Making Rain


  • Liivo Niglas University of Tartu
  • Frode Storaas Bergen Museum, University of Bergen



The Vumba Hills in central Mozambique, close to the Zimbabwe border, are the kingdom of Mambo (Chief) Chirara. The Mambo’s leading position is acknowledged by the government, and in addition to being the region's most important spiritual leader, the Mambo has the right to hold court cases that deal with minor crimes, problems involving spirits and domestic affairs. He is assisted by several subchiefs and ritual leaders. In the northernmost corner of the Mambo’s kingdom, Mbuya Gondo, an over 70-years-old woman, is a spiritual medium. She often holds ceremonies at a well-known rock drawing site. Mambo Chirara is not pleased with the old lady's activities. In his opinion, Mbuya Gondo acts too independently and demands too much money for carrying out the ceremonies. In the film, gender issues and local politics are brought to the surface as we follow these two leaders during a period of preparing for and performing the annual rainmaking rituals. The film is based on the fieldwork and archaeological research of Tore Sætersdal and Eva Walderhaug Sætersdal.




How to Cite

Niglas, L., & Storaas, F. (2021). Making Rain. Journal of Anthropological Films, 5(01).