Specimens of Bushman Folklore
by W.H.I. Bleek and L.C. Lloyd
[Transcription notes: The stories in this document are translations
from Bushman. The Bushman were nomadic hunter-gatherers who inhabited
the Kalihari desert in the area of western South Africa known
as Namiba and neighboring regions of Angola. The Bushman language,
which has many rare phonemes including clicks, is transcribed
in the original using typographic symbols which have no correspondence
to available character sets. All Bushman transliterations are
given in italics. For the purposes of this transcription, we
use the following symbols for the clicks and other phonemes:
| is a dental click. This is sounded by pressing the tip of
the tongue against the front teeth of the upper jaw, and then
suddenly and forcibly withdrawing it. It resembles our interjection
! is a cerebral click. This is sounded by curling up the tip
of the tongue against the roof of the palette, and withdrawing
it suddenly and forcibly.
|| is a lateral click. This is pronounced by covering with the
tongue the whole of the palette, and producing the sound as far
back as possible, at the gutteral part of the palette. A similar
sound is often made use of in urging a horse forward.
# is a palatal click. The palatal click is sounded by pressing
the tip of the tongue with as flat a surface as possible against
the termination of the palate at the gums, and removing it in
the same manner as during the articulation of the other clicks.
@ is a labial click. This sounds like a kiss.
X is an aspirated gutteral, like German ch.
Y is a strong croaking sound in the throat.
U is a gentle croaking sound in the throat.
All other diacritics have been omitted; however, the dotted
n is transcribed as 'ng'.
This transcription presents the English translations only
of the stories. The original book has Bushman text on the facing
THE LATE W. H. I. BLEEK, PH.D.
L. C. LLOYD
EDITED BY THE LATTER
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY
GEORGE McCALL THEAL, D.LIT., L.L.D., ETC.
TRANSLATION INTO ENGLISH; ILLUSTRATIONS; AND APPENDIX.
GEORGE ALLEN & COMPANY, LTD.
Ruskin House, 44 & 45 RATHBONE PLACE, W.
HERTFORD: PRINTED BY
STEPHEN AUSTIN AND SONS, LTD.
TO ALL FAITHFUL WORKERS.
With all its shortcomings, after many and great difficulties,
this volume of specimens of Bushman folk-lore is laid before
the public. As will be seen from the lists given in Dr. Bleek's
"Brief Account of Bushman Folk-lore and other Texts",
Cape Town, 1875, and in my "Short Account of Further Bushman
Material collected", London, 1889, the selections which
have been made for it form but a very small portion of the Bushman
native literature collected. Whether future days will see the
remainder of the manuscripts, as well as the fine collection
of copies of Bushman pictures made by the late Mr. G. W. Stow,
also published is a question that only time can answer.
In the spelling of the native text in the volume now completed,
various irregularities will be observed. These have their source
chiefly in two causes. One of these was the endeavour always
to write down, as nearly as possible, the sounds heard at the
time; the other, that Dr. Bleek's orthography was of a more scientific
kind than that of the other collector, whose ear had been mainly
accustomed to English sounds.
In a few instances, the "new lines" in the native
text and translation do not correspond; as the Bushman and English
proofs had often to be sent over separately to Germany for correction.
The corresponding marginal numbers, by the side of the native
texts and the translation (which refer to the pages in the original
manuscripts), will, it is hoped, be of material assistance to
those wishing to study the Bushman language from this volume.
With regard to the extra signs used in printing the Bushman
texts, it should be explained that Dr. Block, in order to avoid
still further confusion in the signs used to represent clicks,
adopted the four marks for these which had already been employed
by some of the missionaries in printing Hottentot. He added a
horizontal line at the top of the mark |, used for the dental
click, for the sake of additional clearness in writing (see the
table of signs on page 438 of the Appendix). This addition he
intended to discontinue when the time for printing should come;
and it no longer appears in the table of signs he prepared for
the printer in 1874. The sequence of the clicks, in this last
table, he has also somewhat altered; and has substituted the
mark @, instead of the previously used @ for the "gentle
croaking sound in the throat".
| indicates the dental click.
! cerebral click.
|| lateral click.
# palatal click.
@ labial click.
X an aspirated guttural, like German ch.
Y a strong croaking sonud in the throat.
U a gentle croaking sound in the throat.
~ the nasal pronunciation of a syllable.
= under vowels, indicates a, rough, deep pronunciation of them.
\ indicates the raised tone.
= indicates that the syllable under which it stands has a musical
` indicates an arrest of breath (as in tt'uara).
[1. The tone is occasionally the only distinguishing feature
in words spelt otherwise alike, but having a different meaning.]
o placed under a letter, indicates a very short pronunciation
- under a vowel, indicates a more or less open pronunciation
ng indicates a ringing pronunciation of the n, as in "song"
r placed over n indicates that the pronunciation is between that
of the two consonants. There is also occasionally a consonantal
sound met with in Bushman between r, n, and l.
[Transcribers note: see the top of this file for the actual
transcription used in this e-text].
A description of how to make the first four clicks, in this
list, follows; taken from Dr. Bleek's "Comparative Grammar
of South African Languages", Part I, Phonology, pp. 12 and
The dental click | is sounded by pressing the "tip of
the tongue against the front teeth of the upper jaw, and then
suddenly and forcibly withdrawing it". (Tindall.) It resembles
our interjection of annoyance.
The cerebral click ! is "sounded by curling up the tip
of the tongue against the roof of the palate, and withdrawing
it suddenly and forcibly" (Tindall.)
The lateral click || is, according to Tinddall, in Nama Hottentot
generally articulated by covering with the tongue the whole of
the palate, and producing the sound as far back as possible,
either at what Lepsius calls the faucal or the guttaral point
of the palate. European learners, however, imitate the sound
by placing the tongue against the side teeth and then withdrawing
it." * * * "A similar sound is often made use of in
urging forward a horse."
The palatal click = is "sounded by pressing the tip of
the tongue with as flat a surface as possible against the termination
of the palate at the gums, and removing it in the same manner
as during the articulation of the other clicks".
The labial click, marked by Dr. Bleek @, sounds like a kiss.
In the arrangement of these specimens of Bushman folk-lore,
Dr. Bleek's division has been followed. The figures at the head
of each piece refer to its number in one or other of the two
Bushman Reports inentioned above. The letter B. or L. has been
added, to show in which report it was originally included.
"The Resurrection of the Ostrich," and the parsing
of a portion of it, were not finally prepared for the printer
when Dr. Bleek died; and it was, here and there, very difficult
to be sure of what had been his exact intention, especially in
the parsing; but the papers were too important to be omitted.
The givers of the native literature in the "Specimens"
are as follows:-
|a!kungta (who contributes two pieces) was a youth
who came from a part of the country in or near the Strontbergen
(lat. 30 deg S., long. 22 deg E.). He was with Dr. Bleek at Mowbray
from August 29th, 1870, to October 15th, 1873.
||kabbo or "Dream" (who furnishes fifteen
pieces) was from the same neighbourbood as |a!kungta.
He was an excellent narrator, and patiently watched until a sentence
had been written down, before proceeding with what he was telling.
He much enjoyed the thought that the Bushman stories would become
known by means of books. He was with Dr. Bleck from February
16th, 1871, to October 15th,
1873. He intended to return, later, to help us at Mowbray,
but, died before he could do so, |hang#kass'o or "Klein
Jantje" (son-in-law to ||kabbo) contributes thirty-four
pieces to this volume. He also was an excellent narrator; and
remained with us from January 10th, 1878, to December, 1879.
Dia!kwain gives fifteen pieces, wbich are in the Katkop
dialect, which Dr. Bleek found to vary slightly from that spoken
by ||kabbo and |a!kungta. He came from the Katkop
Mountains, north of Calvinia (about 200 miles to the west of
the homes of |a!kungta and ||kabbo). He was at
Mowbray from before Christmas, 1873, to March 18th, 1874, returning
on June 13th, 1874, and remaining until March 7th, 1875.
!kweiten ta ||ken (a sister of Dia!kwain's)
contributes three pieces, also in the Katkop dialect. She remained
at Mowbray from June 13th, 1874, to January 13th, 1875.
|Xaken-ang, an old Bushman woman (fifth in a group
of Bushman men and women, taken, at Salt River, in 1884), contributes
one short fragment. She was with us, for a little while, in 1884;
but, could not make herself happy at Mowbray. She longed to return
to her own country, so that she might be buried with her forefathers.
To the pieces of native literature dictated by ||kabbo,
no giver's name has been prefixed. To those supplied by the other
native informants, their respective names have been added.
Portraits of ||kabbo, Dia!kwain, his sister,
!kweiten ta ||ken, |hang#kass'o, and |Xaken-au
will be seen among the illustrations; from which, by an unfortunate
oversight, that of |a!kungta has been omitted.
The few texts in the language of the "Bushmen" calling
themselves !kung, met with beyond Damaraland, which are
given in the Appendix, are accompanied by as adequate an English
translation as can at present be supplied. These texts were furnished
by two lads, whose portraits will also be found among the illustrations.
The extract given below, from the Bushman Report of 1889, sent
in to the Cape Government, will explain a little more about them.
The additional signs required for the printing of the !kung
texts are almost similar to those employed in printing the Specimens
of Bushman Folk-lore, but fewer in number.
"It had been greatly desired by Dr. Bleek to gain information
regarding the language spoken by the Bushmen met with beyond
Damaraland; and, through the most kind assistance of Mr. W. Coates
Palgrave (to whom this wish was known), two boys of this race
(called by itself !kung), from the country to the north-east
of Damaraland, were, on the 1st of September, 1879, placed with
us, for a time, at Mowbray. They were finally, according to promise,
sent back to Damaraland, on their way to their own country, under
the kind care of Mr. Eriksson, on the 28th of March, 1882. From
these lads, named respectively !nanni and Tamme,
much valuable information was obtained. They were, while with
us, joined, for a time, by permission of the authorities, on
the 25th of March 1880 by two younger boys from the same region
named |uma and Da. The latter was very young at
the time of his arrival; and was believed by the elder boys to
belong to a different tribe of !kung. |uma left
us, for an employer found for him by Mr. George Stevens, on the
12th of December, 11 1881, and Da was replaced in Mr.
Stevens' kind care on the 29th of March, 1884. The language spoken
by these lads (the two elder of whom, coming from a distance
of fifty miles or so apart, differed slightly, dialectically,
from each other) proved unintelligible to |hang#kass'o,
as was his to them. They looked upon the Bushmen of the Cape
Colony as being another kind of !kung; and |hang#kass'o,
before he left us, remarked upon the existence of a partial resemblance
between the language of the Grass Bushmen, and that spoken by
the !kung. As far as I could observe, the language spoken
by these lads appears to contain four clicks only; the labial
click, in use among the Bushmen of the Cape Colony, etc., being
the one absent; and the lateral click being pronounced in a slightly
different manner. The degree of relationship between the language
spoken by the !kung and that of the Bushmen of the Cape
Colony (in which the main portion of our collections had been
made) has still to be determined. The two elder lads were fortunately
also able to furnish some specimens of their native traditionary
lore; the chief figure in which appears to be a small personage,
possessed of magic power, and able to assume almost any form;
who, although differently named, bears a good deal of resemblance
to the Mantis, in the mythology of the Bushmen. The
[1. It will be observed that, in some instances, in the earliercollected
!kung texts, given in the Appendix, the mark !!
has been used to denote the lateral click, in words where this
differed slightly in its pronunciation from the ordinary lateral
click, ||. Later, this attempt to distinguish these two
sounds apart was discontinued.]
power of imitating sounds, both familiar and unfamiliar to
them, as well as the actions of animals, possessed by these boys,
was astonishing. They also showed a certain power of representation,
by brush and pencil. The arrows made by them were differently
feathered, and more elaborately so than those in common use among
the Bushmen of the Cape Colony."
As the suggestion has been advanced that the painters and
sculptors were from different divisions of the Bushman race,
the following facts will be, of interest. One evening, at Mowbray,
in 1875, Dr. Bleek asked Dia!kwain if he could make pictures.
The latter smiled and looked pleased; but what he said has been
forgotten. The following morning, early, as Dr. Bleek passed
through the back porch of his house on his way to Cape Town,
he perceived a small drawing, representing a family of ostriches,
pinned to the porch wall, as Dia!kwain reply to his question.
(See illustration thirty-three.) The same Bushman also told me,
on a later occasion, that his father, Xua-tting, had himself
chipped pictures of gemsbok, quaggas, ostriches, etc., at a place
named !kann where these animals used to drink before the
coming of the Boers. Some other drawings made by Dia!kwain,
as well as a few by |hang#kass'o, and the !kung
boys, will be found among the illustrations. In the arrangement
of these, it has not, been easy to place them appropriately as
[1. Taken from "A Short Account of further Bushman Material"
collected By L. C. Lloyd.-Third Report concerning Bushman Researches,
presented to both Houses of the Parliament of the Cape of Good
Hope, ".-London: David Nutt, 270, Strand. - 1889. pp. 4
the text, as anything standing between text and translation
would materially hinder the usefulness of the latter; and, for
this reason, the main portion of the illustrations will be placed
at the end of the volume.
To show the living activity of Bushman beliefs, the following
instances may be given. Some little time after Dr. Bleek's death,
a child, who slept in a small room by herself, had been startled
by an owl making a sound, like breathing, outside her window
in the night. This was mentioned to Dia!kwain, who said,
with a much-pleased expression of countenance, did I not think
that Dr. Bleek would come to see how his little children were
Later, I brought a splendid red fungus home from a wood in
the neighbourhood of the Camp Ground, in order to ascertain its
native name. After several days, fearing lest it should decay,
I asked |hang#kass'o, who was then with us, to throw it
away. Shortly afterwards, some unusually violent storms of wind
and rain occurred. Something was said to him about the weather;
and |hang#kass'o asked me If I did not remember telling
him to throw the fungus away. He said, he had not done so, but
had "put it gently down". He explained that the fungus
was "a rain's thing"; and evidently ascribed the very
bad weather, we were then having, to my having told him to "throw
To Dr. Theal, for his most kind interest in this work, and
for his untiring help with regard to its publication, to Professor
von Luschan, for his kind efforts to promote the publication
of the copies of Bushman pictures made by the late Mr. G. W.
Stow, to Herrn Regierungsbaumeister a.d., H. Werdelmann,
for the copies of Bushman implements that he was so good as to
make for us, to my niece, Doris Bleek, for her invaluable help
in copying many of the manuscripts and making the Index to this
volume, and to my niece, Edith Bleek, for much kind, assistance
, my most grateful thanks are due.
L. C. LLOYD.
THE Bushmen were members of a division of the human species
that in all probability once occupied the whole, or nearly the
whole, of the African continent. It would seem that they were
either totally exterminated or partly exterminated and partly
absorbed by more robust races pressing down from the north, except
in a few secluded localities where they could manage to hold
their own, and that as a distinct people they bad disappeared
from nearly the whole of Northern and Central Africa before white
men made their first appearance there. Schweinfurth, Junker,
Stanley, Von Wissmann, and other explorers and residents in
[1. The following volumes may be referred to:-
Schweinfurth, Dr. George: The Heart of Africa, Three Years'
Travels and.Adventures in the Unexplored Regions of Central Africa,
from 1868 to 1871. Two crown octavo volumes, published in
London (date not given).
Junkier, Dr. Wilhelm: Travels in Africa during the Years
1875-1886. Translated from the German by A. H. Keane, F.R.G.S.
Three demy octavo volumes, published in London in 1890-2.
Stanley, Henry N1.: In Darkest Africa or the Quest, Resuce,
and Retreat of Emin, Governor of Equatoria. Two demy octavo
volumes, published in London in 1890.
von Wissinann, Hermann: My Second Journey through Equatorial
Africa from the Congo to the Zambesi in the Years 1886 and 1887.
Translated from the German by Minna J. A. Bergmann. A demy octavo
volume, published in London in 1891.
Casati, Major Gaetano: Ten Years in Equatoria and the Return
with Emin Pasha. Translated from the original Italian Manuscript
by the Hon. Mrs. J. Randolph Clay assisted by Mr. I. Walter Savage
Lauder. Two royal octavo volumes, published at London aud New
York in 1891.
Burrows, Captain Guy: The Land of the Pygmies. A demy
octavo volume, published in London in 1898.]
regions, who have had intercourse with the pygmies still existing
in the depths of the dark forest west of the Albert Nyanza, have
given descriptions of these people which show almost beyond a
doubt that they and the Bushmen of South Africa are one in race.
All the physical characteristics are the same, if we allow for
the full open eye of the northern pygmy being due to his living
in forest gloom, and the sunken half-closed eye of the southern
Bushman to his life being passed in the glare of an unclouded
The average height of adult male Bushmen, as given by Fritsch
and other observers from careful measurement, is 144.4 centimetres
or 56-85 inches. Von Wissmann gives the height of some pygmies
that he measured as from 140 to 145 centimetres, or about the
Schweinfurth's description not only of the bodily but of the
mental characteristics of his pygmy would hold good for one of
the southern stock, Junker's photographs might have been taken
on the Orange river; and no one acquainted with Bushman can read
the charming account of the imp Blasiyo, given by Mrs. R. B.
Fisher in lier book On the Borders of Pygmy Land, without
recognising the aborigine of South Africa. Whether he is blowing
a great horn and capering under the dining-room window, or caning
the big Bantu men in the class which he is teaching to read in
the mission school at Kabarole, in order to make them respect
him, the portrait in words which Mrs. Fisher has given of that
exceedingly interesting pygmy is true to the life of one of those
with whom this volume deals.
But those isolated remnants of a race that there is every
reason to believe was once widely spread do not offer to ethnologists
such an excellent subject for study as might at first thought
be supposed, for it would appear from the observations of travellers
that they have lost their original language, though this is not
altogether certain. Savages though having the passions and the
bodily strength of men, are children in mind and children in
the facility with which they acquire other forms of speech than
those of their parents. The rapidity with which a Bushman learned
to speak Dutch or English, when he was brought into contact with
white people in South Africa, was regarded as almost marvellous
in the early days of the Cape Colony. And so the Bushmen or pygmies
of the north, hemmed in by Bantu, although not on friendly terms
with them, learned to speak Bantu dialects and may have lost
their own ancient tongue. This is to be gathered from what travellers
have related, but no one has yet lived long enough with them
to be able to say definitely that among themselves they do not
speak a distinct language, and use a corrupt Bantu dialect when
conversing with strangers. But whether this be so or not, they
must have lost much of their original lore, or it must at least
have changed its form.
South of the Zambesi and Kunene rivers, in addition to the
Bushmen, two races had penetrated before our own. One of those
was composed of the people termed by us Hottentots, who at a
very remote time probably had Bushmen as one of its ancestral
stocks, and certainly in recent centuries had incorporated great
numbers of Bushman girls. But these people never went far from
the coast, though they continued their migrations along the border
of the ocean all the way round f rom the Kunene to a little beyond
the Umzimvubu, where their further progress was stopped by the
Bantu advancing on that side. Where they originally resided cannot
be stated positively, but there is strong reason for believing
that in ancient times they occupied the territory now called
Somaliland. The references to Punt in early Egyptian history,
and the portrait of the queen of that country so often described
by different writers, may be mentioned as one of the indications
leading to this belief. Another, and perhaps stronger, indication
is the large number of drilled stones of the exact size and pattern
of those used by the Hottentots in South Africa- different in
form from those manufactured by Bushmen-that have been found
in Somaliland, an excellent collection of which can, be seen
in the ethnological museum in Berlin. The Hottentots, according
to their own traditions, came from some far distant country in
the northeast, and they cannot have crossed the Kunene many centuries
before Europeans made their first appearance at the extremity
of the continent. This is conclusively proved by the fact that
the dialects spoken by the tribes in Namaqualand and beyond Algoa
Bay on the south-eastern coast differed slightly that the people
of one could understand the people of the other without much
difficulty, which would certainly not have been the case if they
had been many centuries separated. They had no intercourse with
each other, and yet towards the close of the seventeenth century
an interpreter belonging to a tribe in the neighbourbood of the
Cape peninsula, when accompanying Dutch trading parties, conversed
with ease with them all.
In our present state of knowledge it is impossible to say
when the Bantu first crossed the Zambesi, because it is altogether
uncertain whether there were, or were not, tribes of black men
in the territory now termed Rhodesia before the ancestors of
the present occupants moved down from the north; but those at
present in the country cannot claim a possession of more than
seven or eight hundred years. When the Europeans formed their
first settlements, the area occupied by the Bantu was small compared
with what it is to-day, and a vast region inland from the Kathlamba
mountains nearly to the Atlantic shore was inhabited exclusively
by Bushmen. That region included the whole of the present Cape
province except the coast belt, the whole of Basutoland and the
Orange Free State, the greater part, if not the whole, of the
Transvaal province, and much of Betshuanaland, the Kalahari,
and Hereroland. The paintings on rocks found in Southern Rhodesia
at the present day afford proof of a not very remote occupation
by Bushmen of that territory, but they give evidence also that
the big dark-coloured Bantu were already there as well.
By the Hottentots and the Bantu the Bushmen were regarded
simply as noxious animals, and though young girls were usually
spared and incorporated in the tribes of their captors to lead
a life of drudgery and shame, all others who could be entrapped
or hunted down were destroyed with as little mercy as if they
had been hyenas. On the immediate border of the Hottentot and
Bantu settlements there was thus constant strife with the ancient
race, but away from that frontier line the Bushmen pursued their
game and drank the waters that their fathers had drunk from time
immemorial, without even the knowledge that men differing from
themselves existed in the world.
This was the condition of things when in the year 1652 the
Dutch East India Company formed a station for refreshing the
crews of its fleets on the shore of Table Bay, a station that
has grown into the present British South Africa. The Portuguese
had established themselves at Sofala a hundred and forty-seven
years earlier, but they had never penetrated the country beyond
the Bantu belt, and consequently never made the acquaintance
of Bushmen. From 1652 onward there was an opportunity for a thorough
study of the mode of living, the power of thought, the form of
speech, the religious ideas, and all else that can be known of
one of the most interesting savage races of the earth, a race
that there is good reason to believe once extended not only over
Africa, but over a large part of Europe, over South-Eastern Asia,where
many scientists maintain it is now represented by the Semang
in the Malay peninsula, the Andamanese, and some of the natives
of the Philippine islands,-and possibly over a much greater portion
of the world's surface, a race that had made little, if any,
advance since the far distant days when members of it shot their
flint-headed arrows at reindeer in France, and carved the figures
of mammoths and other now extinct animals on tusks of ivory in
the same fair land. It was truly an ancient race, one of the
most primitive that time had left on the face of the earth.
But there were no ethnologists aniong the early white settlers,
whose sole object was to earn their bread and make homes for
themselves in the new country where their lot was cast. They
too soon came to regard the wild Bushmen as the Hottentots and
the Bantu regarded them, as beings without a right to the soil
over which they roamed, as untamable robbers whom it was not
only their interest but their duty to destroy. They took possession
of the fountains wherever they chose, shot the game that the
pygmies depended upon for food, and when these retaliated by
driving off oxen and sheep, made open war upon the so-called
marauders. It was impossible for pastoral white men and savage
Bushmen who neither cultivated the ground nor owned domestic
cattle of any kind to live side by side in amity and peace. And
so, slowly but surely, the Europeans, whether Dutch or English,
extended their possessions inland, the Hottentots-Koranas and
Griquas,-abandoning the coast, made their way also into the interior,
and the Bantu spread themselves ever farther and farther, until
to-day there is not an acre of land in all South Africa left
to the ancient race. Every man's hand was against them, and so
they passed out of sight, but perished fighting stubbornly, disdaining
compromise or quarter to the very last. There is no longer room
on the globe for palæolithic man.
When I say every man's hand was against them, I do not mean
to imply that no efforts at all were ever made by white men to
save them from absolute extinction, or that no European cast
an eye of pity upon the unfortunate wanderers. On more than one
occasion about the beginning of the nineteenth century benevolent
frontier farmers collected horned cattle, sheep, and goats, and
endeavoured to induce parties of Bushmen to adopt a pastoral
life, but always without success. They could not change their
habits suddenly, and so the stock presented to them was soon
consumed. The London Missionary Society stationed teachers at
different points among them, but could not prevail upon them
to remain at any one place longer than they were supplied with
food. In the middle of the same century the government of the
Orange River Sovereignty set apart reserves for two little bands
of them, but by some blunder located a Korana clan between them,
and that effort failed. Then many frontier farmers engaged families
of Bushmen to tend their flocks and herds, which they did as
a rule with the greatest fidelity until they became weary of
such a monotonous life, and then they wandered away again. Other
instances might be added, but they all ended in the same manner.
The advance of the white man, as well as of the Hottentots and
the Bantu, was unavoidably accompanied with the disappearance
of the wild people.
On the farms where a number of Bushman families lived white
children often learned to speak their language, with all its
clicks, and smacking of the lips, and guttural sounds, but this
knowledge was of no use to anyone but themselves, and it died
with them. They were incompetent to reduce it to writing and
too ill-educated to realise the value of the information they
possessed. Here and there a traveller of scientific attainments,
such as Dr. H. Lichtenstein, or a missionary of talent, such
as the reverend T. Arbousset, tried to form a vocabulary of Bushman
words, but as they did not understand the language theinselves,
and there were no recognised symbols to represent the various
sounds, their lists are almost worthless to philologists.
So matters stood in 1857, when the late Dr. Wilhelm H. I.
Bleek (Ph.D.), who was born at Berlin in 1827, and educated at
the universities of Bonn and Berlin, commenced his researches
in connection with the Bushmen. He was eminently qualified for
the task, as his natural bent was in the direction of philology,
and his training had been of the very best kind, in that he had
learned from it not to cease study upon obtaining his degree,
but to continue educating himself. For many years after 1857,
however, he did not devote himself entirely, or even mainly,
to investigations regarding the Bushmen, because of the difficulty
of obtaining material, and also because he was intently engaged
upon the work with which his reputation as a philologist inust
ever be connected, A Comparative Granmar of South African
Languages. In this book he deals with the Hottentot language
and with the Bantu, the last divided into a large number of dialects.
