Religious Beliefs and Practitioners. Ancestral worship ( phasa ) involved animal sacrifice or the presenting of beer to the shades, on both the mother's and father's side. A key figure in family ritual was the kgadi (father's older sister). The position of ngaka (diviner) was formerly inherited in the patriline but is now commonly inherited by a woman from her paternal grandfather or great-grandfather. This is often manifested through illness and violent possession of the body by spirits, the only cure for which is to train as a diviner. There is a proliferation of diviners at present, and many are said to be motivated only by the desire for material gain.
Arts. Important crafts included pottery, house building and painting, woodworking (especially the making of drums), metalsmithing, beadwork. Pedi music ( mmino wa setso: traditional music; lit., music of origin) has a six-note scale. Formerly played on a plucked reed instrument called a dipela, its musicians now make use of trade-store instruments such as the Jew's harp, and the German autoharp ( harepa ), which have come to be regarded as typically Pedi. The peak of Pedi (and Northern Sotho) musical expression is arguably the kiba genre, which has transcended its rural roots to become a migrant style. In its men's version it features an ensemble of players, each playing an aluminum end-blown pipe of a different pitch ( naka ; pl. dinaka ); together they produce a descending melody with richly harmonized qualities. In the women's version, a development of earlier female genres that has recently been included within the definition of kiba, a group of women sings songs ( diko a ; sing. ko a ) in which individuals improvise on older lyrics. Both are accompanied by an ensemble of drums, previously wooden but now made of oil drums and milk urns.