures and traditions. Though she is still very new in the industry, Lorraine is vibrant and energetic for new travelling experiences.

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