In 1862 the first part of his valuable work appeared, in 1864
a small volume followed entitled Renyard the Fox in South
Africa, or Hottentot Fables and Tales, and in 1869 the first
section of the second part of his Comparative Grammar
was published. That work, regarded by everyone since its issue
as of the highest value, and which must always remain tlie standard
authority on its subject, was never completed, for in 1870 a
favourable opportunity of studying the Bushman language occurred,
of which Dr. Bleek at once availed himself, knowing that in the
few wild people left he had before him the fast dying remnant
of a primitive race, and that if any reliable record of that
race was to be preserved, not a day must be lost in securing
To abandon a work in which fame had been gained, which offered
still further celebrity in its prosecution, and to devote himself
entirely to a new object, simply because the one could be completed
by somebody else at a future time, and the other, if neglected
then, could never be done at all, shows such utter devotion to
science, such entire forgetfulness of self, that the name of
Dr. Bleek should be uttered not only with the deepest respect,
but with a feeling akin to reverence. How many men of science
are there in the world today who would follow so noble an example?
The task now before him was by no means a simple or an easy
one. The few pure Bushmen that remained alive were scattered
in the wildest and most inaccessible parts of the country, and
it would have been useless to search for them there. A traveller
indeed, who was prepared to live in a very rough manner himself,
might have found a few of thein, but his intercourse with them
would necessarily have been so short that he could not study
thenithoroughly. But, fortunately for science, unfortunately
for the wretched creatures themselves, the majesty of European
law had brought several of them within reach. That law, by a
proclamation of the earl of Caledon, governor of the Cape Colony,
issued on the 1st of November 1809, had confounded them with
the Hottentots, and made all of them within the recognised boundaries
British subjects, but had placed them under certain restraints,
which were intended to prevent them from roaming about at will.
It had very little effect upon the wild people, however, who
were almost as difficult to arrest on the thinly occupied border
as if they had been baboons. Then, in April 1812, by a proclamation
of Governor Sir John Cradock, their children, when eight years
of age, if they had lived on a farm since their buth, were apprenticed
by the local magistrate for ten years longer. In this proclamation
also they were confounded with Hottentots, and it really had
a considerable effect upon them, because it was no uncommon circumstance
for Bushman parents to leave their infant children on farms where
they had been in service, and not return perhaps for a couple
By a colonial ordinance of the 17th of July 1828 all restraints
of every kind were removed from these people, and they had thereafter
exactly the same amount of freedom and of political rights as
Europeans. It seems absurd to speak of Bushmen having political
rights, for their ideas of government were so crude that their
chiefs were merely leaders in war and the chase, and had no judicial
powers, each individual liaving the right to avenge his own wrongs;
but so, the law determined. It determined also that the ground
upon which their ancestors for ages had hunted should be parcelled
out in farms and allotted to European settlers, and that if they
went there afterwards and killed or drove away an ox or a score
of sheep, they could be sentenced to penal servitude for several
years. It seems hard on the face of it, but progress is remorseless,
and there was no other way of extending civilisation inland.
The pygmy hunter with his bow and poisoned arrows could not be
permitted to block the way.
But he, though he could not argue the matter, and regarded
it as the most natural thing in the world for the strong to despoil
the weak, being the feeble one himself resented this treatment.
He was hungry too, terribly hungry, for the means of sustenance
in the arid wastes where be was making his last stand were of
the scantiest, and he longed for meat, such meat as his fathers
had eaten before the Hottentots and the big black men and the
white farmers came into the country and slaughtered all the game
and nearly all of his kin. And so he tightened his hunger belt,
and crept stealthily to a hill-top, where he could make observations
without anyone noticing him, and when night fell he stole down
to the farmer's fold and before day dawned again he and his companions
were gorged with flesh. When the farmer arose and discovered
his loss there was a big hunt as a matter of course. Man and
horse and dog were pressed into the chase, and yet so wily was
the little imp, so expert in taking cover, and it must be added
so feared were his poisoned arrows, that it was a rare thing
for him to be captured. Once in a while, however, he was made
a prisoner, and then if it could be proved that he had killed
a shepherd he was hanged, but if he could be convicted of nothing
more than slaughtering other men's oxen and sheep he was sent
to a convict station for a few years.
So it came about that Dr. Bleek found at the convict station
close to Capetown several of the men he wanted. There were two
in particular, whose terms of imprisonment bad nearly expired,
and who were physically unfit for hard labour. The government
permitted him to take these men to his own residence, on condition
of locking them up at night until the remainder of their sentences
expired. After they had returned to the place of their birth,
two other Bushmen were obtained, who ere long were induced to
proceed to their old haunts and prevail upon some of their relatives
to accompany them back again, so that at one time a whole family
could be seen on Dr. Bleck's grounds.
The material was thus obtained to work with, but first the
language of the primitive people had to be learned, a language
containing so many clicks and other strange sounds that at first
it seemed almost impossible for all adult European tongue to
master it. To this task Dr. Bleek and his sister-in-law Miss
Lucy C. Lloyd, who had boundless patience, untiring zeal, and
a particularly acute ear, devoted themselves, and persevered
until their efforts were crowned with success. Symbols were adopted
to represent the different sounds that are foreign to the European
ear, and then it became possible to take down the exact words
used by the Bushman narrators and to have the manuscript checked
Before the results of such prolonged labour were ready for
publication, but not until a very large quantity of valuable
matter had been collected, to the great loss of students of man
everywhere Dr. Bleek died, 17th of August 1875, Miss Lloyd then
continued during some years to collect further material frorn.
various individuals of the Bushman race, and after adding greatly
to the stock on hand at her brother-in-law's death in 1887 she
proceeded to Europe with a view to arranging it properly and
ptiblishing it. For nine years she endeavoured, but in vain to
carry out this design, the subject not being considered by publishers
one that would attract readers in sufficient number to repay
the cost of printing, as that cost would necessarily be large,
owing to the style of the Bushman text. In 1896 Messrs. Swan
Sonnenschein & Co. undertook to get out a volume, but then,
unfortunately, Miss Lloyd fell ill, and her impaired strength
has since that time delayed the completion of the work. It has
only been at long intervals and by dint of much exertion that
what is here presented to the reader, with much more that may
perhaps follow, has been got ready. This is a brief account of
the manner in which the material was collected, and of the causes
which have delayed its publication for so many years. It would
be quite impossible to gather such information now.
As to the value for scientific purposes (if the contents of
this volume, a great deal might be stated, but it cannot be necessary
to say much here, as the book speaks for itself. The religion
of the Bushmen is made as clear from their own recitals as such
a subject can be, when it is remembered that the minds of the
narrators were like those of little children in all matters not
connected with their immediate bodily wants. Their views concerning
the sun, moon, and stars seem utterly absurd, but a European
child five or six years of age, if not informed, would probably
give no better explanation. Their faith too, that is, their unreasoning
belief in many things adult European seem ridiculous, is seen
to be that of mere infants. Every reader of this book has gone
through the same stage of thought and mental power him or herself,
and our own far remote ancestors must have had beliefs similar
to those of Bushmen. The civilised European at different stages
of his existence is a representative of the whole human species
in its progress upward from the lowest savagery. We may therefore
pity the ignorant pygmy, but we are not justified in despising
On many of their customs a flood of light is thrown in this
volume, but I shall only refer to one here. In the early Dutch
records of the Cape Colony there is an account of some Bushmen
eating almost the whole of an animal, the intestines included,
rejecting only two little pieces of flesh containing the sinews
of the thighs. When questioned concerning this, they merely replied
that it was their custom. not to eat those parts, beyond which
no information is given. Who could have imagined the cause of
such a custom? They had devoured parts tougher to masticate,
so it certainly was not to spare their teeth. That is all that
could be said of it, but here in this volume the reason is given,
and how well it fits in with the belief of the wild people that
certain men and animals could exchange their forms, that some
animals in former times were men, and some men in former times
Probably, however, the value of this volume will be greatest
to the philologist, as the original Bushman text, which will
be unintelligible to the general reader, is printed side by side
with the English translation. Students of the growth of language
have thus the means of ascertaining how ideas were expressed
by a race of people so low in culture as the Bushmen. Their vocabulary,
it will be seen, was ample for their needs. What is surprising
is that, though they had no word for a numeral higher than three,
and though the plurals of many of their nouns were formed in
such a simple manner as by reduplication, their verbs were almost,
if not quite, as complete and expressive as our own. The myths
indicate a people in the condition of early childhood, but from
the language it is evident that in the great chain of human life
on this earth the pygmy savages represented a link much closer
to the modern European end than to that of the first beings worthy
of the name of men.
GEO. McCALL THEAL.
A. MYTHOLOGY, FABLES, LEGENDS, AND POETRY
I. The Mantis.
THE MANTIS ASSUMES THE FORM OF A HARTEBEEST.
The Mantis is one who cheated the children, by becoming a
hartebeest, by resembling a dead-hartebeest. He feigning death
lay in front of the children, when the children went to seek
gambroo (|kui, a sort of cucumber); because he thought
(wished) that the children should cut him up with a stone knife,
as these children did not possess metal knives.
The children perceived him, when he had laid himself stretched
out, while his horns were turned backwards. The children then
said to each other: "It is a hartebeest that yonder lies;
it is dead." The children jumped for joy (saying): "Our
hartebeest! we shall eat great meat." They broke off stone
knives by striking (one stone against another), they skinned
the Mantis. The skin of the Mantis snatched itself quickly out
of the children's hands. They say to each other: "Hold thou
strongly fast for me the hartebeest skin!" Another child
said: "The hartebeest skin pulled at me."
Her elder sister said: "It does seem that the hartebeest
has not a wound from the people who shot it; for, the hartebeest
appears to have died of itself. Although the hartebeest is fat,
(yet) the hartebeest has no shooting wound."
Her elder sister cut off a shoulder of the hartebeest, and
put it down (on a bush). The hartebeest's shoulder arose by itself,
it sat down nicely (on the other side of the bush), while it
placed itself nicely. She (then) cut off a thigh of the hartebeest,
and put it down (on a bush); it placed itself nicely on the bush.
She cut off another shoulder of the hartebeest, and put it upon
(another) bush. It arose, and sat upon a soft (portion of the)
bush; as it felt that the bush (upon which the child had laid
it) pricked it.
Another elder sister cut off the other thigh of the hartebeest.
They spoke thus: "This hartebeest's flesh does move;
that must be why it shrinks away."
They arrange their burdens; one says to the other: "Cut
and break off the hartebeest's neck, so that (thy) younger sister
may carry the hartebeest's head, for, (thy) yonder sitting elder
sister, she shall carry the hartebeest's back, she who is a big
girl. For, we must carrying return (home); for, we came (and)
cut up this hartebeest. Its flesh moves;
[1. The children truly thought that the hartebeest's flesh
moved. The hartebeest's flesh seemed as if it was not hartebeest;
for, the hartebeest's flesh was like a man's flesh, it moved.
(As regards) a man's flesh, when another man shoots him, the
poison enters the body. The people cutting break away his flesh,
while they cutting take away the mouth of the poisonous wound.
The people set aside the man's flesh; it remains quivering, while
the other part of the flesh moves (quivers) in his body,-that
(flesh) which he sits in (literally "which he possesses
sitting"),that which the people cutting broke. This it is
which moves in the (cut out) wound's mouth, while the flesh feels
that the flesh is warm. Therefore, the flesh moves, as (while)
the flesh (feels that the flesh) is alive; hence it is warm.
As (while) the man (feels that he) warms himself at the fire,
all his flesh is warm, while it (feels that it) lives. The thing
(reason) on account of which he really dies is that his flesh
feels cool. While it feels that it is cold, his flesh becomes
very cold. This is the reason why his flesh dies.]
its flesh snatches itself out of our hand. |atta!
it of itself places itself nicely."
They take up the flesh of the Mantis; they say to the child:
"Carry the hartebeest's head, that father may put it to
roast for you." The child slung on the hartebeest's head,
she called to her sisters "Taking hold help me up; this
hartebeest's head is not light." Her sisters taking hold
of her help her up.
They go away, they return (home). The hartebeest's head slips
downwards, because the Mantis's head wishes to stand on the ground.
The child lifts it up (with her shoulders), the hartebeest's
head (by turning a little) removes the thong from the hartebeest's
eye. The hartebeest's head was whispering, it whispering said
to the child: "O child! the thong is standing in front of
my eye. Take away for me the thong; the thong is shutting my
eye." The child looked behind her; the Mantis winked at
the child. The child whimpered; her elder sister looked back
at her. Her elder sister called to her: "Come forward quickly;
we return (home)."
The child exclaimed: "This hartebeest's head is able
to speak." Her elder sister scolded her: "Lying come
forward; we go. Art thou not coming deceiving (us) about the
The child said to her elder sister: "The hartebeest has
winked at me with the hartebeest's eye; the hartebeest desired
that I should take away the thong
[1. This seems to be an exclamation, the meaning of which
is not yet known to the editor.
2. The child lay upon her back upon the hartebeest's head.]
from his eye. Thus it was that the hartebeest's head lay looking
behind my back."
The child looked back at the hartebeest's head, the hartebeest
opened and shut its eyes. The child said to her elder sister:
"The hartebeest's head must be alive, for it is opening
and shutting its eyes."
The child, walking on, unloosened the thong; the child let
fall the hartebeest's head. The Mantis scolded the child, he
complained about his head. He scolded the child: "Oh! oh!
my head! Oh! bad little person! hurting me in my head."
Her sisters let fall the flesh of the Mantis. The flesh of
the Mantis sprang together, it quickly joined itself to the lower
part of the Mantis's back. The head of the Mantis quickly joined
(itself) upon the top of the neck of the Mantis. The neck of
the Mantis quickly joined (itself) upon the upper part of the
Mantis's spine. The upper part of the Mantis's spine joined itself
to the Mantis's back. The thigh of the Mantis sprang forward,.
it joined itself to the Mantis's back. His other thigh ran forward,
racing it joined itself to the other side of the Mantis's back.
The chest of the Mantis ran forward, it joined itself to the
front side of the upper part of the Mantis's spine. The shoulder
blade of the Mantis ran forward, it joined itself on to the ribs
of the Mantis.
[1. He was merely complaining about his head.
2 Mantis pronunciation of |nu!kui@ua wwe. The cursing
of the Flat Bushmen. When a Flat Bushman is angry with another,
then it is that he is wont to say |nu!kui, resembling
|nussa!e (the name by which the Flat Bushmen call the
Grass Bushmen), for the other one's name. When he loves another
person he is wont to say 'mate'; lie is wont to say 'brother'
when they love each other.
3. The Mantis's thigh sprang forward like a frog.]
The other shoulder blade of the Mantis ran forward, while
it felt that the ribs of the Mantis had joined themselves on,
when they raced.
The children still ran on; he (the Mantis, arose from the
ground and) ran, while be chased the children,-he being whole,-his
head being round,while he felt that he was a man. Therefore,
he was stepping along with (his) shoes, while he jogged with
his shoulder blade.
He saw that the children had reached home; he quickly turned
about, be, jogging with his shoulder blade, descended to the
river. He went along the river bed, making a noise as he stepped
in the soft sand; he yonder went quickly out of the river bed.
He returned, coming out at a different side of the house (ie.
his own house) he returned, passing in front of the house.
The children said: "We have been (and) seen a hartebeest
which was dead. That hartebeest, it was the one which we cut
up with stone knives; its flesh quivered. The hartebeest's flesh
quickly snatched itself out of our hands. It by itself was placing
itself nicely upon bushes which were comfortable; while the hartebeest
felt that the hartebeest's head would go along whispering. While
the child who sits (there) carried it, it talking stood behind
the child's back."
The child said to her father "O papa! Dost thou seem
to think that the hartebeest's head did not talk to me? For the
hartebeest's head felt that it would be looking at my hole above
the nape of the
[1. He became a man while he was putting himself together
2. With his left shoulder blade, he being a left-handed man.]
neck, as I went along; and then it was that the hartebeest's
head told me that I should take away for him the thong from his
eye. For, the thong lay in front of his eye."
Her father said to them: "Have you been and cut up the
old man, the Mantis, while he lay pretending to be dead in front
The children said: "We thought that the hartebeest's
horns were there, the hartebeest had hair. The hartebeest was
one which had not an arrow's wound; while the hartebeest felt
that the hartebeest would talk. Therefore, the hartebeest came
and chased us, when we bad put down the hartebeest's flesh. The
hartebeest's flesh jumped together, while it springing gathered
(itself) together, that it might mend, that it might mending
hold together to the hartebeest's back. The hartebeest's back
also joined on.
"Therefore, the hartebeest ran forward, while his body
was red, when he had no hair (that coat of hair in which he had
been lying down), as he ran, swinging his arm like a man.
"And when he saw that we reached the house, he whisked
round, He ran, kicking up his heels (showing the white soles
of his shoes), while running went before the wind, while the
sun shone upon his feet's face (soles), while he ran with -all
his might into the little river (bed), that he might pass behind
the back of the hill lying yonder."
Tlieir parents said to the children You are those who went
and cut up the old man 'Tinderbox Owner.' He, there behind, was
one who gently came out from the place there behind."
The children said to their fathers: "He has gone round,
he ran fast. He always seems as if he would come over the little
hill lying yonder when he sees that we are just reaching home.
While this little daughter, she was the one to whom the hartebeest's
head, going along, talked; and then she told us. Therefore, we
let fall the hartebeest's flesh; we laid our karosses on our
shoulders, that we might run very fast.
"While its flesh running came together on its back, it
finished mending itself. He arose and ran forward, he, quickly
moving his arms, chased us. Therefore, we did thus, we became
tired from it, on account of the running with which he had chased
us, whil e he did verily move his arms fast.
"Then he descended into the small river,-while he thought
that he would, moving his arms fast, run along the small river.
Then he thus did, he, picking up wood, came out; while we sat,
feeling the fatigue; because he had been deceiving. While he
felt that all the people saw him, when we came carrying his thighs,
when he went to die lying in front of us; while he wished that
we should feel this fatigue, while this child here, it carried
his head,he looked up with fixed eyes. He was as if he was dead;
he was (afterwards) opening and shutting his eyes; he afar lay
talking (while the children were running off). He talked while
be mended his body; his head talked, while he mended his body.
His head talking reached his back; it came to join upon the top
(of his neck).
"He ran forward; lie yonder will sit deceiving,(at home),
while we did cut him up with stone knives (splinters). |a-tta!
he went feigning death to lie in front of us, that we might do
so, we run.
"This fatigue, it is that which we are feeling; and our
hearts burnt on account of it. Therefore, we shall not hunt (for
food), for we shall altogether remain at home."
!GAUNU-TSAXAU (THE SON OF THE MANTIS), THE BABOONS,
AND THE MANTIS.
!gaunu-tsaxau  formerly went to fetch for his father
sticks, that his father might take aim at the people who sit
upon (their) heels. Fetching, he went up to them (the baboons)
as they were going along feeding. Therefore, a baboon who feeding
went past him,-he who was an older baboon,-he was the one to
whom !gaunu-tsaxau came. Then he questioned !gaunu-tsaxau.
And !gaunu-tsaxau told him about it, that he must fetch
for his father sticks, that his father might take aim at the
people who sit upon (their) heels. Therefore, he (the baboon)
exclaimed  "Hie! Come to listen to this child."
And the other one said:
[1 !gaunu-tsaxau was a son of the Mantis.
2. I must (the narrator here explained) speak in my language,
because I feel that the speech of the baboons is not easy."]
And he reached them. He said: "What does this child say?"
And the child said: "I must fetch for my father sticks (bushes?),
that my father may take aim at the people who sit upon (their)
heels." Then the baboon said: "Tell the old man yonder
that he must come to hear this child." Then the baboon called
out: "Hie! Come to hear this child." Then the other
And he came up (to them); he exclaimed: " What does this
child say? " And the other one answered: "This child,
he wishes, he says, to fetch sticks for his father, that his
father may take aim at the people who sit upon (their) heels."
And this baboon said: "Tell the old man yonder that he must
come to hear this child." Then this (other) baboon called
out: "O person passing across in front! come to listen to
this child." Therefore, the other one said:
And he came up (to them). He said: "What does this child
say?" And the other one answered: "This child wants,
he says, to fetch sticks  for his father, that his father
may take aim at the people who sit upon (their) heels."
Therefore, this baboon
[1. In a paper entitled "A Glimpse into the Mythology
of the Maluti Bushmen," which appeared in the Cape Monthly
Magazine for July, 1874, written by Mr. J. M. Orpen. (at
that time Chief Magistrate, St. John's Territory), we find, on
p. 8, that the Mantis sent one of his sons to cut sticks to make
bows, and that he was caught and killed by the baboons.]
exclaimed It is ourselves! Thou shalt tell the old man yonder
that he sball come to listen to this child." Therefore,
this other baboon called out: "Ho! come to listen to this
child." Then the other one said:
He came up to the other people on account of it. He said:
"What does this child say?" And the other one answered:
"This child, he wants, he says, to fetch sticks for his
father, that his father may take aim at the people who sit upon
(their) heels." Therefore, this baboon exclaimed (with a
sneering kind of laugh): "O ho! It is ourselves! Thou shalt
quiekly go to tell the old man yonder, that he may come to listen
to this child." And the other one called out: "O person
passing across in front! come to listen to this child."
And the other said:
And he went up to the other people; he said: "What does
this child say?" And the other one answered: "This
child, he wants, he says, to fetch sticks for his father, that
his father may take aim at the people who sit upon their heels."
Then that baboon,-he felt that he was an old
[1. Note by the narrator. He had sent his son, that his son
should go to construct things for him. I think that they were
sticks (bushes?). He wished his son to go (and) make them for
him, that he might come (and) work them, in order that he might
make war upon the baboons.]
baboon -therefore) he said, when the other one had said, "This
child wanted, he said, to fetch sticks for his father,"
therefore the other one (the old baboon) exclaimed: "What?
it is we ourselves; ourselves it is! Ye shall strike the child
with your fists."
Therefore, they were striking !gaunu-tsaxau with their
fists on account of it; they hit with their fists, breaking (his)
head. And another struck with his fist, knocking out !gaunu-tsaxau's
eye, the and the child's eye in this manner sprang (or rolled)
away. Then this baboon exclaimed: "My ball! my ball! "Therefore,
they began to play a game at ball, while the child died; the
child lay still. They said (sang):
The other people said:
My companion's ball it is,
And I want it,
My companion's ball it is,
And I want it,"
while they were playing at ball there with the child's eye.
The Mantis was waiting for the child. Therefore, the Mantis
lay down at noon. Therefore, the Mantis
[1 (They) were playing at ball.
My ball it is,
And I want it.
My companion's ball it is,
And I want it,
My companion's ball,
And I want it."]
was dreaming about the child, that the baboons were those
who had killed the child; that they had made a ball of the child's
eye; that he went to the baboons, while the baboons played at
ball there with the child's eye.
Therefore, he arose; he took up the quiver, he slung on the
quiver; be said, "Rattling along, rattling along,"
while he felt that he used formerly -to do so, he used to say,
Rattling along." Then, when he came into sight. he perceived
the baboons' dust, while the baboons were playing at ball there
with the child's eye. Then the Mantis cried on account of it,
because the baboons appeared really to have killed the child.
Therefore, they were playing at ball there with the child's eye.
Therefore, when he came into sight, he perceived the baboons'
dust, while the baboons were playing at ball there with the child's
eye. Therefore he cried about it. And he quickly shut his mouth;
he thoroughly dried the tears from his eyes, while he desired
that the baboons should not perceive tears in his eyes; that
he appeared to have come crying, hence tears were in his eyes;
so that he might go to play at ball with the baboons, while his
eyes had no tears in them.
Then he, running, came up to the baboons, while the baboons
stared at him, because they were startled at him. Then, while
the baboons were still staring at him, he came running to a place
[1 The arrows they were, the arrows which were in the quiver;
they made a rattling noise, because they stirred inside (it).
Therefore, he said, "Rattling along, rattling along."
2. They were not in the habit of seeing him; therefore they
stared at him.]
laid down the quiver; he took off (his) kaross (i.e. skin
cloak), he put down the kaross, he, grasping, drew out the feather
brush which he had put into the bag, he shook out the brush,
he played with (?) the ball. He called out to the baboons, why
was it that the baboons were staring at him, while the baboons
did not play with (?) the ball, that the baboons might throw
it to him.
Then the baboons looked at one another, because they suspected
why he spoke thus. Then he caught hold of the ball, when the
ball had merely flown to another baboon, when this (the first)
baboon had thrown the ball to the other. Then the child's eye,
because the child's eye felt that it was startled (?), on account
of his father's scent, it went playing about; the baboons trying
to get it, missed it. Then one baboon, he was the one who caught
hold of it, he threw it towards another. Then the Mantis merely
sprang out from this place, the Mantis caught hold of the child's
eye, the Mantis, snatching, took the child's eye. Then the Mantis
whirled around the child's eye; he anointed the child's eye with
(the perspiration of) his armpits. Then he threw the child's
eye towards the baboons, the child's eye ascended, the child's
eye went about in the sky; the baboons beheld it above, as it
played about above in the sky. And the child's eye went to stand
yonder opposite to the quiver; it appeared as if it sprang over
the quiver, while it stood inside the quiver's bag.
[1. He tied, placing a little bag at the side of the quiver;
therefore it is the quiver's bag; while it feels that it is a
little bag which is tied at the side of the quiver; he had laid
the bow upon it; it was the one that he tied, placing it by the
side of the quiver. That bag, it was the one that the child's
eye was in. That bag, it was the one that he laid the bow upon.]
