Shona Language Miscellany
Here you will find miscellaneous Shona topics that do not seem to fit elsewhere. This includes Shona people and Shona culture. Click this Abbreviations link to view the meanings of abbreviations used.

Shona Calendar
Days of The Weeks
(Commonly used.)
Month of The Year
(Rarely used. Use English names instead.)
English Shona
Sunday Svondo
Monday Muvhuro
Tuesday Chipiri
Wednesday Chitatu
Thursday China
Friday Chishanu
Saturday Muguvera
English Shona
January Ndira KMZ
February Kukadzi KMZ
March Kurume KMZ
April Kubvumbi KMZ
May Chivabvu KMZ; Bandwe KMZ
June Chikumi KMZ
July Chikunguru KMZ
August Nyamavhuvhu KMZ
September Gunyana KMZ
October Gumiguru KMZ
November Mbudzi KKoMZ
December Zvita KK0MZ

Marriage by Shona custom
t_africangirl Marriage can only be between a man and woman. The two cannot be related, cannot be of the same clan and must be of marriageable age or older. This is best covered in the book "Shona Customary Law: With Reference to Kinship, Marriage, the Family and the Estate" by J. F. Holleman (1969). A man can have more than one wife.

The burden of marriage falls largely on the man. It is with this in mind that I am going to list some things expected of the man and/or his family before the actual wedding ceremony can take place followed by a large wedding feast. See "Considerations" where items in this list are negotiable. Once all parties agree, items listed in the "Additional Requirements" list are then expected and are non-negotiable. The wedding feast includes the slaughter of a good-sized ox and people enjoy themselves singing, dancing, eating, and drinking beer and other beverages. All provided by the groom's family. People who can, may give the newlyweds gifts.

First things first. Select the girl you would like to marry from the following list. A girl you consider zai regondo, nzungu yepachuru. An idiom literally meaning; as precious as the egg of an eagle and as well developed as peanut plants cultivated on an anthill.

The Girl
English Shona
girl - general name for a young female human being musikana KKoMZ
slim attractive girl tsvarakadenga KMZ
grown girl of marriageable age chipwanyanenyanga KZ
girl dedicated to the service of Mwari mbonga KZ
full-grown unmarried girl mhandara KMZ
behaviour, temperament, etc, of a girl chisikana KMZ
girl of advanced marriageable age not yet engaged homba KM; hwanzvo Z
short, stout girl chisikana KMZ
stout girl tsakupiti KZ
strong stout girl of marriageable age tsikombi K; chitunya Z
big, stout girl chimutsigori Z
big, healthy girl jikitikwa KZ

English Description Shona
bride price - the money and/or goods, usually cattle, given to the family of a bride by the bridegroom or his family before a marriage can take place (similar to dowry) roora KKoMZ
fee paid to father-in-law for walking through morning dew rugumabeto M; rusvayadova KZ
fee paid for summoning father-in-law from where he was sitting kubvakumarara Z
fee paid to father-in-law for sitting down during marriage transactions garaiparukukwe Z
fee paid to father-in-law for stroking beard matekenyandebvu Z
fee paid for being allowed to ask about father-in-law's health uchiro Z
fee paid for being allowed to visit (before completion of marriage transactions) mbonano Z
small fee paid to father-in-law for, opening his mouth zaruramuromo KMZ
fee paid to father-in-law when the munyai opens his purse zarurahomwe KMZ
fee paid to father-in-law for climbing onto the wall of cattle kraal, before approving roora cattle hwiradanga KZ
fee paid to father-in-law for seeing his ddowry cattle mesoemombe KZ; mhangidzadanga M
fee paid to father-in-law for driving bride price cattle to his home rushamhu Z
fee paid to father-in-law for permission to take wife to her husband's home rusumudzo KMZ
consideration paid to father-in-law when he has reached village to which his daughter has eloped nhumburamafeso KZ

Additional Requirements
English Description Shona
father-in-law father-in-law's long heavy coat or great coat jazi, jasi
mother-in-law mother-in-law 's large heavy blanket fuko KMZ; jira K
wedding feast large, fat ox or cow to be killed for feeding people at the wedding feast and all associated items muchato n'ombe KKoMZ

Names to remember
English Description Shona
father a male parent baba KKoMZ; bambo KKoM; tate Ko; tsano Ko
father father by inheritance, replacing natural father baba wenhaka MZ
father-in-law your wife's father baba KKoMZ; tezvara KoMZ; tsano KKoZ
father-in-law your husband's father baba KZ; sezawani M
mother a female parent mai KM; amai KoZ
mother-in-law your wife's mother mbuya KM; vambuya Z
mother-in-law your husband's mother vamwene KKoZ
son-in-law the husband of one's daughter mukuwasha KKoZ; mukwambo KMZ
daughter-in-law the wife of one's son muroora KKoMZ
brother-in-law your wife's brother baba KKoMZ; tezvara KoMZ; tsano KKoZ
brother-in-law your husband's older brother babamukuru KMZ
brother-in-law husband's younger brother babamunini KMZ
sister-in-law your wife's older sister muramu K; mwaramu M; maiguru KMZ
sister-in-law your wife's younger sister muramu K; mwaramu M; mainini KMZ
sister-in-law wife of husband's older brother maiguru KZ
sister-in-law wife of husband's younger brother mainini KMZ
sister-in-law husband's sister vatete KZ; muramukadzi KMZ

Again, click this Abbreviations link to view the meanings of abbreviations used. The English-Shona page has a more comprehensive listing of names and includes names in different Shona dialects.

Submitting Shona Words
Help increase the Shona word list in the database for these Shona Language pages by submitting additional words I omitted and their meanings. Omissions may include instances where I did not cover all possible meanings of a word. In that case, treat the word as a new word and include all possible meanings for the word in question. Basic guide to submitting omitted words is on the Add Words page.

We need your feedback
This is an ongoing project and any suggestions you have to improve information offered here would be greatly appreciated. E-mail any comments or suggestions you have to Martin Shumba.