The original inhabitants of Venda are Vhangona, and Vhambedzi. Vhangona are estimated to have settled in Venda as early as the 6th century. It is also believed that about 85% of present day Tshivenda words and vocabulary come from the original Tshingona.

According to one version of Vhangona oral history, the capital of Vhangona was Mapungubwe with the Raphulu Royal House as the most senior royal house of the Vhangona. According to this version the Vhangona Kingdom was made of +-145 chiefdoms. It is said that the Kingdom was divided into seven districts:

  • Dzanani;
  • Mbilwi;
  • Tswime;
  • Tshiendeulu;
  • Tshakhuma;
  • Tshamanyatsha and;
  • Thulamela.

These districts were ruled by District Chiefs (Mahosi):

  • Neswongozwi/Neluvuvhu (Dzanani);
  • Nembilwi (Mbilwi);
  • Netswime (Tswime);
  • Netshiendeulu (Tshiendeulu);
  • Netshakhuma (Tshakhuma);
  • Netshamanyatsha (Tshamanyantsha) and;
  • Makhahani (Thulamela).


A replica of Ngomalungundu, Dzata Museum: Dzata.

Read More on the history of Ngomalungundu.