Then the baboons went to seek for it. The Mantis also sought
for it, while the baboons sought for it. Then all the baboons
were altogether seeking for the child's eye. They said: "Give
my companion the ball." The baboon whose ball it was,
he said: "Give me the ball." The Mantis said: "Behold
ye! I have not got the ball." The baboons said: "Give
my companion the ball." The baboon whose ball it was, he
said: "Give me the ball." Then the baboons said
that the Mantis must shake the bag, for the ball seemed to be
inside the bag. And the Mantis exclaimed: "Behold ye! Behold
ye! the ball is not inside the bag. Behold ye!" while he
grasped the child's eye, he shook, turning the bag inside out.
He said: "Behold ye! Behold ye! the ball cannot be inside
Then this baboon exclaimed: " Hit the old man with (your)
fists." Then the other one exclaimed: "Give my companion
the ball! "while he struck the head of the Mantis. Then
the Mantis exclaimed: "I have not got the ball," while
he struck the baboon's head. Therefore, they were all striking
the Mantis with their fists; the Mantis was striking them with
his fist. Then the Mantis got the worst of it; the Mantis exclaimed:
"Ow! Hartebeest's Children! ye must go! !kau
[1. "Give my companion the ball."
2. "Give me the ball."
3. It is uncertain whether this should be singular or plural
4. "Hartebeest's Children," here, may refer to a
bag made from the skin of young hartebeests, which the Mantis
had with him.]
!Yerriggu! ye must go!" while the baboons watched
him ascend; as he flew up, as he flew to the water. Then he popped
into the water on account of it; while he exclaimed: "I
|ke, tten !khwaiten!khwaiten, !kui ha i |ka!" "Then
he walked out of the water; he sat down; he felt inside (his)
bag; he took out the child's eye; he walked on as he held it;
he walked, coming up to the grass at the top of the water's bank;
he sat down. He exclaimed: "Oh wwi ho!" as
he put the child's eye into the water.
"Thou must grow out, that thou mayest become like that
which thou hast been." "Then he walked on; he went
to take up (his) kaross, he threw it over his shoulder; be took
up the quiver, he slung on the quiver; and, in this manner, he
returning went, while he returning arrived at home.
Then the young Ichneumon exclaimed: "Who can have done
thus to my grandfather, the Mantis, that the Mantis is covered
with wounds? "Then the Mantis replied: "The baboons
were those who killed grandson, !gaunu-tsaxau; I went
[the Mantis speaks very sadly and slowly here], as they were
[1. The meaning of !kau !Yerri-ggu is at present unknown
to the translator, but the Mantis is still addressing some of
his possessions, and ordering them to leave the scene of his
2. Of these words of the Mantis (which frequently appear in
stories concerning him) the narrators were not able to furnish
a sufficiently clear explanation, so the original text is given.
3. It is grass; the grass which stands upon the top of the
water's bank; it is that which the Bushmen call |kannung-a-sse.
4. At the same time, putting the first finger of his right
hand into his mouth, against his left cheek, and drawing it forcibly
out; the eye being meanwhile in the palm of his right hand, shut
down by his other fingers.
5 He desired that the child should live; that it should living
playing at ball there with grandson's eye; I went to play
at ball with them. Then grandson's eye vanished. Therefore, the
baboons said (that) I was the one who had it; the baboons were
fighting me; therefore, I was fighting them; and I thus did,
I flying came."
Then |kuammang-a said: "I desire thee to say to
grandfather, Why is it that grandfather continues to go among
strangers [literally, people who are different]?" Then the
Mantis answered: "Thou dost appear to think that yearning
was not that on account of which I went among the baboons; "while
he did not tell |kuammang-a and the others that he came
(and) put the child's eye into the water.
Then he remained there (i.e. at home), while he did not go
to the water. Then he went there, while he went to look at the
place where he had put in the child's eye. And he approached
gently, while he wished that he might not make a rustling noise.
Therefore, he gently came. And the child heard him, because he
had not come gently when afar off; and the child jumped up, it
splashed into the water. Then the Mantis was laughing about it,
while his heart yearned (for the child). And he returned; altogether
Then the child grew; it became like that which it had (formerly)
been. Then the Mantis came; while he came to look; and be in
this manner walking came. While he came walking and looking,
he espied the child, as the child was sitting in the sun. Then
the child heard him, as be came rustling (along); the child sprang
up, the child entered the water. And he looking stood, he went
back. he went; he went to make for the child a front kaross (or
apron), that and a ||koroko. He put the things aside;
then he put the front kaross (into a bag), that and the ||koroko;
he in this manner went; he in this manner came he approached
gently. And, as he approached gently, he espied the child lying
in the sun, as the child lay yonder, in the sun, opposite the
water. Therefore, he gently came up to the child. And the child
heard him, as his father gently came. And the Mantis, when the
child intended to get up, the Mantis sprang forward, he caught
hold of the child. And he anointed the child with his scent;
he anointed the child; be said: "Why art thou afraid of
me? I am thy father; I who am the Mantis, I am here; thou art
my son, thou art !gaunu-tsaxau; I am the Mantis, I whose son
thou art; the father is myself." And the child sat down,
on account of it; and he took out the front kaross, he took out
the ||koroko. He put the front kaross on to the child;
he put the ||koroko on to the child; he put the front
kaross on to the child. Then he took the child with him; they,
in this manner, returning went; they returning arrived at home.
Then the young Ichneumon exclaimed: "What person can
it be who comes with the Mantis?" And |kuammang-a
replied: "Hast thou not just(?) heard that grandfather said
he had gone to the baboons, while they were playing at ball there
with the child's eye? while grandfather must have been playing
before us; his son comes yonder with him! "And they returned,
reaching the house. Then the young Ichneumon spoke; he said:
"Why did my grandfather, the Mantis, first say that the
[1. Another article for the child to wear.]
baboons were those who killed the child, while the child is
here Then the Mantis said: Hast thou not seen (that) he is not
strong? while he feels that I came to put his eye into the water;
while I wished that I might see whether the thing would not accomplish
itself for me; therefore, I came to put his eye into the water.
He came out of the water; therefore, thou seest (that) he is
not strong. Therefore, I wished that I might wait, taking care
of him; that I may see whether he will not become strong."
THE STORY OF THE LEOPARD TORTOISE.
The people had gone hunting: she was ill; and she perceived
a man  who came up to her hut; he had been hunting around.
She asked the man to rub her neck a little with fat for her;
for, it ached. The man rubbed it with fat for her. And she altogether
held the man firmly with it. The man's hands altogether decayed
away in it. 
Again, she espied another man, who came hunting. And she also
spoke, she said.: "Rub me with fat a little."
And the man whose hands had decayed away in
[1. Testudo pardalis.
2. The narrator explains that this misfortune happened to
men of the Early Race.
3. By drawing in her neck.
4. The flesh decayed away and came off, as well as the skin
and nails, leaving, the narrator says, merely the bones.]
her neck, he was hiding his hands, so that the other man
should not perceive them, namely, that they had decayed away
in it. And he said: "Yes; O my mate! rub our elder sister
a little with fat; for, the moon has been cut, while our elder
sister lies ill. Thou shalt also rub our elder sister with fat."
He was hiding his hands, so that the other one should not perceive
The Leopard Tortoise said Rubbing with fat, put (thy hands)
into my neck. And he, rubbing with fat, put in his hands upon
the Leopard Tortoise's neck; and the Leopard Tortoise drew in
her head upon her neck; while his hands were altogether in her
neck; and he dashed the Leopard Tortoise upon the ground, on
account of it; while he desired, he thought, that he should,
by dashing (it) upon the ground, break the Leopard Tortoise.
And the Leopard Tortoise held him fast.
The other one had taken out his bands (from behind his back);
and he exclaimed: "Feel (thou) that which I did also feel!
" and he showed the other one his hands; and the other one's
hands were altogether inside the Leopard Tortoise's neck. And
he arose, he returned home. And the other one was dashing the
Leopard Tortoise upon the ground; while he returning went; and
he said that the other, one also felt what he had felt. A pleasant
[1. He sat, putting his hands behind him, when the other man
came, taking them out from the Leopard Tortise's neck.
2. The moon 'died', and another moon came, while she still
lay ill, the narrator explains. "Whilst in the preceeding
myths of the Mantis, the Moon, according to its origin, is only
a piece of leather (a shoe of the Mantis),-in Bushman astrological
mythology the Moon is looked upon as a man who incurrs the wrath
of the Sun, and is consequently pierced by the knife (i.e
rays) of the latter. This process is repeated until almost
the whole of the Moon is cut away, and only one little piece
left; which the Moon piteously implores the Sun to spare for
his (the Moon's) children. (As mentioned above, the Moon is in
Bushman mythology a male being.) From this little piece, the
Moon gradually grows again until it becomes a full moon, when
the Sun's stabbing and cutting processes recommence." ("A
Brief Account of Bushman Folk-lore and other Texts." By
W.H.I. Bleek, Ph.D. Cape Town, 1875. p. 9, §16.)]
(it) was not, in which he had been! He yonder returning went;
(he) arrived at home.
The people exclaimed: "Where hast thou been? And he,
answering, said that the Leopard Tortoise had been the one in
whose neck his hands had been; that was why he had not returned
home, The people said: "Art thou a fool? Did not (thy) parents
instruct thee? The Leopard Tortoise always seems as if she would
die; while she is deceiving us."
II. Sun and Moon.
THE CHILDREN ARE SENT TO THROW THE SLEEPING SUN INTO
The children were those who approached geutly to lift up the
Sun-armpit, while the Sun-armpit lay sleeping.
The children felt that their mother was the one who spoke;
therefore, the children went to the Sun; while the Sun shone,
at the place where the Sun lay, sleeping lay.
Another old woman was the one who talked to the other about
it; therefore, the other one spoke to the other one's children.
The other old woman said to the other, that, the other one's
children should approach gently to lift up the Sun-armpit, that
they should throw up the Sun-armpit, that the Bushman rice might
become dry for them, that the Sun might make bright the whole
place; while the Sun felt that the Sun went (along), it went
over the whole sky, it made all places bright; therefore, it
made all the ground bright; while it felt that the children were
those who had coaxed (?) him; because an old woman was the one
who spoke to the other about it, therefore, the other one said:
"O children! ye must wait for the Sun, that the Sun may
lie down to sleep, for, we are cold. Ye shall gently approach
[1. Another old woman was the one who said to the other, that
the other should tell the other one's children; for, she (herself)
had no young male children; for, the other was the one who had
young male children who were clever, those who would understand
nicely, when they went to that old man.]
him up, while he lies asleep; ye shall take hold of him, all
together, all together ye lift him up, that ye may throw him
up into the sky." They, in this manner, spoke; the old woman,
in this manner, she spoke to the other; therefore, the other
in this manner spoke to her, she also, in this manner, spoke
to her children. The other said to her: "This (is the) story
which I tell thee, ye must wait for the Sun."
The children came, the children went away; the old woman said:
"Ye must go to sit down, when ye have looked at him, (to
see) whether he lies looking; ye must go to sit down, while ye
wait for him." Therefore, the children went to sit down,
while the children waited for him; he lay down, he lifted up
his elbow, his armpit shone upon the ground, as he lay. Therefore,
the children threw him up into the sky, -while they felt that
the old woman had spoken to them. The old woman said to the children:
"O children going yonder! ye must speak to him, when ye
throw him -up." The old woman said to the children: "O
children going yonder! ye must tell him, that, he must altogether
become the Sun, that he may go forward, while he feels that he
is altogether the Sun, which is hot; therefore, the Bushman rice
becomes dry, while he is hot, passing along in the sky; he is
hot, while he stands above in the sky."
The old woman was the one who told the children about it,
while she felt that her head was white; the children were listening
to her, they were listening to their mamma, their mothex; their
mother told them about it, that which the old woman in this manner
said. Therefore, they thought in this manner. Therefore, they
went to sit down. An older child spoke to another, therefore,
they went to sit down, while they waited for him (the Sun), they
went to sit down.
They arose, going on, they stealthily approached him, they
stood still, they looked at him, they went forward; they stealthily
reached him, they took hold of him) they all took hold of him
together, lifted him up, they raised him, while he felt hot.
Then, they threw him up, while he felt hot; they spoke to him
while he felt hot: "O Sun! thou must altogether stand fast,
thou must go along, thou must stand fast) while thou art hot."
The old woman said (that) they seemed to have thrown him up,
he seemed to be standing fast above. They thus spoke, they in
this manner spoke. Her (apparently the mother's) husband said:
"The Suns' armpit is standing fast above yonder, he whom
the children have thrown up; he lay, he intended to sleep; therefore,
the children have thrown him up."
The children returned. Then, the children came (and) said:
" (Our) companion who is here, he took hold of him, I also
was taking hold of him; my younger brother was taking hold of
him, my other younger brother was also taking bold of him; (our)
companion who is here, his other younger brother was also taking
hold of him. I said: 'Ye must grasp him firmly.' I, in this manner,
spoke; I said: 'Throw ye him up!' Then, the children threw him
up. I said to the children: 'Grasp ye the old man firmly!' I
said to the children: 'Throw ye up the old man!' Then, the children
threw up the old man; that old man, the Sun; while they felt
that the old woman was the one who spoke."
An older child spoke, while he felt that he was a youth; the
other also was a youth, they were young men (?), they went to
throw up the Sun-armpit. They came to speak, the youth spoke,
the youth talked to his grandmother: "O my grandmother!
we threw him up, we told him, that, he should altogether become
the Sun, which is hot; for, we are cold. We said: 'O my grandfather,
Sun-armpit! Remain (at that) place; become thou the Sun which
is hot; that the Bushman rice may dry for us; that thou mayst
make the whole earth light; that the whole earth may become warm
in the summer; that thou mayst altogether make heat. Therefore,
thou must altogether shine, taking away the darkness; thou must
come, the darkness go away.'"
The Sun comes, the darkness goes away, the Sun comes, the
Sun sets, the darkness comes, the moon comes at night. The day
breaks, the Sun comes out, the darkness goes away, the Sun comes.
The moon comes out, the moon brightens the darkness, the darkness
departs; the moon comes out, the moon shines, taking away the
darkness; it goes along, it has made bright the darkness, it
sets. The Sun comes out, the Sun follows (drives away?) the darkness,
the Sun takes away the moon, the moon stands, the Sun pierces
it, with the Sun's knife, as it stands; therefore, it decays
away on account of it. Therefore, it says: "O Sun! leave
for the children the backbone!" Therefore, the Sun leaves
the backbone for the children; the Sun does so. Therefore, the
Sun says that the Sun will leave the backbone for the children,
while the Sun assents to him; the Sun leaves the backbone for
the children; therefore, the moon painfully goes away, he painfully
returns home, while he painfully goes along; therefore, the Sun
desists, while he feels that the Sun has left for the children
the backbone, while the Sun assents to him; therefore, the Sun
leaves the backbone; while the Sun feels that the Sun assents
to him; therefore, the Sun desists on account of it; he (the
moon) painfully goes away, he painfully returns home; he again,
he goes to become another moon, which is whole; he again, be
lives; he again, be lives, while he feels that he had seemed
to die. Therefore, he becomes a new moon; while he feels that
he has again put on a stomach; he becomes large; while he feels
that he is a moon which is whole; therefore, he is large; he
comes, while he is alive. He goes along at night, he feels that
he is the moon which goes by night, while he feels that he is
a shoe; therefore, he walks in the night.
The Sun is here, all the earth is bright; the Sun is here,
the people walk while the place is light, the earth is light;
the people perceive the bushes, they see the other people; they
see the meat, which they are eating; they also see the springbok,
they also head the springbok, in summer; they also head the ostrich,
while they feel that the Sun shines; they also head the ostrich
in summer; they are shooting the springbok in summer, while they
feel that the Sun shines, they see the springbok; they also steal
up to the gemsbok; they also steal up to the kudu, while they
feel that the whole place is bright; they also visit each other,
while they feel that the Sun shines, the earth also is bright,
the Sun shines upon the path. They also travel in summer; they
[1. The Mantis formerly, when inconvenienced by darkness,
took off one of his shoes and threw it into the sky, ordering
it to become the Moon.]
are shooting in summer; they hunt in summer; they espy the
springbok in summer; they go round to head the springbok; they
lie down; they feel that they lie in a little house of bushes;
they scratch up the earth in the little house of bushes, they
lie down, while the springbok come.
The second version of the preceeding myth, which is unfortunately
too long to be conveniently included in the present volume, contains
a few interesting notes, furnished by the narrator, ||kabbo
("Dream"), which are given below. ||kabbo
further explained that the Sun was a man; but, not one
of the early race of people who preceded the Flat Bushmen in
their country. He only gave forth brightness for a space around
his own dwelling. Before the children threw him up, he had not
been in the sky, but, had lived at his own house, on earth. As
his shining had been confined to a certain space at, and round
his own dwelling, the rest of the country seemed as if the sky
were very cloudy; as it looks now, when the Sun is behind thick
clouds. The sky was black (dark?). Thee shining came from one
of the Sun's armpits, as he lay with one arm lifted up. When
he put down his arm, darkness fell everywhere; when he lifted
it up again, it was as if day came. In the day, the Sun's light
used to be white; but, at night, it was red, like a fire. When
the Sun was thrown up into the sky it became round, and never
was a man afterwards.
TRANSLATION OF NOTES.
The First Bushmen were those who first inhabited the earth.
Therefore, their children were those who worked with the Sun.
Therefore, the people who [later] inhabited their country, are
those who say that the children worked, making the Sun to ascend,
while they felt that their mothers had agreed together that they
should throw up, for them, the Sun; that the Sun might warm the
earth for them; that they-might feel the Sun's warmth, that they
might be able to sit in the Sun.
[1. The men of the early race.]
When the first Bushmen had passed away, the Flat Bushmen inhabited
their ground. Therefore, the Flat Bushmen taught their children
about the stories of the First Bushmen.
The Sun had been a man, he talked; they all talked, also the
other one, the Moon. Therefore, they used to live upon the earth;
while they felt that they spoke. They do not talk, now that they
live in the sky.
THE ORIGIN OF DEATH; PRECEDED BY A PRAYER ADDRESSED
TO THE YOUNG MOON.
We, when the Moon has newly returned alive, when another person
has shown us the Moon, we look towards the place at which the
other has shown us the Moon, and, when we look thither, we perceive
the Moon, and when we perceive it, we shut our eyes with our
hands, we exclaim: "!kabbi-a yonder! Take my face
yonder! Thou shalt give me thy face yonder! Thou shalt take my
face yonder! That which does not feel pleasant. Thou shalt give
me thy face,-(with) which thou, when thou hast died, thou dost
again, living return, when we did not perceive thee, thou dost
again lying down come,-that I may also resemble thee. For, the
joy yonder, thou dost always possess it yonder, that is, that
thou art wont again to return alive, when we did not perceive
thee; while the hare told thee about it, that thou shouldst do
thus. Thou didst formerly say, that we should also again return
alive, when we died."
The hare was the one who thus did. He spoke, he said, that
he would not be silent, for, his mother would not again living
return; for his mother was altogether dead. Therefore, he would
cry greatly for his mother.
The Moon replying, said to the hare about it that the hare
should leave off crying; for, his mother was not altogether dead.
For, his mother meant that she would again living return. The
hare replying, said that he was not willing to be silent; for,
he know that his mother would not again return alive. For, she
was altogether dead.
And the Moon became angry about it, that the hare spoke
thus, while he did not assent to him (the Moon). And he hit with
his fist, cleaving the hare's mouth; and while he hit the hare's
mouth with his fist, he exclaimed: "This person, his mouth
which is here, his mouth shall altogether be like this, even
-when he is a hare; he shall always bear a scar on his niouth;
he shall spring away, he shall do-doubling (?) come back. The
dogs shall chase him; they shall, when they have caught him,
they shall grasping tear him to pieces, he shall altogether
"And they who are men, they shall altogether dying go
away, when they die. For, he was not
[1. It was a young male hare, the narrator explained.
2. The hare had also been a person; but, the Moon cursed him,
ordering that he should altogether become a hare.
3. Or, bite, tearing him to pieces.
4. The people shall, when they die, they shall altogether
dying go away; while they do not again living return. For the
hare was the one who thus spoke; he said that his mother would
not again living return.]
willing to agree with me, when I told him about it, that he
should not cry for his mother; for, his mother would again live;
he said to me, that, his mother would not again living return.
Therefore, he shall altogether become a hare. And the people,
they shall altogether die. For, he was the one who said that
his mother would not again living return. I said to him about
it, that they (the people) should also be like me; that which
I do; that I, when I am dead, I again living return. He contradicted
me, when I had told him about it."
Therefore, our mothers said to me, that the hare was formerly
a man; when he had acted in this manner, then it was that the
Moon cursed him, that he should altogether become a hare. Our
mothers told me, that, the hare has human flesh at his ||katten-ttu;
therefore, we, when we have killed a hare, when we intend to
eat the hare, we take out the "biltong flesh" yonder,
which is human flesh, we leave it; while we feel that he who
is the hare, his flesh it is not. For, flesh (belonging to) the
time when he formerly was a man, it is.
Therefore, our mothers were not willing for us to eat that
small piece of meat; while they felt that it is this piece of
meat with which the hare was formerly a man. Our mothers said
to us about it, did we not feel that our stomachs were uneasy
[1 The meaning of ||katten-ttu is not yet clear; and
the endeavors tobotain a hare, that it might be exactly ascertained
from the Bushmen which piece of meat was meant, were unsuccesful.
The ttu at the end of the word shows that some sort of
hollow of the human body is indicated.
Since these sheets have gone to press, Dr. J.N.W. Loubser,
to whom I had applied for information regarding this particular
piece of meat, was so good as to send me the following lines,
accompanied by a diagram, which unfortunately it was already
too late for me to include in the illustrations for this volume:-
"As regards the 'biltong flesh', I have often watched
my mother cutting biltong, and know that each leg of beef contains
really only one real biltong, i.e. the piece of flesh
need not be cut into the usual oblong shape, bat has this a
priori. In other words, it is a muscle of this form. From
my anatomical knowledge I can only find it to correspond to the
museulus bicelis femoris of the man. It will therefore
be a muscle sitting rather high up the thigh (B of Figure)."
2 The narrator explained |kwaii to be "biltong
flesh " (i.e., lean meat that can be cut into strips and
sun-dried, making "biltong").]
ate that little piece of meat, while we felt that it was human
flesh; it is not hare's flesh; for, flesh which is still in the
hare it is; while it feels that the hare was formerly a man.
Therefore, it is still in the hare; while the hare's doings are
those on account of which the Moon cursed us; that we should
altogether die. For, we should, when we died, we should have
again living returned; the hare was the one who did not assent
to the Moon, when the Moon was willing to talk to him about it;
he contradicted the Moon.
Therefore, the Moon spoke, he said: "Ye who are people,
ye shall, when ye die, altogether dying vanish away. For, I said,
that, ye should, when ye died, ye should again arise, ye should
not altogether die. For, I, when I am dead, I again living return.
I had intended, that, ye who are men, ye should also resemble
me (and) do the things that I do; that I do not altogether dying
go away. Ye, who are men, are those who did this deed; therefore,
I had thought that I (would) give you joy. The hare, when I intended
to tell him about it,-while I felt that I knew that the hare's
mother had not really died, for, she slept,-the hare was the
one who said to me, that his mother did not sleep; for, his mother
had altogether died. These were the things that I became angry
about; while I had thought that the hare would say: 'Yes; my
mother is asleep.'"
For, on account of these things, he (the Moon) became angry
with the hare; that the hare should have spoken in this manner,
while the hare did not say: " Yes, my mother lies sleeping;
she will presently arise." If the hare had assented to the
Moon, then, we who are people, we should have resembled the Moon;
for, the Moon had formerly said, that we should not altogether
die. The hare's doings were those on account of which the Moon
cursed us, and we die altogether; on account of the story which
the hare was the one who told him. That story is the one on account
of which we altogether die (and) go away; on account of the hare's
doings; when he was the one who did not assent to the Moon; when
the Moon intended to tell him about it; he contradicted the Moon,
when the Moon intended to tell him about it.
The Moon spoke, saying that he (the hare) should lie upon
a bare place; vermin should be those who were biting him, at
the place where he was lying; he should not inhabit the bushes;
for, he should lie upon a bare place; while he did not lie under
a tree. He should be lying upon a bare place. Therefore, the
hare is used, when he springs up, he goes along shaking his head;
while he shakes out, making to fall the vermin from his head,
in which the vermin had been hanging; while he feels that the
vermin hung abundantly in his head. Therefore, he shakes his
head, so that the other vermin may fall out for him.
(This, among the different versions of the Moon and Hare story
called "The Origin of Death", has been selected on
account of the prayer to the young Moon with which it begins.)
THE MOON IS NOT TO BE LOOKED AT WHEN GAME HAS BEEIN
We may not look at the Moon, when we have shot game; for,
we look, lowering our head, while we do not look up, towards
the sky; while we are afraid of the Moon's shining. It is that
which we fear. For, our mothers used to tell us about it, that
the Moon is not a good person, if we look at him.
For, if we look at him, when we have shot game, the beasts
of prey will eat the game, when the game lies dying, if we look
at the Moon. When the game does not die, the Moon's water is
that which causes the game to live. For, our mothers used to
tell us about it, that, the Moon's water yonder, (that) we see,
which is on a bush, it resembles liquid honey. It is that which
falls upon the game; the game arises, when it has fallen upon
the game. It makes cool the poison with which we shot the game;
and the game arises, it goes on, while it does not show signs
of poison; even if it had -appeared as if it would die. The
Moon's water is that which cures it. And it lives, on account
Therefore, our mothers did not wish us to be looking about,
we should not look at the things which are in the sky; while
our mothers used to tell us about it, that the Moon, if we had
looked at him, the game which we had shot, would also go along
like the Moon, Our mothers said to us about it, did we
[1. Literally, "make," or "become poison."]
not see the Moon's manner of going? he was not in the habit
of going to a place near at hand, for, the day was used to break,
while he was still going along. The game would also do the same,
if we had looked at the Moon. The day would break, while the
game was still going along; while it resembled the Moon, at which
we had looked. Therefore, we feared to look at the Moon; while
we felt that our mothers used to tell us about it, that the game
would desire to take us away to a place where no water was. We
could (?) go to die of thirst, while it, leading us astray, took
us away to a place where no water was.
