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3 Inspiring Tales From Mount Gorongosa

Legend has it that the distinct landmarks on Mount Gorongosa were left by Kangamy, a giant who lived there long ago. The mountain itself is a sacred site for the communities of Tambarara, Canda, and Sadjungira, and tales of its greatness have been passed down by generations of storytellers.
In 2010, the Gorongosa Project published these tales in the local dialect (Chi-Gorongozi) and translated them into English and Portuguese to honor the communities of Serra da Gorongosa and their ancestral traditions. Here are three tales shared by local communities that continue to inspire us today!
Illustration of coffee and rainforest trees

The Spirit of a Tree is Shade / Mizimu Yia Miti Ndi Ntinzi

The spirit of a tree is shade. The spirit of grass is dew. 
Everything is useful. 
Everything speaks. 

Mizimu yia miti ndi ntinzi
Nzimu wa muti ndi ntunzi.
Nzimu wa sanga ndi ntota.
Zwense zina senza.
Zwense zina longa.

As told by Fernando Sadjungira 

Mount Gorongosa Illustration

Signs of Rain / Cizindikiro Yia Mazi

Once, they read signs  
from the Mountain  
and knew when  
rain was about to fall. 
The rocks turn red. 

First, dew covers the trees 
when the moon is about to die.  
Suddenly, the rocks turn red.  
Rains are very close. 
Then the rocks begin to rumble.  
“Nothing like that happens now,” you say. Oh, it happens, my friends.  
This Mountain is big. 

Kale,
akulu akalonga kuti
muka ona madzi ali kufuna kugua
banguli muna yiona ili kusula madzi.
Muna wuona kwene
dende, dende, dende
miti kunya madzi.
Kudja wuona nsinye zida xawa zense
kulonga kuti madzi akufuna kugua.
Muna wuona maphwe kulira
dende, dende, dende
kulira ndi madziyi.
Cincino akusinaba zwenezo. Yah, akusinaba, peno tangui
banguli lakura.

As told by the women of Nhauenje

Illustration of river

The Rivers are Born in the Mountains / Mikuro Yida Balwa Mbangomu

The rivers are born in the Mountain.  
They are born small 
and grow larger downstream.  
I have never been  
to where rivers 
like Mucoza, Zingazinga, Nhauenje  
are born, 
or even the Nhandar.  

but never go to where they are born.  
The Mountain was made  
by Mulungu, by God.  
All of us, even those  
who can walk only with the help of a stick, or have to be carried,  
found the Mountain here.  
It was made before  
our ancestors were born 
when all the land here was created. 

Mikuro yida balwa mbangomu
Mbangomu mikuro yida balwa mbida cepa
Yia kulira muna ife muno
Kunfikira pada balwa
Mucodza, Zingazinga, Nhauenje, ife tisati tanfika
Podi Nyandare wene,
kondo wuona mikuro wene yiri kufamba muno basi
Apo kufikira kuda balwa yio tisati
Bangoli Mulungu ndi akalisika bangoli
Ne yio akulu adatoma kubalwa bangoli akali gumana
Mulungu ndi akalisika
Kusikwa kwa ziko lino ne ababa atu ninga asati kubaliwa
Padasikwa bangoli ndi kusikwa kwa zikoli
Pida balwa akulu zikoli
aligumana lakada sikwa kale

As told by the women of Nhauenje 

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