Water and Culture
by Christopher Thomas, Masonga/Samhutsa, Zimbabwe
Just as it is everywhere else, water is important in the daily lives of the people of Masonga. Farmers prepare their fields in time to watch the earliest rains of the rainy season that come in mid-October, and women collect water from the rivers, boreholes, and natural springs to water their gardens and to use at home. But because water is abundant here, it has been hard for me to observe any cultural traditions such as ceremonies, music, or art dealing with water use. Once a year, children at the local primary schools practice their traditional dance, which includes a lot of symbolism about preparing the fields for the first rains and harvesting crops in preparation for district level and provincial level school competition. But other than that, I don't think people do much to celebrate water use here. Just like in America, water use is pretty much taken for granted here.