THE GIRL OF THE EARLY RACE, WHO MADE STARS.
My mother was the one who told me that the girl arose; she
put her hands into the wood ashes; she threw up the wood ashes
into the sky. She said to the wood ashes: "The wood ashes
which are here, they must altogether become the Milky Way. They
must white lie along in the sky, that the stars may stand outside
of the Milky Way, while the Milky Way is the Milky Way, while
it used to be wood ashes." They (the ashes) altogether become
the Milky Way. The Milky Way must go round with the stars; while
the Milky Way feels that, the Milky Way lies going round; while
the stars sail along; therefore, the Milky Way, lying, goes along
with the stars. The Milky Way, when the Milky Way stands upon
the earth, the Milky Way turns across in front, while the Milky
Way means to wait(?), While the Milky Way feels that the Stars
are turning back; while the Stars feel that the Sun is the one
who has turned back; he is upon his path; the Stars turn back;
while they go to fetch the daybreak; that they may lie nicely,
while the Milky Way lies nicely. The Stars shall also stand nicely
[1. This girl is said to have been one of the people of the
early race (!Xwe-|na-ssho-!ke) and the 'first' girl; and
to have acted ill. She was finally shot by her husband. These
!Xwe-|na-ssho-!ke are said to have been stupid, and not
to have understood things well.]
They shall sail along upon their footprints, which they, always
sailing along, are following. While they feel that, they are
the Stars which descend.
The Milky Way lying comes to its place, to which the girl
threw up the wood ashes, that it may descend nicely; it had lying
gone along, while it felt that it lay upon the sky. It had lying
gone round, while it felt that the Stars also turned round. They
turning round passed over the sky. The sky lies (still); the
Stars are those which go along; while they feel that they sail.
They had been setting; they had, again, been coming out; they
had, sailing along, been following their footprints. They become
white, when the Sun comes out. The Sun sets, they stand around
above; while they feel that they did turning follow the Sun.
The darkness comes out; they (the Stars) wax red, while they
had at first been white. They feel that they stand brightly around;
that they may sail along; while they feel that it is night. Then,
the people go by night; while they feel that the ground is made
light. While they feel that the Stars shine a little. Darkness
is upon the ground. The Milky Way gently glows; while it feels
that it is wood ashes. Therefore, it gently glows. While it feels
that the girl was the one who said that the Milky Way should
give a little light for the people, that they might return home
by night, in the middle of the night. For, the earth would not
have been a little light, bad not the Milky Way been there. It
and the Stars.
The girl thought that she would throw up (into the air) roots
of the !huing, in order that the !huing roots should
become Stars; therefore, the Stars are red; while they feel that
(they) are !huing roots.
She first gently threw up wood ashes into the sky, that she
might presently throw up !huing roots; while she felt
that she was angry with her mother, because her mother had not
given her many !huing roots, that she might eat abundantly;
for, she was in the hut. She did not herself go out to seek food;
that she might get(?) !huing for herself; that she might
be bringing it (home) for herself; that she might eat; for, she
was hungry; while she lay ill in the hut. Her mothers were those
who went out. They were those who sought for food. They were
'bringing home !huing, that they might eat. She lay in
her little hut, which her mother had made for her. Her stick
stood there; because she did not yet dig out food. And, she was
still in the hut. Her mother was the one who was bringing her
food. That she might be eating, lying in the little hut; while
her mother thought that she (the girl) did not eat the young
men's game (ie. game killed by them). For, she ate the game of
her father, who was an old man. While she thought that the hands
of the young men would become cool. Then, the arrow would become
cool. The arrow head which is at the top, it would be cold; while
the arrow head felt that the bow was cold; while the bow felt
[1. She threw up a scented root (eaten by some Bushmen) called
!huing, which became stars; the red (or old) !huing
making red stars, the white or young !huing making white
stars. This root is, ||kabbo says, eaten by baboons and
also by the porcupine.
The same girl also made locusts, by throwing up into the sky
the peel of the !kuissi [an edible root] which she was
2. ||kabbo here explained that, when a girl has 'grown',
she is put into a tiny hut, made by her mother, with a very small
arpeture for the door; which her mother closes upon her. When
she goes out, she looks upon the ground; and when she returns
to the hut, she sits and looks down. She does not go far, or
walk about at this time. When presently she becomes a, 'big girl',
she is allowed to look about, and to look afar again; being,
on the first occasion, allowed to look afar over her mother's
hand. She leaves the small hut, when allowed to look about and
around again; and she then walks about like the other women.
During the time she is in retreat, she must not look at the springbok,
lest they should become wild.]
(the young man's) hands were cold. While the girl thought
of her saliva, which, eating, she had put into the springbok
meat; this saliva would go into the bow, the inside of the bow
would become cool; she, in this manner, thought. Therefore, she
feared the young men's game. Her father was the one from whom
she alone ate (game). While she felt that she had worked (i.e.
treated) her father's hands: she had worked, taking away her
saliva (from them).
THE GREAT STAR, !GAUNU, WHICH, SINGING, NAMED
!gaunu, he was formerly a great Star; therefore,
his name is !gaunu; while he feels that he was the one
who formerly spoke (lit. "called") the Stars' names;
while he feels that he is a great one. Therefore, be called the
Stars' names. Therefore, the Stars possess their names; while
they feel that !gaunu was the one who called their names.
He formerly sang, while he uttered the Stars' names. He said
"||Xwahai" to (some) Stars which are very
small; they are those of which be made ||Xwhai; their
small, fine ones are those which are ||Xwhai.
[1. My (paternal) grandfather, |Xugen-ddi, was the
one who told me star's stories."
2. The stars ||Xwahai |aiti and ||Xwhai-@pua
were identified as "Altair" or "Alpha Aquilae",
and "Gamma Aquilae", respectively, by the late Mr.
George Maclear and Mr. Finlay of the Royal Observatory, on October
10, 1873, at Mowbray. ||Xwhai gwai was behind a tree and
too low to be distinguished.]
Therefore, the porcupine, when these Stars have, sitting,
turned back, he will not remain on the hunting ground; for, be
knows that it is dawn, when ||Xwhai has, lying, turned
back. He returns home; for, he is used to look at these Stars;
they are those which he watches; while he feels that he knows
that the dawn's Stars they are.
WHAT THE STARS SAY, AND A PRAYER TO A STAR.
They (the Bushmen) wish, that they may also perceive things.
Therefore, they say that the Star shall take their heart, with
which they do not a little hunger; the Star shall give them the
Star's heart, the Star's heart,-with which the Star sits in plenty.
For the Star is not small; the Star seems as if it had food.
Therefore, they say, that the Star shall give them of the Star's
heart, that they may not hunger.
The Stars are wont to call, "Tsau! Tsau!"
therefore the Bushmen are wont to say, that the Stars curse for
them the springboks' eyes; the Stars say, "Tsau!"
they say, "Tsau! Tsau!" I am one who
was listening to them. I questioned my grandfather (Tsatsi),
what things it could be that spoke thus. My grandfather said
to me that the Stars were those who spoke thus. The Stars were
those who said, Tsau! while they cursed for the people
[1. i.e. things which their dogs may kill.]
the springboks' eyes. Therefore, when I grew up, I was listening
to them. The Stars said, "Tsau! Tsau!"
Summer is (the time) when they sound.
Because I used to sleep with my grandfather, I was the one
who sat with my grandfather, when he sat in the coolness outside.
Therefore) I questioned him, about the things which spoke thus.
He said, the Stars were those who spoke thus; they cursed for
the people the springboks' eyes.
My grandfather used to speak to Canopus, when Canopus had
newly come out; he said: "Thou shalt give me thy heart,
with which thou dost sit in plenty, thou shalt take my heart,-my
heart,-with which I am desperately hungry. That I might also
be full, like thee. For, I hunger. For, thou seemest to be satisfied
(with food); hence thou art not small. For, I am hungry. Thou
shalt give me thy stomach, with which thou art satisfied. Thou
shalt take my stomach, that thou mayst also hunger. Give thou
me also thy arm, thou shalt take my arm, with which I do not
kill. For, I miss my aim. Thou shalt give me thy arm. For, my
arm which is here, I miss my aim with it." He desired that
the arrow might hit the springbok for him; hence, he wished the
Star to give him the Star's arm, while the Star took his arm,
with which he missed his aim.
He shut his mouth, he moved away, he sat down; while he felt
that he wished to sit and sharpen an arrow.
[1. I think that it was all the springbok.]
!KO-G!NUING-TARA, WIFE OF THE DAWN'S-HEART
They sought for !haken, they were digging out !haken.
They went about, sifting !haken, while they were digging out
!haken. And, when the larvæ of the, !haken were intending
to go in (to the earth which was underneath the little hillock),
they collected together, they sifted the larvæ of the !haken
on the hunting ground.
And the hyena took the blackened perspiration of her
armpits, she put it into the !haken. And they gave to !ko-g!nuing-tara
of the !hagen. And !ko-g!nuing-tara exclaimed, she said to her
younger sister: "Thou shalt leave this !haken alone; I will
be the one who eats it. For, thou art the one who shalt take
care of the child. For, this !haken, its smell is not nice."
Therefore, as !ko-g!nuing-tara sat, eating the !haken,
[1. !haken resembles " rice " (i.e. " Bushman
rice "); its larvæ are like (those of) "Bushman
rice". !haken is a thing to eat; there is nothing as nice
as it is, when it is fresh.
2. A female hyena.
3. The hyenas (it) was, with the jackals, the blue cranes
(and) the black crows.
4. It was !ko-g!nuing-tara's child. The Dawn's-Heart was
the one who buried the child away from his wife, under the !huing
(a plant with a handsome green top, and little bulbous roots
at the end of fibres in the ground. The roots are eaten by the
Bushmen raw, and also roasted and made into meal, which is said
to be excellent, |hang#kass'o thinks that the flower is red;
but has not seen the plant since he was a child).]
the ornaments (ie., earrings, bracelets, leglets, anklets)
of themselves ) came off. The kaross (skin cloak) also unloosened
(itself), the kaross also sat down. The skin petticoat also unloosened
(itself), the skin petticoat sat down. The shoes ilso unloosened
(themselves). Therefore, she sprang up,. she in this manner
trotted away. Her younger sister, shrieking, followed her.
She went; she went into the reeds. She went to sit in the reeds.
Her younger sister exclaimed: "O !ko-g!nuing-tara!
wilt thou not first allow the child to suck?" And she (the
elder sister) said: "Thou shalt bring it, that it may suck;
I would altogether talk to thee, while my thinking-strings still
stand." Therefore, she spoke., she said to her younger sister:
"Thou must be quickly bringing the child, while I am still
conscious; and thou shalt bring the child to-morrow morning."
Her younger sister returned home, also the hyena, when
the hyena bad put on the ornaments; they returned home, while
the Dawn's-Heart and the rest were (still) out hunting. The
Dawn's-Heart returned home, as the child cried there, while his
younger sister-in-law was the one who had the child.
He came, he exclaimed: "Why is it, that !ko-g!nuing-tara
is not attending to the child, while the child cries there?"
The hyena did not speak.
[1. Bracelet, anklet, leglet.
2. (They) came off, they sat down upon the ground.
3. She felt that she became a beast of prey.
4. Because she wanted to run to catch hold of her elder
5. I think that he was with other people. I think that
they seem to have been the jackals' husbands, and the quaggas,
and the wildebeests with the ostriches.]
|Xe-dde-Yoe was soothing the child. She waited; her
elder sister's husband went to hunt; and she took the child upon
her back. She went to her elder sister; she walked, arriving
at the reeds. She exclaimed: "O !ko-g!nuing-tara! let the
child suck." And her elder sister sprang out of the reeds;
her elder sister, in this manner, came running; her elder sister
caught hold of her, she turning (her body on one side) gave her
) elder sister the child. She said: "I am here" And
her elder sister allowed the child to suck. She said: "Thou
must quickly bring the child (again), while I am still conscious;
for, I feel as if my thinking-strings would fall down."
And her younger sister took the child upon her back, she returned
home; while her elder sister went into the reeds.
And, near sunset, she went to her elder sister; while she
felt that her elder sister was the one who had thus spoken to
her about it; her elder sister said: "Thou must quickly
bring the child, for, I feel. as if I should forget you, while
I feel that I do not know." And, her younger sister took
the child near sunset, she went to her elder sister, she stood.
She exclaimed: "O !ko-g!nuing-tara! let the child suck."
Her elder sister sprang out of the reeds; she ran up to her younger
sister. And she caught hold of her younger sister. Her younger
sister said: "I am here! I am here!" She allowed the
child to suck. She said: "Thou must quickly come (again);
for, I feel as if I should forget you, (as if) I should not any
longer think of you." Her
[1. The name of the younger sister of !ko-g!nuing-tara
was |Xe-dde-Yoe. She was a (one of the early race).]
younger sister returned home, while she went into the reeds.
Her younger sister, on the morrow, she went to her elder
sister; she walked, coming, coming, coming, coming, she stood.
And she exclaimed:"O !ko-g!nuing-tara!" let the child
suck." And her elder sister sprang out of the reeds, she
ran up to her younger sister, she caught hold of her younger
sister. Her younger sister, springing aside, gave her the child.
Her younger sister said: "I am here!" Therefore, she
(the elder sister) spoke, she said to her younger sister: "Thou
must not continue to come to me; for, I do not any longer feel
that I know." And her younger sister returned home.
And they went to make a !ku there (at the house). They
played. The men played with them, while the women were those
who clapped their hands, while the men were those who nodded
their heads, while the women were those who clapped their hands
for them. Then, the Dawn's-Heart, nodding his head, went up to
his younger sister-in-law, he laid his hand on his younger sister-in-law
(on her shoulder). Then his younger sister-in-law swerved aside.
She exclaimed: "Leave me alone! your wives, the old she-hyenas,
may clap their hands for you."
Then the Dawn's-Heart ran to the hyena; he took
[1. This is a dance or game of the Bushmen, which |hang#kass'o
has not himself seen, but has heard of from Tuani-ang and #kammi,
two of Tsatsi's wives. They used to say that their fathers made
a !ku (and) played. Their mothers were those who clapped their
hands, clapped their hands for the men; the men nodded their
2. She said !gwai |e-tara, a from anger; anger was that
on account of which she said !gwai |e-tara.]
aim (with his assegai), he pierced the place where the
hyena had been sitting, while the hyena sprang out, she trod,
burning herself in the fire, while she sprang away; while the
ornaments remained at the place where she had been sitting, and
where she had been wearing them. She sprang away, while they
And the Dawn's-Heart scolded his younger sister-in-law,
why was it that his younger sister-in-law had not quickly told
him about it; she had concealed from him about the hyena; as
if this was not why he had seen that the woman had been sitting
with her back towards bim, she had not been sitting with her
face towards him. She had been sitting with her back towards
him; the (i.e. his) wife had been sitting with her face towards
him. A different person, she must be the one who was here, she
had sat with her back towards him. And he said that his younger
sister-in-law should quickly explain to him about the place where
the (his) wife seemed to be. His younger sister-in-law said:
"Thou shalt wait, that the place may become light; for,
thou dost seem to think that (thy) wife is still like that which
she used to be. We will go to (thy) wife, when the sun has come
[1. (He) brought himself to a stand (in order to take aim).
2. She sat in the house, being afraid. Therefore, she took
off the bracelets from her wrists, while she desired that she
might sit quietly; while she felt that she left the things. She
suspected that the people were making a !ku (on her account),
therefore she did not go to the !ku, while she felt that she
had been wearing !ko-g!nuing-tara things.
3. Because he had married the hyena, because he thought
that it was !ko-g!nuing-tara.
4. Because it was night.]
Therefore, on the morrow, he said that his younger sister-in-law
must quickly allow them to go. Then his younger sister-in-law
said: "We ought to drive, taking goats, that we may take
goats to (thy) wife." Therefore, they drove, taking goats.
They drove along goats, drove along goats; they took the goats
to the reeds. And they drove the goats to a stand.
|Xe-dde-Yoe directed her elder sister's husband, she
said that her elder sister's husband should stand behind her
back, the other people must stand behind her elder sister's husband's
back, while she must be the one to stand beside the goats. Then
she exclaimed: !ko-g!nuing-tara! let the child suck."
Then her elder sister sprang out of the reeds; she, in
this manner, she running came. She, when she had run to her younger
sister, she perceived the goats, she turned aside to the goats.
She caught hold of a goat. The Dawn's-Heart caught hold of (his)
wife, while the wife caught hold of the goat; while his younger
sister-in-law, |Xe-dde-Yoe, also took hold of the wife. All the
people altogether caught hold of her. Other people were catching
hold of the goats; they out the goats open, they took out the
contents of the stomach, they anointed !ko-g!nuing-tara with
the contents of the stomachs. They, taking hold, rubbed off the
hair (from her skin). Therefore, when she sat down, she said:
"Ye must, pulling, leave the hair on the tips of my ears;
for, in that
[1. They left off (driving), in order that the goats might
2. |Xe is a young girl. What the whole of |Xe-dde-Yoe's
name means, the narrator does not know.
3. The hair, with which she had become a lynx.]
manner I shall come to hear; for, I do not feel as if I
should hear." Therefore, the man (her husband), pulling
off, left the hair on the tips of her ears, that hair which is
thus on the tips of the ears, standing on the top of them.
Therefore, the Dawn's-Heart used, when he was returning
home, to put an arrow on the bow, he walked, sticking the
end of his assegai into the ground, as lie returning came. His
eyes were large, as he came walking along; they resembled fires.
The people were afraid of him as he came, on account of his eyes;
while they felt that his eyes resembled fires, as he came walking
along. The jackals were afraid of him, as he returning came.
In order to throw more light on that portion of the story
of !ko-gnuing-tara which is contained in the version here given,
the following extract is supplied from page 11 of Dr. Bleek's
"Second Report concerning Bushman Researches", printed
at Cape Town, in 1875:-
"The "Dawn's-Heart" (the star Jupiter) has
a daughter, who is identified with some neighboring star preceding
Jupiter (at the time when we asked, it was Regulus or Alpha Leonis).
Her name is the "Dawn's-Heart-child," and her relation
to her father is somewhat mysterious. He calls her "my heart,"
he swallows her, then walks alone as the only Dawn's-Heart Star,
and, when she is grown up, he spits her out again. She then herself
becomes another (female) Dawn's-Heart, and spits out another
Dawn's-Heart-child, which follows the male and female Dawn's-Heart.
The mother of the latter, the first-mentioned Dawn's-Heart's
wife, was the Lynx, who was then a beautiful woman, with a younger
sister who carried her digging-stick after her. The Dawn's-Heart
hid his child under the leaves of an edible root (!kuissi), where
he thought that his wife would come and find it. Other animals
and birds arrived first, and each proposed herself to the Dawn's-Heart-child
as its mother; but they
[1. She said that she should not hear, if all the hair
were off her ears. Therefore, her husband should leave the other
hair on her ears.
2. Holding up two fingers.
3. He always (henceforth) did thus, because the hyenas
had made his heart angry, they had poisoned (his) wife.
were mocked at by the child, until at last it recognized
its own mother. Among the insulted animals were the Jackal and
the Hyena, who, to revenge themselves, bewitched the mother (Lynx)
with some poisoned "Bushman rice" (so-called "ants'
eggs"), by which means she was transformed into a lioness.
la the dark, the Hyena tried to take her (the Lynx's) place in
the hut, on the return of the Dawn's-Heart; but the imposture
was made known to him by his sister-in-law. The Dawn's-Heart
tried to stab the Hyena with his assegai, but missed her. She
fled, putting her foot into the fire, and burning it severely.
The bewitched wife was enticed out of the reeds by her younger
sister, and then caught by her brothers, who pulled off the lion
skin, so that she became a fair woman again. But, in consequence
of having been bewitched by "Bushman rice," she could
no longer eat that, and was changed into a lynx who ate meat.-This
myth, which contains many minor, and some beautiful incidents,
is partly given in the form of a narrative, and partly in discourses
addressed by the Dawn's-Heart to his daughter, as well as in
speeches made by the Hyena and her parents, after her flight
IIIa. Other Myths.
THE SON OF THE WIND.
The (son of the) Wind was formerly still. And he rolled
(a ball) to !na-ka-ti. He exclaimed: "O !na-ka-ti! There
it goes!" And!na-ka-ti exclaimed: "O comrade! There
it goes!" because inq-ka-ti felt that he did not know his
(the other one's) name. Therefore, !na-ka-ti said: "O comrade!
There it goes! " He who was the wind, be was the one who
said: "O !na-ka-ti! There it goes!
Therefore, !na-ka-ti went to question his mother about
the other one's name. He exclaimed: "O our mother! Utter
for me comrade who is yonder, his name; for, comrade utters my
name; I do not utter comrade's name. I would also utter comrade's
name, when I am rolling (the ball) to him. For, I do not utter
comrade's name; I would also utter his name, when I roll (the
ball) to him." Therefore,
[1. Rolled (a ball of) ||kuarri to him. I think that it
must have been ||kuarri; for, ||kuarri is that with which we
are rolling (a ball): when we wish to aim, seeing ourselves,
whether a man aims better than the other people. Therefore, we
are rolling (a ball) with ||kuarri.
||kuarri is found in our country. They stand in numbers
around. Therefore, the porcupine eats them. We do not eat them;
for they are poison.
2. The name !na-ka-ti |hang#kass'o was unable to explain.
He thinks that it must have been given by the parents, as !na-ka-ti
was still a child. He further stated that the word !na is the
name of an insect which resembles the locust. It is large, and
also resembles the Acridium ruficorne. It is red. It affects
the eyes of the Bushmen. Their eyes become closed and they writhe
with pain on account of the burning caused by this insect.]
his mother exclaimed: "I will not utter to thee comrade's
name. For, thou shalt wait; that father may first shelter for
us the hut; that father may first strongly shelter the hut.
And then I will utter for thee comrade's name. And thou shalt,
when I have uttered for thee comrade's name, thou must, when
I am the one who has uttered for thee comrade's name, thou must,
when I have uttered for thee comrade's name, thou must scamper
away, thou must run home, that thou mayest come into the hut,
whilst thou dost feel that the wind would blow thee away."
Therefore, the child went; they (the two children) went
to roll (the ball) there. Therefore, he (!na-ka-ti) again, he
went to his mother, he again, he went to question his mother
about the other one's name.
And his mother exclaimed: "|erriten-!kuang-!kuang"
it is; !gau-!gaubu-ti it is. He is |erriten-!kunag-!kunag; he
is !gau-!gaubu-ti, he is |erriten-!kuang-!kuang."
Therefore, !na-ka-ti went on account of it. He went to
roll (the ball) there, while he did not utter the other one's
name, while he felt that his mother was the one who had thus
spoken to him. She said: "Thou must not, at first, utter
comrade's name. Thou must, at first, be silent, even if comrade
be the one who is uttering thy name. Therefore, thou shalt, when
thou hast uttered comrade's name, thou must run home, while thou
dost feel that the wind would blow thee away."
Therefore, !na-ka-ti went on account of it; they went to
roll (the ball) there, while the other was
[1. They had a hut . . . the hut was small. They probably
had a mat hut.
2. That is, make a strong screen of bushes for the mat
the one who uttered his (!na-ka-ti's) name. While he (!na-ka-ti)
felt that he wished that his father should first finish making
the shelter for the hut. And (when) he saw that his father sat
down, then he would, afterwards, utter the Other one's name,
when he beheld that his father had finished sheltering the hut.
Therefore, when he beheld that his father had flnished
sheltering the hut, then he exclaimed: "There it goes! O
|erriten-!kuang-!kuang! There it goes !gau-!gaubu-ti! There it
goes! And he scampered away, he ran home; while the other one
began to lean over, and the other one fell down. He lay kicking
violently upon the vlei. Therefore, the people's huts vanished
away, the wind blew, breaking their (sheltering) bushes, together
with the huts, while the people could not see for the dust. Therefore,
his (the wind's) mother came out of the hut  (ie. of the wind's
hut); his mother came, grasping (him), to raise him up; his mother,
grasping (him), set him on his feet. And he was unwilling, (and)
wanted to lie still. His mother, taking hold (of him), set him
on his feet. Therefore, the wind became still; while the wind
had, at first, while he lay, caused the dust to rise.
Therefore, we who are Bushmen, we are wont to say: "The
wind seems to be lying down, for, it does not gently blow (i.e.
it blows strongly). For, when it stands (upright), then it is
still, when it stands; for, it seems to be lying down, when it
[1. A depression in the ground, sometimes dry, sometimes
covered with coarse grass and rushes, and sometimes filled with
2. Her hut remained standing, while it felt that they themselves
does in this manner. its knee is that which makes a noise,
when it lies down; for its knee does sound. I had wished that
it might gently blow for us, that we might go out, that we might
ascend the place yonder, that we might behold the river bed yonder
standing behind (the hill). For, we have driven away the spriugbok
from this place. Therefore, the springbok, have gone to yonder
(dry) river bed standing behind (the hill). For, we have not
a little shot the springbok at this place; for, we have shot,
letting the sun set, at the springbok at this place."
The Wind  (ie. the Wind's son) was formerly a man. He
becanie a bird. And he was flying, while he no longer walked,
as he used to do; for, he was flying, and he dwelt, in the mountain
(that is, in a mountain hole). Therefore, he was flying. He was
formerly a man. Therefore, he was formerly rolling (a ball);
he was shooting; while he felt that he was a person. He became
a bird; and he was flying, and he dwelt in a mountain's hole.
