Ancient Ruins of Zimbabwe

Museum at Great Zimbabwe…

Yup, there is a cute museum at the Great Zimbabwe Monument, no pics I’m afraid, its strictly forbidden.

In the main section are scaled reconstructions of the ruins; history, artefacts found over the years, and then at the far end, a sort of cave with the Zimbabwe bird and the other sculptures found at Great Zimbabwe. Most of them were taken away, some to Germany, others to Capetown, although all but one, have been returned. Each one as a number assigned to it and a description of sorts. I can find no images of them on the internet, and I wish the museum, since they forbid photos, would produce a catalogue for visitors. A curator, who is probably a policeman too, stood at one side, checking we didn’t take any pics, or nick the Zimbabwe Bird.

Since I couldn’t take pics of the real one, I’ve inserted a stone sculpture by Arlington Muzondo; his version of a Zimbabwe Bird!!!! Arlington originally comes from Masvingo area, where he was born in 1974. Who knows, maybe he is descended from the people who carved the stones in the museum.


This sculpture, and about 35 others will be on his exhibition on the 22nd May 2016. Below is a detail of the lovely colours in the stone…


Directly opposite the soapstone display, in the Great Zimbabwe Monument museum, is a glassed display containing several smaller artefacts found at the Ruins. One, an object that looks sort of like a cow, but with lots of openings dotted about on its body.  Apparently the spirit medium makes a fire in there and divines depending on how the smoke goes…The curator told us its a very sacred, holy object and that if one should breathe in the fumes when lit, “things wouldn’t go well for you.”

(holy cow!!)

He continued… “And that,” he pointed to a grey stone dildo, about 6 inches tall, “is what older women used to teach young girls…” pointing to a pic of the conical tower added, “It is thought that this is a symbol of male dominance…”

Since I am unable to use the poster of the conical tower in the museum, I’ve put up one of my own. Can you believe the gargantuan effort that went into building THIS? And its just solid stone…it is not functional!


Looking back at the little dildo, and the rather larger one on the wall, I nodded, agreeing with him.

“Yes, I think you are right. Definitely phallic symbols, made by men, to symbolise their dominance. They have to you see.”

Clearly, the guy was puzzled. “They have to?”

I shrugged.

“Yes, of course. Women don’t need to go around building huge symbols in a desperate effort to demonstrate their power, they already know they are powerful. You see, women don’t need men.”

Clearly, a rather radical idea such as this, spoken so confidently, had never occurred to him, nor that twenty-four out of twenty-five men are redundant.

He most certainly couldn’t accept that a world run by women (with a few men allowed for fertilisation purposes) could possibly work.

It sure would be a very, very different one to that which we have today.

Would it be a better world? Who knows?

Leave a Reply


Suki - 29. Apr, 2016 - Reply

Great that things have been returned and pity no catalogue as you say. Had a good chuckle at your conversation. Males always seem startled when challenged that they are not the superior bunch 😀

Margaret - 29. Apr, 2016 - Reply

Great conversation Frankie! He must have been in a state of shock or he might have denounced you as being possessed by evil spirits! It’s a well renowned fact that in third world countries it has been proven that women work and use their money for their families of to better themselves. Men ….

frankiekay - 29. Apr, 2016 - Reply

Well, at least we dont waste our efforts on silly symbols like conical towers

frankiekay - 29. Apr, 2016 - Reply

The concept had clearly never crossed his mind. I wonder how many other women had heard his schpeel and never thought to set him straight?

Mike Canter - 29. Apr, 2016 - Reply

“….I can find no pics of them on the internet…” Type – great zimbabwe birds – in Google; press Pictures. A variety can be found.

Mike Canter - 29. Apr, 2016 - Reply

Correction: not Pictures but Images.

frankiekay - 29. Apr, 2016 - Reply

Ok changed it…what is the diff?

frankiekay - 29. Apr, 2016 - Reply

I wanted the pic of the holy cow! If you know of one, please direct me to it

Mike Canter - 30. Apr, 2016 - Reply

Zim birds, holy cows in abundance but can’t upload images here.

frankiekay - 30. Apr, 2016 - Reply

Pleeeaaase – send to me email

JohnRH - 30. Apr, 2016 - Reply

Ha ha. Funny conversation. Where does one apply to be a fertilizer? Not me of course. I’m too old. 🙂

frankiekay - 30. Apr, 2016 - Reply

I don’t know what criteria was used, back in the day, before men wrested power from our hands – but today, it maybe older men with lots of money!!! Who knows? But for me…..mmmm maybe Ill keep that close to my chest!

JohnRH - 30. Apr, 2016 - Reply

Ha ha! I fit the older but not the lots of!!

Faniso Zimunya - 18. May, 2016 - Reply

My friends and I were having a discussion on social media about this today. He was asking about the symbolism of the crocodile on the sculpture of one or more of the birds. I hadn’t even noticed it until he asked (probably because I’ve only seen ones without the croc or at an angle). Does the curator cop explain the symbols?

Good story about the dildos hahaha. You should’ve seen my face when I was reading your article. Good stuff Frankie

frankiekay - 19. May, 2016 - Reply

Sorry, we didnt really encourage the curator/cop to say anything at all – I got put off the “guides” by the guy at DhloDhlo ruins (he isnt there any more) following me around and yakking about things he knew nothing about – a long political rant actually, which annoyed me more, probably that his insistence that I pay $2.00 per photo taken!

frankiekay - 19. May, 2016 - Reply

We didnt really encourage the cop/curator guy to say anything. I was put off “guides” a few years ago at DhloDhlo ruins. His uneducated jabbering soon deteriorated into an unintelligible political rant, that annoyed me more than his insistence we pay $2.00 per photo taken! I didnt see anything about the motifs, I’m afraid!