Totems are unifiers and promote oneness and unity among members of the same clan. In this article, we look at Humba (Makombe) totem. Humba is a wild pig which is very strong and determined to always win and this is possibly what prompted the fore-bearers to identify themselves by this animal as it inspired them to work hard. Traditionally, elders used to praise, eulogize or extol a family member who did well using detailed and structured words of compliments and below is how the Humba (Makombe) family members praise each other by their totem:
Humba Nyanguru, Maita Chiunga,
Mwana waMakombe, Chomera,
Maita Nguruve, Mutakurwa,
Zvaitwa tateguru wangu Makombe,
Maita waDukudza, ari Jekacheka.
Asi muchiapa veranda,
Maita vari Barwe, Gwindingwi guru,
Vanodzira imba namatope,
Muno muromo unenge gombe rokucheresa mvura.
Makapedza rudzi rwavamwe nenyuchi,
Tatenda VaChevakaranga naChibonoyo.
Maita vari Karomokapuwe.
Tinotenda vari Matitima.
Kuna Nyadekese, kuna Zambezi.
Aiwa zvaitwa mwana waMatope.
Words that are inspiring agricultural economic development are, Maita Chirimanemuromo, Mapadza aripo, Asi muchiapa veranda, Gwindingwi guru and Chitambanamatope. It is rare to see a family member loitering around the house as they will be in the field farming there by borrowing the idea of (Chitambanamatope) always in the field form the totem. The able bodied (Chirimanemuromo) people erect large pieces of land thus the growth and development of cash cropping in the area.
Iron smelting and pottery making are part of the economic activities done by the Humba people and the activities should be understood in the context of specialisation. Hoes are a good examples of handcraft produces that were used to till the land (Mapadza aripo). Also, Livestock production is an important economic activity practised by this clan, including cattle, sheep and goats as part of the domestic animals.
By Leon Chigwanda