And he was coming out of it, he flew about, and) he returned
to it. And he came to sleep in it; and, he early awaking goes
out of it;
[1. Literally, "having put in the sun."
2. The young wind blew, while, the young wind felt that
its fathers seemed formerly to have blown; for, they were the
wind. Therefore, they blew. For the peopIe did not tell me about
the wind's parents -, for, they merely talked to me about the
3. The Wind was formerly a person; he, became a bird. Therefore,
he is tied up in stuff. His skin is that which we call stuff.]
he flies away, again, he flies away. And he again returns,
while he feels that he has sought food. And he eats, about, about,
about, about, he again returns. And he, again, comes to sleep
[That this curious belief, that the wind now wears the
form of a bird, was even lately in active existence among the
Bushmen, the following will suffice to show:-]
Smoke's Man was the one who formerly spoke to me about
the wind, when he was still living with his master, Jacob Kotzé.
He said that the place at which he had seen the wind was Haarfontein;
while its Bushman name is #koaXa; while its name (by) which the
Europeans call it, is Haarfontein.
Smoke's Man espied the wind at Haarfontein's mountain.
Therefore, he was throwing a stone at the wind, while he believed
(it) to be a !kuerre!kuerre (a cerfain bird). And the wind burst
on account of it. Therefore, the wind did not blow gently; the
wind raised the dust, because he had thrown a stone at the wind,
The wind raised the dust, while the wind flew away. The wind
went into a mountain's hole, and the wind burst; the wind did
not gently blow.
And he (Smoke's Man), being afraid, went home; he went
to sit under the hut's bushes, while he
[1. ||goo-ka-!kui, or "Witbooi Tooren", was the
son of ||khabo ("Oud Jantje Tooren") and his wife,
!kuabba-ang ("Oude Lies"). |han#kass'o used to teach
"Witbooi" how to hunt springbok; being already grown
up when "Witbooi" was still a child.
2. Jacob Kotzé is a Bastaard. He used to live at
3. Haarfontein's mountains in which he saw the Wind.
4. i.e. the bushes broken off and used to make a shelter
for the mat hut.]
did not look to the sheep. The sheep by themselves,
the sheep returning came, while he sat under the (hut's) bushes;
while he felt that he did not perceive the sheep on account of
the dust. Therefore, he went to sit under the (hut's) bushes,
while he desired that the dust should settle for him, he sat
under the (hut's) bushes, sat close under the hut's sheltering
bushes, while he felt that he sat warming himself; while he felt
that the place was cold. Therefore, he sat under the (hut's)
bushes, while he felt that he sat warming himself. And he afterwards
arose, he drove bringing the sheep to the kraal, while he
felt that the sun had met. Therefore he again, he went to sit
under the (hut's) bushes, while he wished that his mother should
be the one to bring him food. Therefore, he came to sit under
the (hut's) bushes, when he had brought the sheep to the kraal.
He went to sit under the hut's bushes, while his mother who worked
there, she would be the one to bring him food. Therefore,
he sat under the (hut's) bushes, while he desired that he might
Therefore, his mother worked (and) worked,
[1. The "Africander" sheep (those with the thick
tails) will (|hang#kass'o says) return home alone; while the
"Va'rland" sheep do not return home alone, but remain
where they were left.
!k'oa is the name for "Va'rland sheep, or "Moff".
!gei s the name for "Africander sheep, "Kaap
3. The sheep stand upon a bare (unenclosed) place, the
Bastaard's sheep. Therefore, the shepherd dwells (ie. has his
hut) on this side of the sheep; the wagon stands on that (the
opposite) side of the sheep, while the sheep stand between.
4. He was (at that time) a child.
5. Worked at the master's, the Bastaard's.]
his mother brought him food. Therefore, he ate up this
little food, he lay down; while he felt that the Bastaards are
not accustomed to give food liberally. "Silla" was
the one who gave food liberally, Jacob Kotzés wife, while
she felt that she was a Bushman (woman); she speaks the Bushman
(language). We used, being satisfied, to leave the food which
she gave to us. I used to live with her (i.e. at her place).
Silla (and) Jacob Kotzé, they are those with whom I used
#KAGA'RA AND !HAUNU, WHO FOUGHT EACH OTHER
They formerly, #kagara formerly went to fetch his younger
sister, he went to take her away; he went to take her away from
!haunu; and he took (her) back to her parents.
!haunu gave chase to his brother-in-law, he passed along
behind the hill.
The clouds came, clouds which were unequalled in beauty
(lit. "clouds which not beautiful like them"); they
#kagara said: "Thou must walk on." His younger
sister walked, carrying (a heavy burden of)
[1 A bird (it) is; a little bird (it) is; it resembles
the Lanius Collaris (a Butcher-Bird).
2. A man (it) is; the Rain (it) is. I think that a Rain's
Sorcerer (he) seems to have been. His name resembles (that of)
the mucus which we are used to blow out of our nose, which is
thick, that which the Bushmen call !hau!haung.
3. To his younger sister.]
things, (her) husband's things. He (#kagara) said: "
Thou must walk on; for, home is not near at hand."
!haunu passed along behind (the hill).
The clouds came, the clouds vanished away.
#kagara said: "Thou must walk on, for, thou art the
one who dost see." And he, because the house became near)
he exclaimed: "Walk on! Walk on! " He waited for his
younger sister; his younger sister came up to his side. He exclaimed:
"What things can these be, which thou dost heavily carry?"
Then !haunu sneezed, on account of it; blood poured
out of his nostrils; he stealthily lightened at his brother-in-law.
His brother-in-law fended him quickly off, his brother-in-law
also stealthily lightened at him. lie quickly fended off his
brother-in-law. His brother-in-law also lightened at him. He
(#kagara) said: "Thou must come (and) walk close beside
me; for, thou art the one who dost see that husband does not
allow us time; for, he does not singly lighten."
They (#kagara and !haunu) went along angry with
[1. The things which the wife carried, they resembled water;
they, in this manner, were pushing at her; while they felt that
they were not hard, they did in this manner (i.e. swayed forward),
behind her back.
2. !haunu was the one from whose nostrils blood came out,
when he intended to sneeze. He sneezed on account of his things,
to which #kagara did in this manner (i.e. felt at roughly).
3. In the word ||khabbe(t) the t is barely pronounced.
The meaning of this word is explained by the narrator as follows:
(He) fends off his brother-in-law (by motioning with his arm).
Fending off (it) is, when other people are fighting their fellows
with their fists. Fending off is that which they are wont to
do, they wave off with the arm, while they fend off the other
one's arm. He (#kagara) fended off the other one's lightning.
each other. !haunu had intended that he should be the one
lightening to #kagara to whisk away
#kagara. #kagara was one who was strong (lit. "was
not light", or "did not feel light"), he continued
to fend off his younger sister's husband, !haunu. His younger
sister's husband was also lightening at him; he was lightening
at his brother-in-law. Then he stealthily lightened at his younger
sister's husband with black lightning, he, lightening, whisked
him up (and carried him to a little distance).
His younger sister's husband, in this manner, lay dying;
he, in this manner, he thundered, while #kagara bound up his
head with the net, he, returning, arrived at home.
He went to lie down in the hut, while !haunu lay thundering;
he thundered there, while #kagara went to lie down, when he had
rubbed them (i.e. himself and his younger sister) with buchu,
buchu, buchu, buchu, he lay down.
[1. Black lightning is that which kills us, that which
we do not perceive it come; it resembles a gun, we are merely
startled by the clonds' thundering, while the other man lies,
shrivelled up lies.
2. As he lay.
3. His head ached; his head was splitting (with pain).
4. To thunder is !kuerriten; but the narrator explained
that !ke!keya here means 'to lie thundering'; and illustrated
the expression by saying that "the Bushmen are wont to say
that the springbok is one which goes to lie bleating; it is riot
willing to die quickly".
5. Buchu (in Webster's international Dictionary of 1902)
is stated to be, "A South African shrub (Barosma)".
Note by the Narrator.
My grandmothers used to say: "#kagara and his companion
are those who fight in the East, he and !haunu."
When the clouds were thick, and the clouds, when the clouds
were thick, and the clouds were at this place, and the clouds
resembled a mountain, then, the clouds were lightening, on account
of it. And my grandmothers used to say: " It is #kagara,
IV. Animal Fables.
THE HYENA'S REVENGE.
The Hyena was the one who weut to the Lion's house, then,
he deceived the Lion; while he felt that the Lion had acted grudgingly
towards him about the quagga's flesh; therefore, the Lion came
to the Hyena's house, when the Hyena was boiling there in the
Hyena's pot; the Hyena boiled ostrich flesh in it.
Therefore, the Hyena gave soup to the Lion therefore, the
Lion took hold of the pot, while the pot was hot; the Hyena also
grasped the pot with his, hands; the Hyena said: "O Lion!
Allow me to pour soup into the inside of thy mouth." The
Hyena poured soup into the Lion's niouth; then, he put the mouth
of the pot over the Lion's head, while the pot was hot; the soup
was burning the Lion's eyes; the soup also burned the inside
of his mouth. Then, he swallowed hot soup with his throat, he
swallowed, causing himself to die with hot soup he died, while
his head was inside the pot.
The Hyena took up the Hyena's stick, the Hyena was beating
him with the stick, while his head was inside the pot; the Hyena
was beating him; the Hyena struck, cleaving the pot asunder;
while the Hyena felt that the Hyena had deceived him therefore,
he came to the Hyena.
The Hyena killed him, with hot soup; while he felt that
the pot had stood upon the fire; he took the pot off from the
fire, while he felt that he intended to burn the Lion to death,
with the soup's heat; while he felt that the Lion had been niggardly
towards him about the quagga's flesh; therefore, he deceived
him with the ostrich flesh; while he felt that he intended to
put the Lion's head into the pot; therefore, he deceived him;
while he felt that ( he had married a female Hyena, he also is
a male Hyena; therefore, be is a "Decayed Arm",
on account of it.
The Lion also marries a Lioness, as the Lion is a male
Lion. The Hyena also marries a female Hyena, as the Hyena is
a male Hyena. The leopard also marries a leopardess, as the leopard
is a male leopard. The hunting leopard marries a hunting leopardess,
as the hunting leopard is a male hunting leoparcl.
THE HYENA'S REVENGE.
The Hyena was the one who went to the Lion's house, then,
the Lion acted grudgingly towards the Hyena; then, the Hyena
became angry about it, therefore, the Hyena deceived the Lion,
that he should also come to his house. The Hyena said: "O
Lion! Thou must also visit my house; while he felt that he deceived
the Lion; therefore, the Lion visited his house on account of
it; he went to deceive the Lion with soup.
The Hyena said: "I am accustomed to pour soup
[1. This expression is used to denote a person who acts
ungenerously regarding food.
2. Felis jubata.]
into this child's mouth, I also pour soup into this child's
mouth, I also pour soup into the child's mouth; I also pour into
my wife's mouth soup."
Therefore, he poured soup into the Lion's mouth, he put
the Lion's head into the pot, while he felt that he altogether
put the Lion's head into the pot, that he might altogether kill
the Lion with the soup's heat; while he feels that he is a Hyena
who deceives other people; he speaks; therefore, he talked to
the Lion about it. The Lion also speaks; they talked to each
other; therefore, the Lion assented, because he also is a foolish
Lion, because he is a Lion who kills people; he also eats people.
The Hyena also kills people, while the Hyena feels that he also
eats people; therefore, the Hyena carried off the old woman
on account of it.
Therefore, the Hyena took up the stick, he struck the Lion
down, while the Lion's head was inside the pot; he beat him with
the stick, while he felt that the Lion died, when his head was
inside the pot.
THE LION JEALOUS OF THE VOICE OF THE OSTRICH.
"It is the Story of the Lions and the Ostrich."
And the Lions conspired together that they might deceive
the Ostrich; for, the women were
[1. This is an allusion to a favourite Bushman story. Vide
§80 of Dr. Bleek's "Brief Account of Bushman Folklore
and other Texts", Cape Town, 1875.
2. The Lion was a man, the Ostrich was also a man, at the
time when the Lion kicked the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu; when they
called (in) the #gebbi-ggu. Therefore, the nail of the Ostrich
decayed, while it felt that he (the Ostrich) had kicked the Lion's
|una-ttu. Therefore, it decayed. Therefore, the people, with
regard to the scar yonder on the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu, they
say that it is (from) the Lion's nail.
3. The women of the Ostriches and of the Lions.]
wont, with regard to the Ostrich, they only praised the
Ostrich for calling finely; the women did not praise them. And
they (the Lions), speaking, said: "In what manner shal I
we deceive?" And another Lion answered, he said: "We
must tell the women to make a (game of) #gebbi-ggu, that we
may see whether the women will again do as they are wont to do;
when they only admire (?) the Ostrich; that we may really see
whether it be true that the women admire (?) the Ostrich. We
shall see what the Ostrich will do." And another Lion spoke,
be said: "Why can it be that the Ostrich calls so well (lit.
does not a little call sweetly)?" And the other Lion answered,
he said: "The ostrich calls with his lungs; therefore, his
throat sounds in this manner; his chest's front. Thou dost call
with thy mouth; therefore, thou dost not call nicely."
The other Lion answered, he said: "Ye must make a
(game of) #gebbi-ggu, that ye may kill the Ostrich, that ye may
take out the Ostrich's lungs,
[1. The |goo or #gebbi-ggu among the Grass Bushmen.
They (the Grass Bushmen) call [like the male ostrich];
the women clap their hands for them; they (the men) call to the
women. The women are those who dance; they (the men) call. And
this woman goes out (from the dance), she stands [being weary],
while two other persons (ie. two other women), they come forward
in among the men, while the men call. They call more sweetly
than anybody, for, their throats sound like real Ostriches; while
the women are those who sing, while the men call.]
that ye may eat them; and ye will call, sounding like the
Ostrich, when ye have eaten the Ostrich's lungs."
And the Lions spoke, they said to the women: "Make
a (game of) #gebbi-ggu" They would listen whether it were
true that the Ostrich calls finely.
And the women made a (game of) #gebbi-ggu on account of
it; and the Lion called. The Ostrich was still yonder at his
house; the Lion called; the women did not applaud the Lion, because
they felt that the Lion did not call well; for, they continued
to look at the Lion; and the Ostrich came; and the Ostrich called,
sounding afar. And the women exclaimed: "I do wish that
the Lion called in this manner; for, he sounds as if he had put
his tail into his mouth, while the Ostrich calls in a resounding
And the Lion, answering, said: "Dost thou not see
that the women act in this manner towards the Ostrich? and it
is only the Ostrich whom they cherish, because he possesses this
sweet call. The women cherish him only."
And the other Lion became angry on account of it; namely,
that the Ostrich was the one whom the women cherished; and he
seemed as if he were about to move away; and he scratched the
Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu; scratched, tearing it. And he called
out: "is it a thing which calls sweetly?" while he
kicked the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu. And the Ostrich also quickly
(?) turned back. And the Ostrich also kicked, tearing his |uan-ttu;
and the Ostrich, speaking, said: "This person, it is his
|uan-ttu, he is wroth with me, because he is the one who is wont
to hold his tail in his mouth
when he calls; this is why the women do not praise him;
while the women feel that he does not call nicely for the women.
This is why the women are not willing to make a #gebbi-ggu for
him; the women feel that he does not call, sounding like me;
in that case the women would have praised him."
Therefore, my grandfather spoke, he said to us about
it, that we should also do as the Lion formerly did to the Ostrich
about it, when he had formerly killed the Ostrich; he ate the
Ostrich's lungs, while he wished that he might call, sounding
like the Ostrich. Therefore, he ate the lungs.
My grandfather also gave us the Ostrich's lungs to eat,
that we might also resemble the Ostrich; and we spoke, we asked
our grandfather, whether we should not baking cook the Ostrich's
lungs; and our grandfather spoke, he said to us about it, that
we should not cook the Ostrich's lungs; for, we in this manner
eat the Ostrich's lungs, eat them raw. For, we should, if we
were to eat the Ostrich's lungs when they were cooked, we should
not call, sounding like the Ostrich, if we ate them when they
were cooked. Our grandfather, speaking, told us about it, that,
we should not chew the Ostrich's lungs, we should swallow them
down, while they were whole. For, we should, if we had chewed
the Ostrich's lungs, we should not call, sounding like the Ostrich,
if we had chewed them.
And, our grandfather, speaking, said: "Ye must come
and stand around, that I may be cutting off from the Ostrich's
lungs, that I may be giving
[1. We who were little boys," the narrator explains.]
them to you, that ye may be swallowing them down."
And we, answering, said: "O my grandfather! We do not wish
to eat the Ostrich's lungs when they are raw."And our grandfather
answered, he said to us about it, that we also wished to resemble
the Lion; he formerly became angry with the Ostrich, about the
Ostrich's fine calling. We also should be wont if we heard that
our companions called, sounding very sweetly, we should become
angry with our companions, when we heard that they called, sounding
very sweetly; we should fight with them, if we felt that the
women did not applaud (?) us. Therefore, we become angry. We
are fighting with them, because we are angry that the women do
not applaud(?) us.
Translation of Notes.
The Lion was a man, the Ostrich was also a man, at that
time when the Lion kicked the Ostrich's ||hatten-ttu; when they
were calling the #gebbi-ggu. Therefore, the nail of the Ostrich
decayed; while it felt that he had kicked the Lion's |uan-ttu.
Therefore, it decayed on account of it. Therefore, the people
are used to say to the scar which is yonder upon the Ostrich's
||hatten-ttu, that it is the Lion's nail.
The time when the Lion had not killed the Ostrich, was
the one at which they made the #gebbi-ggu's fight. He, afterwards,
killed the Ostrich; and he ate the Ostrich; it was at a new time
that he ate the Ostrich; and he made "a food's thing"
of the Ostrich; therefore, the old people say, that, the Lion
is a thing which is wont, when it has killed an Ostrich, it is
not willing to go away in fear, leaving the Ostrich; for, it
is wont, even if we are speaking very angrily to it, it is not
willing to go away in fear, leaving the Ostrich. For, it would
be very angry with us, if we even thought that we would drive
THE RESURRECTION OF THE OSTRICH.
The Bushman kills an Ostrich at the Ostrich's eggs; he
carries away the Ostrich to the house. And his wife takes off
the Ostrich's short feathers which were inside the net, because
they were bloody; she goes to place them (on the bushes). They
eat the Ostrich meat.
A little whirlwind comes to them; it blows up the Ostrich
feathers. A little Ostrich feather that has blood upon it, it
blows up the little feather into the sky. The little feather
falls down out of the sky, it having whirled round falls down,
it goes into the water, it becomes wet in the water, it is conscious,
it lies in the water, it becomes Ostrich flesh; it gets feathers,
it puts on its Wings, it gets its legs, while it lies in the
water. It walks out of the water, it basks in the sun upon the
water's edge, because it is still a young Ostrich. Its feathers
are young feathers (quills); because its feathers are little
feathers. They are black; for a little male Ostrich it is. He
dries (his feathers) lying upon the water's bank, that he may
afterwards walk away, when his little feathers are dried, that
he may walk unstiffening his legs. For he had been in the water;
that he may walk strengthening his feet, for he thinks that his
feet must be in (Ostrich's) veldschoens, because his feet become
strong. While he walks strengthening his feet) he lies down,
he hardens his breast, that his breastbone may become bone. He
walks away, he eats young, bushes, because a young Ostrich he
is. He swallows young plants which are small, because a little
Ostrich he is. His little feather it was which became the Ostrich,
it was that which the wind blew up, while the wind was a little
whirlwind; he thinks of the place on which he has scratched;
he lets himself grow, that he may first be grown, that he may
afterwards, lying (by the way), go to his house's old place,
where he did die lying there, that he may go to scratch in the
old house, while he goes to fetch his wives. He will add (to
the two previous ones)
[1. Making the new house on the old one.]
another she Ostrich; because he did die, he will marry
three Ostrich wives. Because his breastbone is bone, he roars,
hardening his ribs, that his ribs may become bone. Then he scratches
(out a house), for he does sleeping (by the way) arrive at the
house's place; he roaring calls the Ostrich wives, that the Ostrich
wives may come to him. Therefore he roaring calls, that he may
perceive the she Ostriches come to him; and he meets them, that
he may run round the females; for he had been dead; he dying
left his wives. He will look at his wives' feathers, for his
wives' feathers appear to be fine.
When he has strengthened his flesh, he feels heavy, as
he comes, because his legs are big, his knees are large; he has
grown great feathers, because the quills are those which are
great feathers; these feathers become strong, they are old feathers.
Therefore he roars strongly, for the ribs are big. And he is
a grown up Ostrich; his wings' feathers are long. He thinks that
he will scratch, that the females may lay eggs; for his claws
are hard, they want to scratch for he brings the females to the
house's place. The females stand eating. Therefore he goes back,
lie scratches, while the she Ostriches ea:t there. He first goes
to scratch drying the house, because it is damp, that the iuside
of the house may dry. The she Ostriches shall look at the house;
one she Ostrich, she lies down to try the house, she tries whether
the house seems to be nice; she first sleeps opposite the house,
because the inside of the house is wet, as the rain has newly
fallen. Thus they first lie opposite the house, they sleep opposite
the house. She shall lie, making the ground inside the house
soft; she first lies, making the ground inside the house soft,
that the inside of the house may be dry, that another female
may come and lay an egg in the inside of the house which is dry,
for the earth of the house is wet. She first goes to lie opposite
the house. One other female again comes, She comes to lay another
new egg; she first comes to flap her wings in the house, for
two small eggs stand (there); she again goes to sleep opposite
the house. All the females are those who sleep at the house.
He galloping in the dark drives the females to the house; he
shall running take the females to the house; they all walking
arrive at the house. Another female, a different one, lays another
egg; they again flapping their wings peck at it. He drives the
females away; he lies inside the house. These females, following
each other, reach him at the house; these females send him off,
they all lay eggs. He goes, for he goes away to eat. Two wives
lie in the house; another wife also goes with him, they go to
eat together; they sleep. The two wives sleep in the house. They
two (the male and female) return early, they shall early send
off the two wives, who had lain in the house. The wife who had
been with him, lays another egg; the wives go, all the wives,
whilst he lies down, that he may sleep at the house. He will
drive away the jackal, when he thinks that the jackal is coming
to the eggs, the jackal will push the eggs. Therefore he takes
care of the eggs, because his children they indeed are. Therefore,
he also takes care of them, that he may drive away the jackal,
that the jackal may not kill his children, that he may kick the
jackal with his feet.
THE VULTURES, THEIR ELDER SISTER, AND HER HUSBAND.
The Vultures formerly made their elder sister of a person;
they lived with her.
They, when their elder sister's husband brought (home)
a springbok, they ate up the springbok. And their elder sister's
husband cursed them, he scolded at them.
And their elder sister took up the skin of the springbok,
she singed it. Their elder sister boiled the skin of the springbok,
their elder sister took it out (of the pot).
[1. A woman was the one of whom they made their elder sister.
The woman was a person of the early race.
2. man of the early race (he) was.
3. |han#kass'o explains the use of the singular form of
the pronoun, here, in the following manner: "Their elder
sister was one, they were many."]
And they were taking hold of the pieces of skin, they
swallowed them down. Their elder sister's husband scolded them,
because they again, they ate with their elder sister, of the
springbok's skin, when they had just eaten the body of the springbok,
they again, they ate with their elder sister of the springbok's
And they were afraid of their elder sister's husband, they
went away, they went in all directions, they, in this manner,
sat down. And they looked at their elder sister's husband, they
were looking furtively at their elder sister's husband.
Their elder sister's husband went hunting. He again, he
went (and) killed a springbok; he brought the springbok home,
slung upon his back. They again, they came (and) ate up the
springbok. Their elder sister's husband scolded them. And they
moved away, they sat down. 
Their elder sister singed the springbok's skin she boiled
the springbok's skin. Their elder sister was giving to them pieces
of the skin, they were swallowing them down.
Therefore, on the morrow, their elder sister's husband
said that his wife must go with him; she should altogether eat
on the hunting ground; for, his younger sisters-in-law were in
the habit of eating up the springbok. Therefore, the wife should
go with him. Then, the wife went with him.
[1. I think that it was (with) their hands, if they were
not taking hold of things with their mouths; for, they flew.
2. Their elder sister was the one who had been giving to
them of the springbok's skin.
3. Carried the springbok.
4. When the meat was finished; they had eaten up the meat.]
Therefore, they, when their elder sister had gone, they
went out of the house, they sat down opposite to the house,
and they conspired together about it. They said, this other one
said: "Thou shalt ascend, and then thou must come to tell
us what the place seems to be like." And another said: "Little
sister shall be the one to try; and then, she must tell us."
And then, a Vulture who was a little Vulture girl, she arose,
They said: "Allow us, that we may see what little
sister will do." Then, she went, disappearing in the sky,
they no longer perceived her.
They sat; they were awaiting the time at which their younger
sister should descend. Then, their younger sister descended (lit.
fell) from above out of the sky, she (came and) sat in the midst
And they exclaimed Ah! What is the place like? "And
their younger sister said: "Our mate who is here shall
ascend, that she may look. For, the place seems as if we should
perceive a thing, when we are above there."
Then, her elder sister who was a grown up girl, she arose,
she ascended, she went, disappearing in
[1. The Vultures.
2. Their elder sister's house, in which they had been living
with their elder sister.
3. They felt that they were people.
4. A little girl.
5. Her elder sister was the one of whom she spoke.]
the sky. She descended from above, she sat in the midst
of the other people. 
And the other people said: "What is the place like?"
And she said: "There is nothing the matter with the place;
for, the place is clear. The place is very beautiful; for, I
do behold the whole place; the stems of the trees, I do behold
them; the place seems as if we should perceive a springbok, if
a springbok were lying under a tree; for the place is very beautiful."
Then, they altogether arose, all of them, they ascended
into the sky, while they wished that their elder sister should
eat; for, their elder sister's husband scolded them.
