Lost Jewish Tribe Found in Zimbabwe

March 10, 2010 at 14:35 (Cool, History, News, Religion)

Uhoh. Bad news for these guys that they are famous. The government there may decide they need nationalizing.

Interesting bit about the ark being a drum.

The Lemba people of Zimbabwe and South Africa may look like their compatriots, but they follow a very different set of customs and traditions.

They do not eat pork, they practise male circumcision, they ritually slaughter their animals, some of their men wear skull caps and they put the Star of David on their gravestones.

Their oral traditions claim that their ancestors were Jews who fled the Holy Land about 2,500 years ago.

It may sound like another myth of a lost tribe of Israel, but British scientists have carried out DNA tests which have confirmed their Semitic origin.

These tests back up the group’s belief that a group of perhaps seven men married African women and settled on the continent. The Lemba, who number perhaps 80,000, live in central Zimbabwe and the north of South Africa.

And they also have a prized religious artefact that they say connects them to their Jewish ancestry – a replica of the Biblical Ark of the Covenant known as the ngoma lungundu, meaning “the drum that thunders”.

The object went on display recently at a Harare museum to much fanfare, and instilled pride in many of the Lemba.

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