Totem Talk

Working With The Animal Totems

According to the legends of the Shangaan people living deep in the wilds of Southern Africa, White Lions are the Messengers of the Gods, and their presence in their tribal lands ensures peace and prosperity for all. However it has been many years since a White Lion has been seen and the tribe suffers many hardships since the death of the last great chief Muhluri.

But one day a unique white Lion, Letsatsi, is a born into a pride of normal tawny Lions. Although he is destined to be revered by the Shangaan, Letsatsi’s white coat just sets him apart from the rest of his pride, ensuring that his life will be one of adventure, but that of an outsider; full of struggle and danger.

As a very young cub a venomous snake tragically kills Letsatsi’s brother Buti whilst their mother, the Lioness Misava, is out hunting. Lost and alone in the wilderness Letsatsi is preyed upon by a pack of Hyenas, the Lion’s undying enemy. But another outsider, a young Shangaan man named Gisani finds him cornered in a tree and risking his life chases the Hyenas away, so forming a bond between them that will last both their lives.

Found at last the next morning by Misava, Letsatsi has just survived his first of many crises. For his own safety Misava introduces Letsatsi back into his pride. But he becomes an immediate target. Too young to hold his own, his older Cousins terrorize and torment him, forcing him to survive on the scraps of the kill, a pariah living on fringes of the pride.

As a teenager, his world is torn apart as two marauding Lions, the Mahahlwa, take over the pride, driving out his protective father Mogolo. The Mahahlwa would immediately kill any young male lion that dared to stay.

As they flee for their lives his Cousins stay together for safety but reject Letsatsi again and he is forced to face the dangers of the African bush alone. Still too young to hunt he journeys away from the land of his birth, across the Lebombo Mountains in search of a new life and a new home. He has no idea that he is venturing into hunting territory where there is danger at every turn.

Gisani, realizing the perils Letsatsi is sure to face, resolves to follow the young lion and protect him at all cost. Hungry and desperate Letsatsi finds and follows an older tawny Lion, Nkulu, a roaming bachelor. Nkulu finally accepts the younger Lion and they become allies, sharing in Nkulu’s kills. The two teenagers stumble upon a farmhouse on the edge of the wilderness and run riot, raiding the farmer’s chickens again and again until Nkulu is trapped and shot by the farmer, Brooker. Letsatsi has lost another brother and finds himself alone once more.

But against all the odds, Letsatsi learns to survive on his own, growing into a magnificent adult able to hunt for himself, finally bringing down a stampeding wildebeest.

But by now the farmer has spread word of Letsatsi’s existence and Gisani takes a job with the local professional hunter as a tracker in order to stay close to the ultimate enemy, Man. For a trophy hunter legends are worthless but Letsatsi’s magnificent white skin is priceless.

The time has come for Letsatsi to fight the ferocious tawny male Ku Dzinda for the right to lead a pride of his own. As the fight begins, the Hunters also close in for the kill. Gisani risks his own life to save Letsatsi and as the dust settles after the climactic battle Letsatsi has emerged as the victor.

His journey is finally over and he has at last found a home of his own.

Home … is a journey

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