Therefore, they used, when they espied their elder sister's
husband coming, they ate in great haste. They said: "Ye
must eat! ye must eat! ye must eat in great haste! for, that
accursed man who comes yonder, he could not endure us."
And, they finished the springbok, they flew away, flew heavily
away, they thus, they yonder alighted; while their elder sister's
husband came to pick up the bones.
They, when they perceived a springbok, they descended,
and their elder sister perceived them, their elder sister followed
them up. They ate, (they) ate, they were looking around; they
said: "Ye must eat; ye should look around; ye shall leave
some meat for (our) elder sister; ye shall
[1. The Vultures.
2. Large trees.
3. While they felt that they altogether became Vultures.
4. Vultures are those which we follow up.]
leave for (our) elder sister the undercut, when ye see
that (our) elder sister is the one who comes." And they
perceived their older sister coming, they exclaimed: " Elder
sister really seems to be coming yonder, ye must leave the meat
which is in the springbok's skin." And, they left (it).
And, when they beheld that their elder sister drew near to them,
they went away, they went in all directions.
Their elder sister said: "Fie! how can ye act in this
manner towards me? as if I had been the one who scolded you!"
And their elder sister came up to the springbok, she
took up the springbok, she returned home; while the Vultures
went forward (?), they went to fly about, while they sought for
another springbok, which they intended again to eat.
DDI-XERRETEN, THE LIONESS, AND THE CHILDREN.
Ddi-Xerreten, formerly, when the Lioness was at the
water, dipping up, (when) she had gone to dip
[1. It is meat; the |kuaiten is that which lies along the
front of the upper part of the spine.
2. The word |kuaiten, translated here as "undercut
" (in accordance with the description of its position),
bears some resemblance to that given for "biltong flesh",
in the Katkop dialect, by Dia!kwnain, which is |kwaii.
3. They ate the skin together (with the meat).
4. It is possible that the pronoun hi may have combined
with the verb here.
5. Their elder sister, the Vultures' elder sister.
6. A man of the early race he was. His head was stone.
7. I think that she probably dipped up water with a gemsbok's
stomach; for she killed gemsbok.]
up water there, Dai-Xerreten felt that the Lioness was
the one who had gathered together the people's children, because
the Lioness felt that she was an invalid on account of (her)
chest; therefore, she gathered together the people's children,
that the children might live with her, that the children might
work for her; for, she was an invalid, and she could not do hard
Therefore, Dai-Xerreten went to her house, when she was
dipping up water. Dai-Xerreten went in her absence to the house,
Dai-Xerreten went to the children, at the house. Dai-Xerreten
went to the house reaching the children. Dai-Xerreten sat down.
And Dai-Xerreten said: "O children sitting here! The fire
of your people is that which is at the top of the ravine which
comes down from the top (of the hill)." Therefore, two children
arose, they went away to their own people.
Dai-Xerreten again said: "O children sitting here!
The fire of your people is that which is below the top of the
ravine which comes down on this side (of the hill)." And
three children thus went, while they went away to their own
And he again said: "O little child sitting here! Thy
people's fire is that which is below the top of the ravine which
comes down on this side (of the hill)." And the child arose,
it thus went, while the child went away to its own people.
He again said: "O children sitting here! The fire
of your people is that which is below the top
[1. Literally, "children which became three."
2. because the house is in the ravine (i.e., not where
the water flows, but among the bushes).]
of the ravine which comes down on this side (of the
hill)." And two children arose, they thus went away, while
they went away to their own people.
And he again said: "O children sitting here! Your
people's fire is that which is at the top. of the ravine which
comes down from the top (of the hill)." And two children
arose, they thus went away.
And he again said: "O children sitting here! The fire
of your people is that which is at the top of the ravine which
comes down from the top (of the hill)." And three children
arose, they thus went away; while they went away to their own
And he again said: "O children sitting here! The
fire of your people is that which is at the top of the ravine
which comes down from the top (of the hill)." And two children
arose, they thus went away; while they went away to their own
people; while Dai-Xerreten sat waiting for the Lioness.
And the Lioness came from the water, she thus returning
came. She came along looking (at the house); she did not perceive
the children. And she exclaimed: " Why do the children (stammering
with rage) children children children, the children not do so
to me? and the children do not play here, as they are wont to
do? It must be this man who sits at the house; his head resembles
And she became angry about it, when she perceived
[1. He speaks of another ravine.
2. Her children were not there; for the people's children
were those whom she had.
3. She recognized him.]
Dai-Xerreten. She exclaimed: "Dai-Xerreten indeed
(?) sits here!" She walked up to the house. She exclaimed:
"Where are my children?" And Dai-Xerreten said:
Our children (they) are not." And the Lioness exclaimed:
"Out on thee! leave off! thou must give me the children!"
Dai-Xerreten said: "Our children (they) were not."
And the Lioness caught hold of his head. She exclaimed:
"Xabbabbu" (growling) to the other one's head. And
she exclaimed: " Oh! Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear!
my teeth! This must be why this cursed(?) man's big head came
to sit in front of my house!" While Dai-Xerreten said: "I
told thee that our children they were not." The Lioness
exclaimed: "Destruction! Thou hast been the one whose big
head came to sit (here)." Our children (they) were not."
And he arose, he returned (home); while the Lioness sat
in anger at her house; because he had come (and) taken away from
her the children, who had been (living) peacefully with her;
for she felt that she had done well towards the children; she
did not a little love the children while she was doing so.
[1. Because she did not perceive the children.
2. The narrator's translation of |ne |auwaki !kauken was
"Where are my children?" but "Give me the children"
or " Show me the children " may be verbally more accurate.
3. Growling put in the head.
4. Dai-Xerreten was the one who spoke thus.
THE MASON WASP AND HIS WIFE.
The Mason Wasp formerly did thus as he walked along,
while (his) wife walked behind him, the wife said: "O my
husband! Shoot for me that hare!" And the Mason Wasp laid
down his quiver; the Mason Wasp said: "Where is the hare?
And (his) wife said: The hare lies there."
And the Mason Wasp took out an arrow; the Mason Wasp in
this manner went stooping along. And the wife said: "Put
down (thy) kaross! Why is it that thou art not willing to put
down (thy) kaross? " Therefore, the Mason Wasp, walking
along, unloosened the strings of the kaross; he put down the
kaross. Therefore the wife said: " Canst thou be like this?
This must have been why thou wert not willing to lay down the
Therefore, the Mason Wasp walked, turning to one side;
he aimed at (his) wife, he shot, hitting the (head of) the arrow
on (his) wife's breast (bone).
[1. The Mason Wasp resembles the Palpares and Libellula.
It has a small body. The Mason Wasp flies, and is to be seen
in summer near water; |hang#kass'o has seen it in our garden
at Mowbray. it is rather smaller than the Palpares and Libellula.
2. He was formerly a man; therefore, he had a bow; therefore,
he shot his wife, when he had not shot the hare.
3. We are accustomed to go along stooping, when we wish
that the hare may quietly lie hidden (knowing that people are
at hand; lying still, thinking that it will be passed by).
4. She mocked at the man on account of the middle of the
man's body, which was slender; hence she mocked at the man.
5. i.e. breaking her breastbone.]
And (his) wife fell down dead on account of it. Then he
exclaimed: "Yi ii hihi! O my wife hi! " (crying) as
if he had not been the one to shoot (his) wife. He cried, that
he should have done thus, have shot his wife; his wife died.
THE YOUNG MAN OF THE ANCIENT RACE, WHO WAS CARRIED
OFF BY A LION; WHEN ASLEEP IN THE FIELD.
A young man was the one who, formerly hunting, ascended
a hill; he became sleepy; while he sat looking around (for game),
he became sleepy. And he thought that he would first lie down;
for he was not a little sleepy. For what could have happened
to him to-day? because he had not previously felt like this.
And he lay down on account of it; and he slept, while a
lion came; it went to the water, because the noonday (heat)
had "killed" it; it was thirsty; and it espied the
man lying asleep; and it took up the man.
And the man awoke startled; and he saw that it was a lion
which had taken him up. And he thought that he would not stir;
for the lion would biting kill him, if he stirred; he would first
see what the lion intended to do; for the lion appeared to think
that he was dead.
And the lion carried him to a zwart-storm tree; and
the lion laid him in. it. And the lion
[1. He was a young man of the early race.
2. It is evident, from another version of this legend,
given by !kweiten ta ||ken (VI.-2, pp. 4014-4025), that the unusual
sleepiness is supposed to be caused by the lion.
3. To a water pit.
4. This is described by the narrator as being a large tree,
which has yellow flowers and no thorns.
5. The lion put the man half into the tree, at the bottom
of it; his legs were not in it.]
thought that it would (continue to) be thirsty if it ate
the man; it would first go to the water, that it might go to
drink; it would come afterwards to eat, when it had drunk; for,
it would (continue to) be thirsty if it ate.
And it trod, (pressing) in the man's head between the stems
of the zwart-storm tree; and it went back. And the man turned
his head a little. And the lion looked back on account of
it; namely, why had the nian's head moved? when it had first
thought that it had trodden, firmly fixing the man's head. And
the lion thought that it did not seem to have laid the man nicely;
for, the man fell over. And it again trod, pressing the man's
head into the middle (of the stems) of the zwart-storm tree.
And it licked the man's eyes' tears. And the man wept; hence
it licked the rnan's eyes. And the man felt that a stick did
not a little pierce the hollow at the back of his head; and the
man turned his head a little, while he looked steadfastly
at the lion, he turned his head a little. And the lion looked
(to see) why it was that the thing seemed as if the man had moved.
And it licked the man's eyes' tears. And the lion thought it
would tread, thoroughly pressing down the man's head, that it
might really see whether it had been the one who had not laid
[1. The tree hurt the back of the man's head; therefore
he moved it a little.
2.The man cried quietly, because he saw himself in the
lion's power, and in great danger.
3. narrator explains that the stick was one of those pieces
that had broken off, fallen down, and lodged in the bottom of
4. The man looked through almost closed eyes; but watched
to see if the lion rcmarked that be moved his head.]
down nicely. For, the thing seemed as if the man had stirred.
And the man saw that the thing seemed as if the lion suspected
that he was alive; and he did not stir, although the stick was
piercing him. And the lion saw that the thing appeared as if
it had laid the man down nicely; for the man did not stir; and
it went a few steps away, and it looked towards the man, while
the man drew up his eyes; he looked through his eyelashes; he
saw what the lion was doing. And the lion went away, ascending
the hill; and the lion descended (the hill on the other side),
while the man gently turned his head because he wanted to see
whether the lion had really gone away. And he saw that the lion
appeared to have descended (the hill on the other side); and
he perceived that the lion again (raising its head) stood peeping
behind the top of the hill;  because the lion thought that
the thing had seemed as if the man were alive; therefore, it
first wanted again to look thoroughly. For, it seemed as if the
man had intended to arise; for, it had thought that the man had
been feigning death. And it saw that the man was still lying
down; and it thought that it would quickly run to the water,
that it might go to drink, that it might again quickly come out
(from the water), that it might come to eat. For, it was hungry;
it was one who was not a little thirsty; therefore, it first
intended to go to drink, that it might come afterwards to eat,
when it had drunk.
The man lay looking at it, at that which it did;
[1. The lion came back a little way (after having gone
out of sight) to look again.]
and the man saw that its head's turning away (and disappearing),
with which it turned away (and disappeared), seemed as if it
had altogether gone. And the man thought that he would first
lie still, that he might see whether the lion would not again
come peeping. For, it is a thing which is cunning; it would intend
to deceive him, that the thing might seem (as if) it had really
gone away; while it thought that he would arise; for, he had
seemed as if he stirred. For, it did not know why the man had,
when it thought that it had laid the man down nicely, the man
had been falling over. Therefore, it thought that it would quickly
run, that it might quickly come, that it might come to look whether
the man still lay. And the man saw that a long time had passed
since it again came to peep (at him); and the thing seemed as
if it had altogether gone. And the man thought that he would
first wait a little; for, he would (otherwise) startle the lion,
if the lion were still at this place. And the man saw that a
little time had now passed, and he had not perceived it (the
lion); and the thing seemed as if it had really gone away.
And he did nicely at the place yonder where he lay; he
did not arise (and) go; for, he arose, be first sprang to a different
place, while he wislied that the lion should not know the place
to which he seemed to have gone. He, when he had done in this
manner, ran in a zigzag direction,
[1. The lion, this time when it came back to look at the
man, only had its head and shoulders in sight.
2. He did not run straight; but ran first in one direction,
then sprang to another place, then rau again, etc.]
while he desired that the lion should not smell out his
footsteps, that the lion should not know the place to which he
seemed to have gone; that the lion, when it came, should come
to seek about for him (there). Therefore, he thought that he
would run in a zigzag direction, so that the lion might not smell
out his footsteps; that he might go home; for, the lion, when
it came, would come to seek for him. Therefore, he would not
run straight into the house; for, the lion, when it came (and)
missed him, would intend to find his footprints, that the lion
might, following his spoor, seek for him, that the lion might
see whether it could not get hold of him.
Therefore, when he came out at the top of the hill, he
called out to the people at home about it, that he had just been
"lifted up" while the sun stood high, he had been
"lifted up"; therefore, they must look out many hartebeest-skins,
that they might roll him up in them; for, he had just been "lifted
up", while the sun was high. Therefore, he thought that
the lion would,-when it came out from the place to which it had
gone,-it would come (and) miss him; it would resolve to seek
(and) track him out. Therefore, he wanted the people to roll
him up in many hartebeest-skins, so that the Lion should not
come (and) get him. For, they were those who knew that the lion
is a thing which acts thus to the thing which it has killed,
it does not leave it, when it has not eaten it. Therefore, the
people must do thus with the hartebeest-skins, the people must
roll him up in them; and also (in) mats; these (are)
[1. He avoided(?) the name of the lion; therefore, he in
this manner told the people about it.]
things which the people must roll him up in, (in order)
that the lion should not get him.
And the people did so; the people rolled him up in mats,
and also (in) hartebeest-skins, which they rolled together with
the inats. For, the man was the one who had spoken thus to them
about it; therefore it was that they rolled him up in hartebeestskins,
while they felt that their hearts' young man (he) was, whom they
did not wish the lion to eat. Therefore, they intended to hide
hini well, that the lion should not get hold of him. For, a young
man whom they did not a little love he was. Therefore, they did
not wish the lion to eat him; and they said that they would cover
over the young man with the hut's sheltering bushes, so that
the lion, when it came, should come seeking about for the young
man it should not get hold of the young man, when it came; it
should come seeking about for him.
And the people went out to seek for !kui-sse [an edible
root]; and they dug out !kui-sse; and they brought (home) !kui-sse,
at noon, and they baked !kui-sse. And an old Bushman, as he
went along getting wood for his wife, in order that his wife
might make a fire above the !kui-sse, espied the lion, as
the lion eanie over (the top of the hill), at the place which
the young man had come over. And he told the house folk about
it; and he spoke, he said:
[1. Many mats.
2. The screen or shelter of the hut. The narrator uses
the word scherm for it.
3. In a hole in the ground, which has been previously heated,
and which is covered over with earth when the has been put into
4. i.e. on the top of the earth with which the hole had
been covered over.]
"Ye are those who see the hill yonder, its top, the
place yonder (where) that young man came over, what it looks
And the young man's mother spoke, she said:
Ye must not allow the lion to come into the huts; ye
must shoot it dead, when it has not (yet) come to the huts."
And the people slung on their quivers; and they went to
meet the lion; and they were shooting at the lion; the lion would
not die, although the people were shooting at it.
And another old woman spoke, she said: " Ye must give
to the lion a child, (in order) that the lion may go away from
us." The lion answered, it said that it did not want a child;
for, it wanted the person whose eyes' tears it had licked; he
was the one whom it wanted.
And the (other) people speaking, said: "In what manner
were ye shooting at the lion that ye could not manage to kill
the lion?" And another old man spoke, he said: "Can
ye not see that (it) must be a sorcerer? It will not die when
we are shooting at it; for, it insists upon (having) the man
whom it carried off."
The people threw children to the lion; the lion did not
want the children which the people threw to it; for, it, looking,
left them alone.
The people were shooting t at it, while it sought for the
man,-that it might get hold of the man,-the people were shooting
at it. The people
[1. The narrator explains here that several but, were in
a row;,he mother means all the huts, not merely one. The lion
must not come into the werf (= "yard", or "ground").
2. They wanted to shoot him dead, before he could find
said: Ye must bring for us assegais, we must kill the
lion." The people were shooting at it; it did not seem as
if the people were shooting at it; they were stabbing it with
assegais, while they intended to stab it to death. It did not
seem as if the people were stabbing it; for, it continued to
seek for the young man; it said that it wanted the young man
whose tears it had licked; he was the one whom it wanted.
It scratched asunder, breaking to pieces for the people
the huts, while it scratched asunder, seeking for the young man.
And the people speaking, said: "Can ye not see that the
lion will not eat the children whom we have given to it?"
And the people speaking, said: "Can ye not see that a sorcerer
(it) must be?" And the people speaking, said: "'Ye
must give a girl to the lion, that we may see whether the lion
will not eat her, that it may go away." The lion did
not want the girl; for, the lion only wanted the man whom it
had carried off; he was the one whom it wanted.
And the people spoke, they said, they did not know in what
manner they should act towards the lion; for, it had been morning
when they shot at the lion; the lion would not die; for, it had,
when the people were shooting at it, it had
[1 As their arrows did not seem able to reach a spot which
would kill the lion, they thought that they might do better with
2. The narrator explains that some threw assegais; others
stabbed the lion with them. The people were all round it; but
it did not bite them, because it wanted theyoung man whom it
had carried off.
3. The lion could not have eaten her at the houses.
4. It was now late, and they had been shooting at the lion
since the morning, and did not know what they should now do to
get rid of it.]
been walking about. "Therefore, we do not know in
what manner we shall act towards the lion. For, the children
whom we gave to the lion, the lion has refused, on account of
the man whom it had carried off."
And the people speaking, said: "Say ye to the young
man's mother about it, that she must, although she loves the
young man, she must take out the young man, she must give the
young man to the lion, even if he be the child of her heart.
For, she is the one who sees that the sun is about to set, while
the lion is threatening us; the lion will not go (and) leave
us; for, it insists upon (having) the young man."
And the young man's mother spoke, she said:
Ye may give my child to the lion; ye shall not allow the
lion to eat my child; that the lion may go walking about; for,
ye shall killing lay it upon my child; that it may die, like
my child; that it may die, lying upon my child."
And the people, when the young man's mother had thus spoken,
the people took the young man out from the hartebeest- skins
in which they had rolled him up, they gave the young man to the
lion. And the lion bit the young man to death; the people, when
it was biting at the young man, were shooting at it; the people
were stabbing it; and it bit the young man to death.
And the lion spoke, it said to the people about it, that
this time was the one at which it would die; for, it had got
hold of the man for whom it had been seeking; it had got hold
And it died, while the man also lay dead; it also lay dead,
with the man.
A WOMAN OF THE EARLY RACE AND THE RAIN BULL.
The Rain formerly courted(?) a young woman, while the young
woman was in (her) hut, because she felt that she was still ill.
The Rain scented her, and the Rain went forth, on account of
it; while the place became misty. And he, in this manner,
courting(?) came, while he courted(?) the young woman on account
of her scent. He in this manner trotting came; while the young
woman was lying down, while she held (her) child (by her) on
the kaross; she was lying down.
And she lay, smelling the Rain's scent, while the place
was fragrant, while the place felt that his (the Rain's) breath
was that which closed in the place; it was that through which
he coming passed; it resernbled a mist.
And the young woman became aware of him, as he came up;
while he lowered his tail (?). And the young woman perceived
him, as he came past her, at, the side of the hut. And the
[1. Resembling a fog (or mist). The people spoke tbus,
they said to nue that the Rain's breath was wont to shut in the
place, when he came out to seek food; (while) be was eating about,
the mist was "sitting" there,
2. The Rain's scent it was. The people say that there is
no scent as sweet, hence the people say that it is fragrant.
3. His breath is that through which he passing comes.
4. He resembled a bull, while he felt that (he) was the
5. The word Xoro also means an ox; but the narrator explained
that a bull (Xoro gwai) is meant here.]
exclaimed: "Who can this man be who comes to me?"
while he, crouching (?), came up.
The young woman took up buchu in her hand, the young woman
threw buchu upon his forehead. And she arose; and she pressed
(the buchu) down upon his forehead (with her hand); she pushed
him away; and she took up (her) kaross; she tied it on.
The young woman took up the child, she held the child
very nicely; she, holding (it) very nicely, laid the child down
upon a kaross; she, covering (it), laid the child away.
She mounted the Rain; and the Rain took her away. She
went along; she went along looking at the trees. And she went
along, she spoke, she said: "Thou must go to the tree standing
yonder, the one that is big, thou shalt go (and) set me down
at it. For I ache; thou shalt first go to
[1. His ears (they) were; those which he laid down; while
he felt that he crouched (?).
2. While he felt that he stood in front of the opening
of the hut.
3. She seems to have laid the child away for (her) husband;
while she felt that she was not going to live; for, she would
living go, go, go, go, she would go to become a frog, for the
Rain intended that she should go to the water pit, that water
pit from which he went forth, he courting (?) went.
4. At the hut. She laid it down, while she thought that
she should die, (and) go to become a frog.
5. While the Rain felt that the Rain was going to the Rain's
home, the pit from which he came out. Therefore, the young woman
said he should go to let her sit down.
The people say that the Rain's Bull goes out from his pit,
and the Pit becomes dry, while it feels that the Rain has gone
out, the Rain's Bull. Therefore, the pit dries up on account
set me down at it." Therefore, the Rain trotted, taking
her straight to the |kuerriten|kuerriten. And he trotted up
to the |kuerriten|kuerriten. And the young woman said: "Thou
must go underneath, close to the stem of the tree." Therefore,
he went underneath, close to the stem of the tree. The young
woman looked at him; the young woman took out buchu, she rubbed
him (with it). Then the Rain went to sleep, on account of
Therefore, when she saw that the Rain slept, she climbed
up, she stole softly away, she climbed up, she climbed along
(?) the |kuerriten|kuerriten. And she descended at a distance,
she in this manner stole softly along, while the Rain continued
to sleep. She, afar, softly returned home; while the Rain awoke
behind her back, when the Rain felt that the place was becoming
He arose, he walked away; he went away to the middle of
the spring(?) from which he had courting(?) gone out, while he
believed that the young woman was still sitting upon his back.
He went away, he went away to the water. He went into (it), while
the young woman went along, she went to burn buchu; while she
was "green", while
[1. It is a large tree, which is found in kloofs.
2. The singular form of |kuerriten|kuerriten is, |hang#kass'o
says, |kui|kuerri. It is the name of a bush found in the ravines
of a 'red' mountain, on this side of Kenhardt, called Rooiberg
by the white men. (VIII-21, p. 7835.)
3. Rubbed his neck (with buchu).
4. With dry things they rub. Therefore, they are wont to
say that they rub 'with them.
If things are wet, they are wont to say that they anoint
she smelt strongly * of the scent of the ||khou; she was
rubbing herself, while she rubbed, taking away the smell of the
||khou from herself.
The old women who had been out seeking food were those
who came to burn horns, while they desired that the smell of
the horns should go up, so that the Rain should not be angry
THE GIRL'S STORY; THE FROGS' STORY.
A girl formerly lay ill; she was lying down. She did not
eat the food which her mothers gave her. She lay ill.
She killed the children of the Water; they were what
she ate. Her mothers did not know that she did thus, (that) she
killed the Water's children; (that) they were what she ate; she
would not eat what her mothers were giving to her.
Her mother was there. They went out to seek Bushman
rice. They spoke, they ordered a
[1. To smell strongly.
Her own scent it was which resembled (that of) the||khou.
The ||khou (possibly a fungus?) is a thing belonging to the Rain.
2. Her (the young woman's) intelligence was that with which
she acted wisely towards the Rain; hence all the people lived;
they would (otherwise) have been killed; all (of them) would
have become frogs.
3. That is to say, her mother and the other women.
4. !kweiten ta ||ken has not seen these things herself,
but she heard that they were beautiful, and striped like a |habba,
The Water was as large as a bull, and the Water's children
were the size of calves, being the children of great things.
5. All the women, and all the children but one.
child to remain at home. The girl did not know (about)
the child. And the old woman said that she must look at the things
which her elder sister ate. And they left the child at home t;
and they Nvent out to seek food (Bushman rice). They intended
(?) that the child should look at the things which her elder
The elder sister went out from the house of illness, (and)
descended to the spring, as she intended again to kill a Water-child.
The (Bushman) child was in the hut, while she (the girl) did
not know (about) the child. And she went (and) killed a Water-child,
she carried the Water-child home. The (Bushman) child was looking;
and she (the girl) boiled the Water-child's flesh; and she ate
it; and she lay down; and she again went to lie down, while she
(the child) beheld her. And she went to lie down, when she felt
that she had finished eating. The child looked at her; and she
And her mother returned. The child told her mother about
it; for her elder sister had gone to kill a handsome thing at
the water. And her mother said: "It is a Water-child!"
And her mother did not speak about it; she again went out to
seek for Bushman rice.
And when she was seeking about for food, the clouds came
up. And she spoke, she said: "Something is not right at
home; for a whirlwind is bringing (things) to the spring. For
something is not going on well at home. Therefore, the whirlwind
is taking (things) away to the spring."
[1. A little girl, as big as a European child of 11.
2. Literally, " allowed " her to remain there.
3. In her mother's hut.
Because her daughter killed the Water's children, therefore
the whirlwind took them away to the spring. Something had not
gone well at home, for her daughter had been killing the Water's
children. That was why the whirlwind took them away to the spring.
Because her daughter killed the Water's children, therefore the
whirlwind took them away to the spring; because she had killed
the Water's children.
