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Museums

Dzata and Dzata ruins
Dzata literally means a flourishing capital of the Venda Empire. Built in the region of 1400 by Dzhembeu whose father led the Vha Vhenda into the Soutpansberg, Dzata is now a National Monument and is home to museum of the Drum. This was a golden age for the Vha Venda. However, according to one version of this story, Dzhembeu had three ambitious sons. While they were all out hunting, one of the sons trapped his father and brothers in a cave. The young men managed to dig themselves free, but they left their father behind. His sons battled for supremacy. The victor, Phophi called himself Thoho-ya-Ndou (head of an elephant) and the present capital of Venda is named after him. When Venda chiefs are buried, their heads are turned towards the royal kraal, the ancient ruins of Dzata. The original ruins, site of the VhaVenda royal village date back to 1400 AD.

The Dzata Drum For the traditional Vha Venda, the key to their success was assistance from their Gods through the medium of a sacred drum. It was a big traditional drum covered by human skin. Whenever a chief beat the drum in a time of crisis fog, rain, hail, thunder and lightning would confuse the attackers who would then flee in fear. It is claimed that these drums could be heard more than 50 kilometers away. The sacred drum Ngomalungundu symbolized the salvation of the Vha Venda. It was regarded as the spears and the shield of their kingdom.

At present all royal houses, as well as the homes of the more junior chiefs still poses one of more Nghoma Drums.