The girl was the one who first went into the spring, and
then she became a frog. Her mothers afterwards went into the
spring; the whirlwind brought them to it, when she was already
in the spring. She was a frog. Her mothers also became frogs;
while the whirlwind was that which brought them, when they were
on the hunting ground; the whirlwind brought them to the spring,
when her daughter was already in the spring. She was a frog.
And her mothers afterwards came; the whirlwind was that which
brought them to it, when they were on the hunting ground. Meanwhile
their daughter was in the spring; she was a frog.
Her father also came to become a frog; for the whirlwind
brought her father-when he was yonder on the hunting ground-to
the spring, (to) the place where his daughter was. Her father's
arrows altogether grew out by the spring; for the great whirlwind
had brought them to the spring. He also altogether became a frog;
likewise his wife, she also became a frog; while she felt that
the whirlwind had brought them to the spring. Their things entered
that spring (in which) they were. The
[1. All the family and their mats were carried into the
spring, by the whirlwind, and all their things.]
things entered that spring, because they (the people) were
frogs. Therefore it was that their things went into the spring,
because they were frogs. The mats (grew) out by the spring,
like the arrows; their things grew out by the spring.
THE MAN WHO ORDERED HIS WIFE TO CUT OFF HIS EARS.
He formerly wished (his) wife to cut off his ears, for
his younger brother's head had surely been skinned; whereas
his younger brother's wife had only shaved his younger brother's
Therefore, (his) wife cut away his ears; although (his)
wife had said that she would not do so; he was the one who insisted
Therefore, (his) wife cut off his ears; and he was screaming,
on account of his skin, while he himself had been the one who
wished the wife to do so; for his younger brother's head had
surely been skinned; whereas his younger brother had merely had
his head shaved; while (his) wife shaved, removing the old hair.
[1. Mats of which the Bushmen make their huts (made from
a thick grass or reed?).
2. These things that grow by the springs belonged to the
first Bushmen, who preceded the present race, !kweiten ta ||ken
says. Her mother told her this.
3. !Xwe-|na-sse-!k'e is the name of the Bushmen who lived
first in the land.
4. I am one who does not know his name, because the people
were those who did not utter his name to me; for, they were men
of the early race; therefore, they did foolish things on account
5. He really thought that the skin of his younger brother's
head was off, while it was his younger brother's head's hair
which had been shaved away.
THE #NERRU AND HER HUSBAND.
A man of the early race formerly married a #nerru. The
#nerru put the dusty (ie. earthy) Bushman rice into a bag,
when her husband had dug out (literally,"had killed")
Bushman rice. She went to wash the Bushman rice; they returned
They early went out to seek for food on the morrow, she
and (her) husband; for she was alone(?) with her husband. He
was the one who dug out (Bushman rice). Therefore she was
with her husband. Thus she went out to seek for food, on the
morrow. The husband dug out Bushman rice; he put the Bushman
rice into the bag. And the husband again dug out other Bushman
rice. He put it in above, put in the Bushman rice on the top
of the morning's Bushman rice. He again arose, he sought for
other Bushman rice. He again found other Bushman rice; he dug
[1. think that |Xabbi-ang's grandmother's grandmother's
other grandmother's mother it must have been who formerly, in
this manner, spoke to her.
2. The #nerru (now a bird) was formerly a person; therefore,
a man of the early race was the one who married her.
3. When they are putting Bushman rice into (a bag), when
the Bushman rice has earth with it, they say that they !ko Bushman
4. "To dig with a stick" is here meant.
5. The man was the one who was putting Bushman rice into
the bag, while the woman was the one who was holding the bag;
she was the one who intended to shake in the Bushman rice. He
stood inside the mouth of the hole, while the wife stood above.
(the earth from it). And he again dug it (the rice) out.
He put it on the top (of the other). He put it on the top; and
the bag became full.
And he arose, he sought for other Bushman rice. He found
other Bushman rice; he dug but (the earth from) it. He dug it
out. And he exclaimed:"Give me (thy) little kaross, that
I may put the Bushman rice upon it." And the wife said:
"We are not accustomed to put Bushman rice, having earth
with it, into our back's kaxoss, we who are of the house of #nerru."
And he exclaimed:"Give me, give me the little kaross, that
I may put the Bushman rice upon (it)." And the wife said:
"Thou shouldst put the Bushman rice into the ground; for
we are not accustomed to put Bushman rice, having earth with
it, into our back's kaross." And he exclaimed: "Give
me, give me the little kaross, that I may put the Bushman rice
upon (it)." And the wife exclaimed:"Thou shouldst put
the Bushman rice into the ground, that thou mayst cover over
the Bushman rice."
And he exclaimed: "Give me the kaross, that I may
put the Bushman rice -upon (it)!" while he snatched away
the kaross. The wife's entrails,
[1. I think that it seems to have been a springbok sack
(i.e. a bag made of springbok skin).
2. It is a little kaross. One skin (that is, the skin of
one animal) they call !koussi.
3. She spoke gently (i.e. did not sing here).
4. I think that their houses must have been numerous; for
they were numerous; for, when they are little birds, they are
not a little numerous.
5. With other earth.]
which were upon the little kaross, poured down. And
he, crying, exclaimed: " Oh dear! O my wife! What shall
I do?"while the wife arose, the wife said (i.e. sang)-
"We, who are of the house of #nerru,
We are not used to put earthy Bushman rice
(Into) our back's kaross;
We, who are of the house of #nerru,
We are not used to put earthy Bushman rice
(Into) our back's kaross:"
while she walked on replacing her entrails. She sang-
Therefore, her mother, when sitting, exclaimed: "Look
at the place to which (thy) elder sister went to seek food, for
the noise of the wind is that which sounds like a person;"for,
(thy) elder sisters' husbands do not act rightly. Thou dost see
that the noise of the wind is that which sounds like a person,
singing to windward." And her daughter stood up; her daughter
looked. She (the daughter) exclaimed: "(Thy) daughter is
the one who falling comes." Then her mother said: "
I wish that ye may see; (thy) elder sisters' husbands do
[1. I do not know well (about it), for my people were those
who spoke thus; they said that the #nerru's entrails were formerly
upon the little kaross.
2. She was sitting down.
3. She went along singing, as she went away home (to her
4. She was sitting at home.
5. Her daughter was the one of whom she spoke, (of) her
6. I think that she was speaking of her daughter's husband.]
mad things, as if they do not seem to understand; they
marry among us (literally, 'into us') as if they understood."
Then she ran to meet her daughter; she went to put the
little kaross upon her daughter; she, holding, put her daughter's
entrails upon the little kaross; and she bound up her daughter;
she slowly conducted her daughter home; she went to take her
daughter into her (the mother's) hut.
Therefore, she was angry about her daughter; when her daughter's
husband wanted to come to his wife, she was angry. Therefore,
her daughter's husband went back to his own people, when she
had said that her daughter's husband should go back; for, they
did not understand. Therefore, her daughter's husband went back;
while they continued to dwell (there).
THE #NERRU, AS A BIRD
The #nerru's bill is very short. The male #nerru is the
one whose plumage resembles (that of) the ostrich; it is black
like the male ostrich. The female #nerru is the one whose plumage
is white like (that of) the female ostrich. Thus, they resemble
the ostriches; because the male #nerru are black, the female
They eat the things which little birds usually eat, which
they pick up on the ground.
[1. Her mother's new little kaross, which had been unused
(lit. " sitting "), and which she had put away.
2. With the four straps of the !k'oussi, formed by the
four legs of the springbok's skin
3. i.e., the #nerru, manv #nerru.]
They make grass nests on the ground, by the root of a bush.
When not breeding, they are found in large numbers.
THE DEATH OF THE LIZARD.
The Lizard formerly sang-
I therefore intend to go,
I therefore intend to go,
I therefore intend to go,
I therefore intend to go,
And, when he was passing through, the mountains squeezing
broke him, when he had intended to pass through; for, he seems
to have thought that he would spring through the mountain pass,
which was like this (the narrator here showed
[1. The !khau was a man of the early race. He is now a
lizard of the genus Agama. "Chiefly found in rocky and sandy
places. Many species distributed all through South Africa."
2. These mountains are large ones, near |itten|hing.
the first and second fingers of his left hand in a forked
and almost upright position). Then, the mountains caught him
thus (putting his fingers close together), the mountains bit,
breaking him. Therefore, his forepart fell over (and) stood
still) it became !guru-|na; while his hinder part fell over (and)
stood still; it was that which became |Xe-!khwai.
REMARKS ON THE PRECEDING STORY BY THE NARRATOR.
I think that he seems to have been going to the red sand
hills, that he might come (and) dwell at them. For, I think that
the (shallow) pools, which lie among the red sand hills, seem
to have been those towards which he was going, that he might
come (and) live at them. He seems to have been going towards
!kaugen-|ka|ka (a certain pool), that he might come (and) live
at it. For, I think that !kaugen-|ka|ka is near this place. He
is the one who, when he came passing through, would come along
the 'vlei', that he might ascend, passing along the side of the
hill; and he would altogether descend into ||na-||kuarra (a certain
river), and he would go quite down, along (the river bed) to
!kaugen-|ka|ka. !kaugen-|ka|ka would be the place where he descended;
it was where he was going to dwell; it must, I think, be the
place towards which he appears to have been going. He broke (in
twain) when he seems to have been going towards it.
[1. It verily (?) turning over went.]
THE CAT'S SONG.
Ha ha ha,
I am the one whom the Lynx derides,
Ha ha ha,
I am the one who did not run fast;
For, the Lynx is the one who runs fast,
I am the one whom the Lynx derides.
Ya Ya Ya,
I am the one whom the Lynx derides.
Ya Ya Ya,
I am the one who could not run fast,
I am the one whom the Lynx derides,
Ya Ya Ya,
"The Cat could not run fast."
The Cat is the one whom the Lynx derides,
Ya Ya Ya,
"It is the one who could not run fast,"
The Cat is the one who could not run fast,
It was not cunning.
[1. Here the cat opens its mouth wide in singing.]
It did foolish things;
Ya Ya Ya,
For, the Lynx is one who understands,
The Cat does not understand."
The Cat (nevertheless) is cunning.
The Cat is the one about whom the Lynx talked.
Haggla haggla haggla
"It is the one who could not run fast."
It had to be cunning.
For, the Lynx is one who is cunning.
Heggle heggle heggle
Heggli heggli heggli
THE SONG OF THE CAAMA FOX.
Crosser of the Spoor, Crosser of the Spoor,
Crosser of the Spoor, Crosser of the Spoor!
[1. Reference is here made to the Cat's way of doubling
2. The narrator here explains that the Cat "talks
with its tongue", assenting to what it has been saying.
3. The Caama Fox is called "Crosser of the Spoor",
because it avoids the dog nicely when the dog chases it, and,
turning suddenly, runs back, crossing the dog's spoor (behind
it), while the dog is racing on in front, thinking to catch the
Caama Fox by so doing.]
Cross the Caama Fox's spoor,
Cross the Caama Fox's spoor!
Cross the Caama Fox's spoor,
Cross the Caama Fox's spoor!
THE SONGS OF THE BLUE CRANE.
It is the Blue Crane's story which it sings; it sings(about)its
shoulder, namely, that the"krieboom" berries are upon
its shoulder; it goes along singing-
The berries are upon my shoulder,
The berries are upon my shoulder,
The berry it is upon my shoulder,
[1. It sings that the dog appears to think that he will
kill it; but the dog will not kill it; for it is the one who
crosses the spoor of (another) Caamaa Fox. It is the one which
that dog will not kill; for the dog is the one who will nearly(?)
die of fatigue, when it (the Caama Fox) has gone to lie peacefully
in the shade; while it does not feel tired; while the dog painfully
goes back to his master.
2. Its name is one; they (the berries) are numerous; its
name is (still) one. The"krieboom " berries are many;
the name of the berries is one. It appears as if its berry were
one, (but) they are many.
The word |gara is the same in the singular and plural,
viz., |gara (or |gara tsaXau) a !kwai, "one |gara berry,"
and |gara (or |gara tsaXaiten) e |Ukwaiya, " many |gara
berries." The |gara is a part of the ||na, or"krieboom",
the berries of it, as far as I can understand. They are said
to be round, white, and "hard" (i.e., they have something
hard inside them). The outside flesh is sweet. They are eaten
by the Koranna.and the Bushmen. The women go to the "krieboom",
pick the berries, put them into a bag and take them home to eat,
first mixing them with other berries. They do not eat them unmixed,
on account of their teeth, as they fear that the sweetness of
the berries might otherwise render their teeth unfit to chew
The berries are upon my shoulder.
(When running away from a man.)
A splinter of stone which is white,
The berries are up here (on its shoulder),
Rrru are up here;
The berries are up here,
Rrru are up here,
Are up here;
The berries Rrru are put away (upon)it(its shoulder)."
A splinter of stone which is white,
A splinter of stone which is white.
(When walking slowly, leaving the place [walk of
A white stone splinter,
A white stone splinter.
(When it flaps its wings.)
Scrape (the springbok skin for) the bed.
Scrape (the springbok skin for) the bed.
[1. ||kabbo cannot explain why the berries do not roll
off; he says that he does not know. This is a song of the very
old people, the "first" old people, which was in his
2. ||kabbo explains that the bird sings about its head,
which is something of the shape of a stone knife or splinter,
and has white feathers. He says that Bushmen, when without a
knife, use a stone knife for cutting up game. They break a stone,
knocking off a flat splinter from it, and cut up the game with
that. The Grass Bushmen, ||kabbo says, make arrowheads of white
quartz points (crystal points, as far as could be understood).
3. The Bushmen make beds (i.e., skins to sleep on) from
the skins of springbok and goats.
THE OLD WOMAN'S SONG.
The old Woman sings; goes singing along; sings as she goes;
the old Woman sings as she goes along about the Hyena-
Was carrying off the old Woman from the old hut;
The old Woman in this manner,
She sprang aside,
She beat the Hyena.
The Hyena, herself,
The Hyena killed the Hyena."
The old she Hyena,
The old she Hyena,
Was carrying off the old Woman,
As the old Woman lay in the old hut.
[1. She killed herself, by casting herself violently upon
the pointed rock on which she had intended to cast the old Woman
who was upon her back; but the old Woman sprang aside and saved
2. The old Woman, who was unable to walk, lay in an old,
deserted hut. Before her sons left her, they had closed the circle
[sides] of the hut, as well as the door-opening, with sticks
from the other huts, leaving the top of the hut open, so that
she should feel the sun's warmth. They had left a fire for her,
and had fetched more dry wood. They were obliged to leave her
behind, as they were all starving, and she was too weak to go
with them to seek food at some other place.]
A SONG SUNG BY THE STAR !GAUNU, AND ESPECIALLY
BY BUSHMAN WOMEN.
SIRIUS AND CANOPUS.
My (step)grandmother, Ttuai-ang, was the one who used to
rejoice about Canopus. She said-
[1. The ||garraken are bulbs; the Bushmen dig them out.
2. Dimorphotheca annua, a daisy-like flower, in bloom at
Mowbray in August, 1879.]
While my grandmother felt that food was abundant.
THE SONG OF THE BUSTARD.
My younger brother-in-law,
Put my head in the fire.
My younger brother-in-law,
My younger brother-in-law,
Put my head in the fire.
When we startle it up, it flies away; it (cries): "Wara
||khau, wara ||khau, wara ||khau, ||khau ||khau, ||khau, wara
||khau, wara ||khau, wara ||khau, ||khau ||khau, ||khau!"
When it stands on the ground, it says: "A wa,a wa,
a wa, a wa!" when it stands on the ground.
[1. We are wont to say !Xu, when food is abundant.
2. When the "Knorhaan Brandkop" was still a man,
his head was thrust into the fire by his brother-in-law, in order
to punish him for having surreptitiously married a sister. Since
then he is only a bustard.]
THE SONG OF THE SPRINGBOK MOTHERS.
The Springbok mothers sang (soothing their children)-
||KABBO'S SONG ON THE LOSS OF HIS TOBACCO
Famine it is,
Famine it is,
Famine is here.
Famine it is,
Famine it is,
Famine is here.
Famine ["tobacco-hunger" is meant here]-he did
not smoke, because a dog had come in the
[1. It was stolen by a hungry dog, named "Blom ",
which belonged to !gou!nui.]
night (and) carried off from him his pouch. And he arose
in the night, he missed his pouch. And then he again lay down,
while he did not smoke. And we were early seeking for the pouch.
We did not find the pouch.
THE BROKEN STRING.
People were those who
Broke for me the string.
The place became like this to me,
On account of it,
Because the string was that which broke for me.
The place does not feel to me,
As the place used to feel to me,
On account of it.
The place feels as if it stood open before me,
Because the string has broken for me.
The place does not feel pleasant to me,
On account of it.
The above is a lament, sung by Xaa-tting after the death
of his friend, the magician and ran-maker !nuing|kui-ten; who
died from the effects of a shot he received when going about,
by night, in the form of a lion.
[1. Now that "the string is broken", the former
"ringing sound in the sky" is no longer heard by the
singer, as it had been in the magician's lifetime.]
THE SONG OF !NU!NUMMA-!KWITEN.
!nu!numma-!kwiten formerly said (sang)-
I kill children who cry;
I kill children who cry;
I kill children who cry.
A beast of prey (he, !nu!numma-!kwiten) is. My grandfather
used to say (that) !nu!numma-!kwiten formerly said-
When my grandfather wished that we should leave off making
a noise, he said that !nu!numma-!kwiten formerly used to say
[1. The narrator gave the following explanation of !nu!numma-!kwiten's
"A man who eats great (pieces of) meat, he cuts them
off, he puts them into his mouth. I think that eggs are white;
therefore, I think that his name seems to be 'White-Mouth'."
"!nu!numma-!kwiten is a beast of prey. A man was the
one who gobbled eggs, swallowed down eggs. Therefore, be was
[his name was] !kotta-kkoe." Reference is here made to a
man of the early race, who swallowed ostrich eggs whole, and
is the chief figure in a legend related by |han#kass'o (V.-56.
2. We were calling out, making a noise there, as we played.]
And (when) he hears a little child crying there, he follows
the sound to it, while the little child is crying there, lie,
following the sound, goes to it, approaches it stealthily, approaching
stealthily, reaches the hut, in which the little child is crying.
He springs, springs into the hut. He catches hold of the little
child) he springs, taking it away. He goes to swallow it down.
B. HISTORY (NATURAL AND PERSONAL).
VII. Animals and their Habits-Adventures with
THE LEOPARD AND THE JACKAL.
The jackal watches the leopard, when the leopard has killed
a springbok. The jackal whines (with uplifted tongue), he begs
the leopard for springbok flesh. He howls, he begs, for he is
a jackal. Thus he howls, he indeed begs, because he is a jackal.
Therefore he howls when he begs, he indeed wants the leopard
to give him flesh, that he may eat, that he also may eat.
Then the leopard is angry, the leopard kills him, the leopard
bites him dead, he lifts him up, he goes to put him into the
bushes; thus he hides him.
DOINGS OF THE SPRINGBOK.
The mother springbok is wont to do thus, as she trots along,
when she has a springbok kid which is little, she grunts,
as she trots along; she says- "a, a, a"  as she
trots along. Therefore they (the springbok) make a resounding
noise(?), because they are numerous; while the springbok kids
also cry (bleat), while their mothers cry (grunt). Their mothers
say-"a, a, a," the springbok kids say-
[1. Because she protectingly takes along the child, she
grunts, as the child plays.
2. Here the narrator made a grunting noise which, he said,
was "in his throat"; and about which he remarked- "When
I sit imitating the springbok, then I cough, on account of it."]
"me, me, me," while their mothers say "a,
a, a," as they grunt. The springbok children say "me,
me, me," while their mothers say "a, a, a," as
they grunting go forward.
Therefore, we are wont to say- "O beast of prey!
thou art the one who hearest the place behind, it is resonant
with sound. Therefore, I said that I would sit here. For these
male springbok which stand around, are those which will go along,
passing behind you; because I am lying down, and they do not
perceive me; they will have to (?) go along, passing behind you,
when ye have gone behind (the hill); they will have to (?) go
along, passing behind you."
HABITS OF THE BAT AND THE PORCUPINE.
Mamma said to me that the bat,t when the porcupine is still
at the place where it is seeking about for food, does not come,
for the bat remains with it, while it is seeking about for food,
When it (the porcupine) returns home, then it is that the bat
comes to its hole; then I know that the porcupine appears
to have returned.
[1. Therefore, the Bushmen are wont to say: "O beast
of prey! it (the herd of springbok) seems as if it will arise;
for thou art the one who seest the springbok's children. For
thou art the one who seest (that) the springbok's children seem
as if (they) would arise." (They had been lying down, or,
as the narrator expressed it, "sitting.")
2. The bat's other name is !|gogen.
3. The bat inhabits the same hole as the porcupine.]
Mamma told me about it, that I should watch for the porcupine,
if I saw the bat; then I know, that the porcupine appears to
come; for the bat comes. And I must not sleep; for I must watch
for the porcupine; for, when the porcupine approaches, I feel
sleepy, I become sleepy (on account of) the porcupine; for the
porcupine is a thing which is used, when it draws near, to go
along making us sleep against our will, as it wishes that we
may not know the time at which it comes; as it wishes that it
may come into the hole while we are asleep. Therefore, it goes
along making us sleep; while it wishes that it may come, while
we are asleep, that it may smell whether harm awaits it at the
hole, whether a man is lying in wait for it at the hole. And
if the man is asleep it steals softly away [lifting its quills
that they may not rattle], when it has smelt the man's scent.
Therefore it is used to cause us to become sleepy, when it wishes
to smell whether peace it be.
Therefore mamma used to tell me that I should do thus,
even if I felt sleepy, I should know that the porcupine was the
one who went along making me sleepy against my will; it was the
one who went along causing me to sleep. I should do thus, even
if I felt that I wanted to sleep, I should not sleep; for the
porcupine would come, if I slept there. And the porcupine would
steal gently away, while I slept. I should not know the time
at which the porcupine came; I should think that the porcupine
had not come, while the porcupine bad long come; it had come
(and) gone away, while I slept. Therefore, I should not sleep,
that 1 might know when the porcupine came. For, I should do thus,
if I slept, I should not know when it came.
Therefore, I am used to do thus, when I lie in wait for
a porcupine, I do not sleep, when 1 am watching for the porcupine;
the porcupine comes, while I am watching for it; I see it return,
while I feel that I am the one who did not sleep. For mamma was
the one who thus told me, that I must not sleep, even if I felt
sleepy; I must do as father used to do, when father watched well
for the porcupine. Therefore, father used to know when the porcupine
came, while he felt that he watched for the porcupine. Therefore,
he used to know when the porcupine came; even if he felt sleepy,
he did not sleep, because he felt that he wanted to know the
time at which theporcupine came.
For, these things are those about which my mother and the
others told me, namely, did I not see that the porcupine is a
thing which does not go (about) at noon; for it goes (about)
by night; for it cannot see at noon. Therefore, it goes (about)
by night, while it feels that night is (the time) at which it
sees; it would, if it went (about) at noon, it would be going
into the bushes, while it felt that its eyes were not comfortable.
Therefore, it would be going into the bushes, while it felt that
its eyes were not comfortable. For its eyes would feel dazzled.
Night is (the time) when it sees well. For, it knows that this
is the time, at which it perceives; on the place where it goes
it sees the bushes at night.
Father used to tell me that, when lying in wait for a porcupine,
at the time at which the Milky Way turns back, I should know
that it is the time at which the porcupine returns. Father taught
me about the stars; that I should do thus when lying in wait
at a porcupine's hole, I must watch the stars; the place where
the stars fall, it is the one which I must thoroughly watch.
For this place it really is which the porcupine is at, where
the stars fall.
I must also be feeling (trying) the wind. Things which
I should watch, father in this manner taught me about, things
which I should watch. Father said to me about it, that I should
not watch the wind (i.e. to windward), for the porcupine is not
a thing which will return coming right out of the wind. For,
it is used to return crossing the wind in a slanting direction,
because it wants to smell. Therefore, it goes across the wind
in a slanting direction, because it wants to smell; for its nostrils
are those which tell it about it, whether harm is at this place.
Father used to tell me, that I must not breathe strongly
when lying in wait for a porcupine; for, a thing which does not
a little hear, it is. I should also not rustle strongly; for,
a porcupine is a thing which does not a little hear. Therefore,
we are used gently to turn ourselves when sitting; because we
fear that had we done so (noisily), as it came, it would have
[1. The porcupine will come from the place at which the
star seemed to fall.
2. A thing whose ears hear finely it indeed(?) is. Therefore,
we do not rustle much on account of it; because (it is) a thing
which, even if we thought that we had not rustled much, would
3. If the porcupine had heard, it would have turned back.]
THE SAXICOLA CASTOR AND THE WILD CAT.
It (the Saxicola Castor) says: "Tcha, tcha, tcha,
tcha," when it is laughing at the wild cat, when it has
espied the cat, while the cat is lying down, lying asleep; and
it is laughing at the cat, on account of it.
The other little birds (hearing it) go to it, they are
all laughing at the cat.
THE BABOONS AND ||XABBITEN||XABBITEN.
The baboons espied ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten. as he was coming
away from the white men whom he had been to visit. He was carrying
flonr, which the white men gave him. And the baboons said: "Uncle
||Xabbiten||Xabbiten seems to be returning yonder; let us cross
his path (?), that we may knock him down."
The baboons did so; ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten thought he would
speak to them, he asked them what they were saying. And ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten
remarked upon their foreheads' steepness (?). And the baboons
angrily came down to ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten; they
[1. The |ka-kau or Saxicola Castor is a little bird found
in Bushmanland. It lives in trees and flies about. It is not
eaten by Bushmen.
2. "Ye speak to me! ye are ugly! your foreheads resemble
overhanging cliffs!" The baboons became angry with him,
because he derided them; he said that their foreheads resembled
overhanging cliffs. And they broke off sticks, on account of
it they went towards ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten.]
broke off sticks, with which they intended to come to beat
The baboons' children also came; going along, they called
out to their parents.about it: "O fathers! ye must give
us ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten's head that we may play with it."
||Xabbiten||Xabbiten did as follows, when he heard that
the baboons' children were speaking in this manner, he thought
to himself, 'What shall I do? for the baboons are not a little
numerous.' He thought, If will climb a krieboom, that I may sit
above in the krieboom; the baboons will have (?) to drag me down
from the krieboom.'
And the baboons went up to him, as he sat above in the
krieboom; the baboons' children spoke to each other about it,
they said: "First look ye at ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten's big
head; we should be a Iong while playing there, with ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten's
head; for ye are those who see that its bigness is like this;
it seems as if it would not quickly break."A baboon, who
was grown up, spoke to the baboons' children; he questioned
the baboons' children: Did not the baboons' children see that
||Xabbiten||Xabbiten was grown up-that they who were children
should think that they could possess the pieces of ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten.
They spoke as if he were their little cousin; that they should
possess his pieces. Did they not see that those who are grown
up would be the ones to get the pieces of ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten
those who are grown up?
And ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten thought to himself: 'What shall
I do, (in order) that the baboons may
[1. The name of the head baboon, the big, old one, which
goes after the rest, is !uhai|ho|kwa, or "Schildwacht"]
leave me? for, they speak angrily about me. it sounds as
if they would really attack me.' And 11 e ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten
thought to himself: ' Wait, I will first tell about the baboons
to the white men. For baboons are not a little afraid of a gun;
I shall see whether they will not be afraid, if they hear that
I am talking about them to the white men.'
And ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten called out,-while he deceived
them, -he said: "O white men! the baboons are here, they
are with me, ye must drive them away"(?). And the baboons
did thus, when they heard that ||Xabbiten||Xabbiten spoke about
them, that the white men should drive them away (?), the baboons
looked about, on account of it. And the baboons ran, leaving
||Xabbiten||Xabbiten; and he escaped, at the time when the baboons
went away in fear, he quickly descended from the krieboom. He
ran away, as he escaped from the baboons; while they ran to the
cliffs he ran away.
A LION'S STORY.
The child cried there for "Bushman rice"; a lion
hearing came to her, while she cried there; her parents lay asleep;
she sat by them, sat crying.
And the lion heard, as she cried there, And the lion came
to her, on account of it.
And she took out (some of) the grass upon which her
parents were lying; because she had perceived the lion; the lion
intended to kill (and) carry
[1. The narrator explained that the -Bushmen sleep upon
grass, which, in course of time, becomes dry.]
off her parents; she set the lion on fire with it; 
the lion ran away; the bushes took fire. Because the child
had set the lion on fire.
And the child's mother afterwards gave her "Bushman
rice" (because) she felt that the lion would have killed
them) if the child had not set the lion on fire with grass.
And the lion went to die on account of the fire. Because
the fire had burned, killing it.
And the child's mother said: "Yes, my child, hadst
thou not in this manner set the lion on fire we should have died.
For thou didst set the lion on fire for us, for we should have
died, hadst thou not set the lion on fire for us. Therefore it
is, that we will break for thee an ostrich eggshell of "
Bushman rice"; f or, thou hast made us to live; we should
have been dead, we should have died, hadst thou not set the lion
on fire for us; hadst thou not, in this manner, set the lion
on fire for us, we should have died."
THE MAN WHO FOUND A LION IN A CAVE.
My grandfather, !Xugen-ddi, formerly told me, that a man
long ago did thus: when the rain fell he thought that he would
go (and) sleep in a cave; when a lion had been the one who had
made rain for him, so that he should not know the place at which
(his) home seemed to be, that he might pass (it) by (in the darkness),
so that he might go to a different place, that the lion might
get hold of him.
[1. She set the lion's hair on fire.
2. As he ran through the bushes, they caught fire also.]
The place was not a little dark, for, he continued to go
into the bushes; he did not see the place along which he was
walking. He did not know the place at which (his) home seemed
to be. And he thought, 'I must go along in the dark- ness seeking
for a cave, that I may go to sleep in it, if I find it; I can
afterwards in the morning return home; for, the rain does not
a little fall upon me.'
And the lion had come first to the cave; it came to wait
for the man in the cave.
And it felt that it was also wet; when it had sat (for
a little while) inside the cave,. it became warm, and it slept,
when it had become warm; while it had thought that it would sit
watching for the man, that it might do thus, if the man came
in,-while the man thought he would look for a place where he
could lay down his things,-it might catch hold of the man. It
had thought so; (but) it fell fast asleep.
And the man came, while it sat asleep. And the man, when
he had entered the cave, heard a thing which seemed to breathe;
and the man thought: 'Can people have come to the cave? Do they
wait at the cave, those who breathe here?' I And he thought,
'How is it that the people do not talk, if people (they) be?
Can the people have fallen fast asleep, that the people do not
speak to me?' And he thought: 'I will not call out to the people,
for I do not know, whether they are people; for, 1 will first
feel gently about (with my hands), that I may feel whether real
people (they) be. For, I should, if it were a different thing,
I should call awakening it.'
And he felt about; and he felt that a thing which seemed
to have hair was there. And he gently approached a little nearer
to it; and he felt well about, and he felt that a lion was the
one which slept sitting inside the cave. And he gently stepped
backwards (and) turned round; and he went out on tiptoe.
And, when he had gone to a little distance, he ran swiftly,
because he thought that the lion would smell his scent (where)
he had gone to feel about for the lion; the lion would run to
And when he had gone to a little distance, when a little
time had passed, he heard the lion, because the lion had smelt
his scent, while the lion slept. And as the lion had in this
manner sat sleeping, the man's scent had entered its nose, and,
because of the man's scent, which seemed as if the man were standing
beside it, it had growling arisen; because the man's scent which
it smelt, seemed as if the man were standing beside it; that
was why it snatched,it the place at which the man seemed to be.
And the man heard it; and tlie man exclaimed: "It
sounds as if it had perceived my scent; for thou (addressing
himself) art the one who hearest that the cave sounds thus; for
the lion sounds as if (it) had been startled awake by my scent;
for it sounds as if (it) were biting about, seeking for me
in the cave." And the man thought, that he would not go
home; for, he would run to a different place; for, he knew that
the lion would find his spoor; he would afterwards do as follows,
when the day
[1. The narrator explained that the lion was smelling and
growling about, in order to find the person (or persons) whom
it had smelt.]
had broken)-if the lion had not killed him,-he would afterwards
look seeking for (his) home in the morning.
And the day broke, while the man was (still) running, because
he had heard the lion, namely, the noise that the lion made,
while the lion sought to get him. And, as he ran along, he espied
the fire of some other people, which they kindled to warm themselves.
And he thought: 'I will run to the fire which stands yonder(?),
that I may go to the people who are making fire there, that I
may go to sleep (among) them.' And he thought: I Dost thou not
think (that) our fathers also said to me, that the lion's eye
can also sometimes resemble a fire by night? I will look whether
it be a real fire which burns there.' And he ran nearer to the
fire; he looked, and he saw that people were lying round(?) in
front of the fire. And he thought: 'I will go to the people;
for the thing seems as if they are people.'
And he went to the people. And he told the people about
it: "Do ye think, that I have not walked into death this
night? It happened to me that the lion slept; therefore ye see
me! For, ye would not have seen me, had the lion not slept; because
it slept, hence it is that the thing seems that ye see me; I
have come to you. For, I had thought that I would go to wait
there (in) the cave, but, the lion had come to wait for me in
the cave. I did not know that the lion was sitting inside the
cave; I thought that I would feel about, seeking for a place
which was dry, that I might lay down my things there. Then, when
I walked into the cave, I heard a thing which sounded as if it
breathed; and I thought that people seemed also to be waiting
there (in) the cave. I heard that the breathing of the thing
did not sound like a man; I thought that I would first feel about,
while I did not lay down my things. I felt about, while I (still)
had my things; and I felt gently about. I felt that I was touching
hair; and I became aware that (it) must be a lion which slept,
sitting in (the cave). I turned softly back, when I became aware
that it was a lion."
He told the other people about it: Did not the other people
hear its seeking? Therefore, the other people must watch for
the lion; for the lion would come, when the lion had found his
spoor. And they heard the lion, as the lion questioned, seeking
to get him. The lion asked, where was the man who had come to
it-becanse it smelt that the scent of the man's spoor had ceased
at this house? The thing seemed, as if he were at this house;
it wanted the man to become visible, that it might get hold of
Day broke, while the lion was (still) threatening them.
When the day broke, then it was, that the lion went away, leaving
the people; because the sun was rising; therefore, it went away,
leaving the people, while it felt that the sun rose. For (otherwise),
the people would perceive it; for the lion is a thing which is
not willing to come to us, when the sun. stands (in the sky).
CERTAIN HUNTING OBSERVANCES, CALLED !NANNA-SSE.
When we show respect to the game, we act in this manner;
because we wish that the game may die. For the game would not
die if we did not show respect to it.
We do as follows: a thing which does not run fast is that
which we eat, when we have shot game; because we desire that
the game should also do as it does. For the game is used to do
thus, if we eat the flesh of a thing which is fleet, the thing
(i.e. the game) arises; it does like that thing of whose flesh
we did eat. The thing, also acts like that thing the flesh of
which we had eaten, (doing) that which it does.
Therefore, the old people are accustomed to give us the
flesh of a thing which is not fleet. They do not give us all
(kinds of) food; for they only give us food (of) which they know
that it will strengthen the poison, that the poison may kill
The people do thus, when we have shot a gemsbok, they do
not give us springbok flesh, for they feel that the springobok
does not a little go. For it is used to act thus, even if it
be night, it is used to walk about; day breaks, while it is (still)
walking about. Therefore the old people do not give us springbok
meat; while they feel that the game, if we ate springbok meat,
would also do like the springbok; it would not go to a place
near at hand, while it felt that we ate springbok which does
not sleep, even though it be night. It (the game) would also
do that which the springbok does; and the springbok is wont to
do thus, when the sun has set for it in one place, the sun arises
for it in a different place, while it feels that it has not slept.
For it was walking about in the night. Therefore, the old people
fear to give us springbok's meat, because they feel that the
gemsbok would not be willing to go to sleep, even at night. For
it would, travelling in the darkness, let the day break, while
it did not sleep.
Therefore, the old people also do not allow us to take
hold of springbok's meat with our hands, because our hands, with
which we hold the bow, and the arrows, are those with which we
are taking hold of the thing's flesh; we shot the thing, and
our hands also are as if we had smelt the springbok's scent;
because our hands are those which held the arrows (when) we shot
the thing. Therefore, if we take hold of springbok's meat, the
thing is as if we ate springbok's meat, because our hands are
those -which (make) the thing seem as if we had eaten springbok's
meat with them. We have not eaten springbok's meat; for it is
our hands. We think, I How can it be? I have not smelt the things
which I am (now) smelling? I Another man, who is clever, he thus
speaks: "Thou must have taken hold of springbok's flesh,
it must be that which has acted in this manner; for, I feel that
thou dost not seem to have smelt other things."
Therefore, the people are used to act thus with regard
to the man who shot the thing, they do not allow him to carry
the springbok; they let him sit down at a little distance, while
he is not near to the place where the people are cutting up the
springbok. For he sits at a little distance, because he fears
lest he should smell the scent of the springbok's viscera(?);
that is why he sits at a little. distance, because he wishes
that he may not smell the scent of the springbok's viscera
FURTHER INFORMATION; PARTICULARLY WITH REGARD TO
THE TREATMENT OF BONES.
They (the Bushmen) put the things' bones nicely aside,
while they do not throw them (about).
They put down the bones opposite to the entrance to the
hut (the place which the. hut's mouth faces; they call it "the
hut face's opposite"(?)); and they go they pour down the
bones at it. Therefore, they call it, "The heap of meat
bones; while they feel that this is the place to which they
go, at which they pour down the bones; they pour down the bones
by the side of a bush (a little thorn bush), at the place to
which they go to put down the bones.
And another person [who lives opposite] gnaws, putting
the bones upon an (ostrich) breastbone; he does as follows, when
he has finished gnawing the bones, he takes up the bones, he
goes to pour down the bones at this place.
[1. This heap of bones (springbok, gemsbok, hare, porcupine,
etc.) is called |uhaiten as well as |ka.
2. The breastbone of an ostrich, used as a dish.
3. One hut has its own heap of bones; the other man also
has the other man's heap of bones; another man also has his own
heap of bones, the bones of the springbok. which he kills.]
And when they have boiled other bones, they again gnaw,
putting them upon (the ostrich breastbone dish). When they have
finished gnawing the bones, they take up the ostrich breastbone
upon which the bones are, they go to pour down the bones opposite
to the entrance to the other one's hut. The other one (i.e. the
neighbour living opposite) also when he has boiled, takes the
bones which he gnaws, he goes to pour them down, opposite to
the entrance of the other one's hut, (upon) the other one's heap
of bones, he goes to pour down the bones upon it. Another
man also does thus, when he has gnawed the bones, he also goes
to pour down the bones opposite to the entrance of the other
one's hut, (upon) the other one's heap of bones.
And, they also (do it), a different man does
[1. biting off the flesh from the bones. The heap of bones
belonging to the other man who killed the springbok.
2. Another man (it) is. I think that he has a wife and
children. These children are those for whom he cuts off meat.
He cuts meat; he cuts off for this child (a boy) this piece of
meat; he cuts off for this (other) child (also a boy) this (other)
piece of meat while the woman cuts off meat for the little girl.
3. The women do not eat (the meat of) the springbok's shoulder
blades, because they show respect for the men's arrows, so that
the men may quietly kill. For, when we miss our aim, the place
is not nice; for we are wont to be ill when we miss our aim;
when we shoot destruction to ourselves, when we are going to
be ill. Therefore we become ill.
The springbok are in possession of (invisible) magic arrows
(?). Therefore, we are. ill on account of the springbok. Therefore,
we do not allow the little children to play upon the springbok
skin. For the springbolk is wont to get into our flesh, and we
become ill. And the springbok is inside of us and we become ill
on account of it. Therefore, we do not play tricks with springbok's
bones; for we put the springbok's bones nicely away, while we
feel that the springbok is wont to get into our flesh. The springbok
also possesses things which are magic sticks; if they stand in
us, we, being pierced, fall dead.]
as follows, he also boils, he also gnaws, putting the bones
upon an ostrich breastbone; he also comes to pour down the bones
opposite to the entrance of the other one's hut.
They also do thus when they cut up a springbok, they also
take out the stomach, as they, cutting open (the springbok),
take out the stomach; they go to shake out the contents of the
stomach opposite to the entrance of the other one's hut; they
go to shake out the contents of the stomach there (upon the other
one's heap of bones). They [having washed it well] come to lade
blood into the stomach, they dip up blood with their band,
they lade blood into the stomach with their hand, while they
turn with their band (holding the right hand like a scoop); they
holding, form a tortoise [shell] with their hand. With regard
to the blood which has spilt, that which lies upon the earth,
they also take it up (with the earth on which it lies), together
with the bushes upon which there is blood; they go to put
them down opposite to the entrance of the other man's hut (the
hut of the man who, killed the springbok).
With regard to the |kaoken bones, from which the children
(breaking them) eat out the marrow, they also collect them together;
they go to put them down opposite to the entrance of the other
With regard to the shoulder blade bones, when they have
gnawed them, they put them away in the
[1. One hand.
2. It is blood which lies (lit. "sits") upon
3. They lay the springbok on the bushes.
4. Springbok's bones.]
hut; because they desire that the dogs may not crunch
them; while they feel that the other man (who shot the springbok)
would miss his aim.
They take to the other man (who shot the springbok) the
upper bones of the fore legs, while they intend that the other
man's child shall go (and) eat out the marrow from them; for
the other man was the one who killed the springbok. Therefore
they take to the other man the upper bones of the fore leg. The
shoulder blade bones which they gnaw, they put away in the sticks
of the hut, they are those into which they put them.
They out off the back of the springbok's neck, they take
it to the other man (who killed the springbok); while they boil
the springbok's back, they gnaw its bones, together with the
tail, which they wish the wife to put away, that the wife may,
rubbing, make soft for him bags, that he may go to get things,
when he bartering goes to another man; he goes to give them to
another man, when the wife has rubbed, making soft for him, springbok
skin bags. The wife rubs, making them soft for him; he folds
them up, he lays them into (his own) bag, and he goes to the
They (the man and his wife) go, to give them to the other
man; and the other person (that is, the other man's wife) also
gives her (the first man's wife) tto, which is red; she also
gives some ||hara with the tto, because the other one (the first
man's wife) gave the other bags.
Then, the man also gives to the other man his own bags,
he who is the man, his own bags. And the
[1. In a paper published in teh Westminster Reveiw (New
Series, no cvii, July 1878, ii. "The Mythology and Religious
Worship of the Ancient Japanese"), it is stated that the
Japanese used the shoulder blade of a deer for the purpose of
divination; and that Pallas found a similar practice among the
Kirghiz, by whom the shoulder blade of a sheep was employed.
[In Staffordshire, also, sixty years ago, the shoulder
blade bone of a sheep was believed to possess the power of fortelling
the future - ED.]
2. For a little further inforination regarding tto and
||hara see IX.-237.]
other man also gives him arrows; because he (the man who
brought the bags) wishes that the other man may give him in exchange
poisoned arrows, that the other man may give him in exchange
poison (i.e. poisoned arrows). 'Therefore, the other man gives
him in exchange poison.
TREATMENT OF BONES BY THE NARRATOR'S GRANDFATHER,
Thus my grandfather (Tsatsi) was one who put away (in the
sticks of the hut) the upper bones of the fore leg, and the shoulder
blades, and the springbok's ||khurken; because the first finger
(of our right hand) is apt to get a wound when we are shooting,
if the dogs eat the springboks' ||khu||khuruken, our first finger
has a wound; we do do not know how to manage with it, when we
pull the string as we are shooting.
Therefore, we sew our first finger into a cover(?) (it
is skin which has been rubbed and made soft), which the wife
cuts out, she sews it for us; we put our finger into it; and
then we pull the (bow-) string, while we feel that our finger
is inside. We are shooting, when we lie in wait for the springbok.
Then it is that our finger gets a wound, when we shoot, lying
in the screen of bushes, while the springbok come up to tis as
we lie, because the springbok are not a little numerous, when
we have gone by night (among tliem, making a shelter behind which
to shoot). Therefore, this male springbok, he comes out from
this place, he walks, coming up to us, we shall shoot (him).
He runs away, he goes to lie down (to die), while we lie inside
the screen of bushes which we have made.
HOW THE FATHER-IN-LAW OF THE NARRATOR TREATED BONES.
"Dream" was the one who threw bones upon a heap;
therefore, I did so, while I felt that I had married into them
(i.e. into the family).
I threw the bones upon a heap, (and gave the shoulder blade
bones to the dogs, while I felt that my father-in-law, Dream,"
was the one who did thus. Therefore, Smoke's Man" (the son
of "Dream") does the same.
TACTICS IN SPRINGBOK HUNTING.
This man [who stands at 5], he has ostrich feathers upon
sticks. Therefore, he sticks (into the little bushes) a large
stick with ostrich feathers (upon it) here [at 6], because he
wants it to look like a man who stands, so that the spriugbok
may see it, when they go towards the (lesser) feather brushes.
For, the springbok would (otherwise), turning back, pass behind
him, when he was driving the springbok for the other people,
the springbok would, turning back, pass behind him, at the place
[1. The !Xui!Xui are three in number; of these he sticks
two (a longer and a shorter) into the ground at 6 and 7; the
smallest of the three he holds in his hand, waving it over his
head to make the springbok afraid of him. He had been calling
the springbok; but is now silent; because the springbok have
come into the curve of the feather brushes.
2. (He) drives the springbok, that they may run in among
the other people. He does not a little run along, for, he passes
the foremost springbok, while he desires that the springbok may
not pass by on one side of the man who came to lie on this side.]
had stood, calling them. He runs forward from it. Therefore,
he sticks in a feather brush at it [at 6]. He goes, also to stick
in a little feather brush, which is short [at 7]; while he intends,
with the little feather brush which is very small to drive the
springbok, as he wishes that the foremost one may run, passing
through, may run passing by the man who lies between [at 9];
he is the one to whom he (the man who drives the springbok) intends
the foremost to run. Therefore, the springbok do thus, when
this man shoots the springbok which follows the leading one,
they divide nicely; because, the 'springbok which was following
the other turns aside, it darts aside, while the springbok which
had been following it turns aside [in an opposite direction],
while they, springing aside, divide at the noise of the arrow
on the other one's skin, that and (the noise of) the feathers,
which went so quickly.
[1. [At 8 is] the man who lies...; the inan who lies to
leeward. He lies "with a red head".]
VIII. Personal History.
||KABBO'S CAPTURE AND JOURNEY TO CAPE TOWN.
I came from that place, I came (here), when I came from
my place, when I was eating a springbok. The Kafir took me; he
bound my arms. We (that is, I) and my son, with my daughter's
husband, we were three, when we were bound opposite to (?) the
wagon, while the wagon stood still. We went away bound to the
Magistrate; we went to talk with him; we remained with him.
We were in the jail. We put our legs into the stocks. The
Korannas came to us, when our legs were in the stocks; we were
stretched out(?) in the stocks. The Korannas came to put their
legs into the stocks; they slept, while their legs were in the
stocks. They were in the house of ordure(?). While we were eating
the Magistrate's sheep, the Korannas came to eat it. We all ate
it, we and the Korannas.
We went; we ate sheep on the way, while we were coming
to Victoria; our wives ate their sheep on the way, as they came
We came to roll stones at Victoria, while we worked at
the road. We lifted stones with our chests; we rolled great stones.
We again worked with earth. We carried earth, while the earth
was upon the handbarrow. We carried earth; we loaded the wagon
with earth; we pushed it. Other people walked along. We were
pushing the wagon's wheels; we were pushing; we poured down the
earth; we pushed it back. We again loaded it, we and the Korannas.
Other Korannas were carrying the handbarrow. Other people (ie.
Bushmen) were with the Korannas; they were also carrying earth;
while the earth was upon the handbarrow. They again came to load
the handbarrow with earth.
We again had our arms bound to the wagon chain; we walked
along, while we were fastened to the wagon chain, as we came
to Beaufort, while the sun was hot. They (our arms) were set
free in the road. We got tobacco from the Magistrate; we smoked,
going along, with sheeps' bones. We came into Beaufort jail.
The rain fell upon us, while we were in Beaufort jail.
Early (the next) morning, our arms were made fast, we were
bound. We splashed into the water; we splashed, passing through
the water in the river bed. We walked upon the road, as we followed
the wagon, while the wagon went first. We walked, following the
wagon, being bound, until we, being bound, came to the Breakwater.
On the way, we ate sheep as we came to the Breakwater; we came
(and) worked at it.
A white man took us to meet the train in the night. We
early sat in the train; the train ran, bringing us to the Cape.
We came into the Cape prison house when we were tired, we and
the Korannas; we lay down to sleep at noon.
My wife was there; I was there; my son was there; my son's
wife was there, while she carried a little child (on her back);
my daughter was there, while she also carried a little child;
my daughter's husband was there; we were like this (in number).
Therefore, the Kafirs took (lit. "lifted") us, when
we were like this, while we were not numerous; the Kafirs took
us, while we were not numerous.
We went to sit in the wagon; the Kafirs took us away, as
we sat in the wagon. Our wives also sat in the wagon. They got
out of the wagon; they walked upon their feet. The wagon stood
still; we got out of the wagon; we lay down, when we had first
made a fire. We roasted lamb's flesh; my son)s wife roasted a
springbok, which I had killed with my arrow. We smoked; we lay
down. The day broke; we made a fire; we smoked early in the morning.
Then, we left them, we went away to the Magistrate; while
we (who were in the wagon) ran along, we were upon the road,
while our wives walked along upon their feet. We ran, leaving
them, while we altogether ran, leaving them.
[1. Kafir police are probably meant here.]
Then we went to talk with the Magistrate; the Magistrate
talked with us. The Kafirs took us away to the jail at night.
We went to put our legs into the stocks; another white man laid
another (piece of) wood upon our legs. We slept, while our legs
were in the stocks. The day broke, while our legs were in the
stocks. We early took out our legs from the stocks, we ate meat;
we again put our legs into the stocks; we sat, while our legs
were in the stocks. We lay down, we slept, while our legs were
inside the stocks. We arose, we smoked, while our legs were inside
the stocks. The people boiled sheep's flesh, while our legs were
in the stocks.
The Magistrate came to take our legs out of the stocks,
because he wished that we might sit comfortably, that we might
eat; for, it was his sheep that we were eating. Katteng ("Piet
Rooi") came (and) ate with us of the Magistrate's sheep,
while we were eating it; also another man, Khabbi-ddau; also
They again put their legs into the stocks; they slept,
while their legs were in the stocks. Other Korannas also came,
they came into another house, another "jail's house."
||KABBO'S JOURNEY IN THE RAILWAY TRAIN.
I have said to thee that the train (fire wagon) is nice.
I sat nicely in the train. We two sat in (it), we (I) and a black
A woman did seize my arm; she drew me inside, because I
should have fallen, therefore she drew me in. I sat beside a
black man; his face was black; his mouth (was) also black; for
they are black.
White men are those whose faces are red, for they are handsome.
The black man he is ugly, thus his mouth is black, for his face
The black man then asked me: "Where dost thou come
from?" I said to the black man: "I come from this place."
The black man asked me: "What is its name?" I said
to the blackman: "My place is the Bitterpits."
||KABBO'S INTENDED RETURN HOME.
Thou knowest that I sit waiting for the moon to turn back
for me, that I may return to my place.
[1. From Mowbray to Cape Town and back.]
That I may listen to all the people's stories, when I visit
them; that I may listen to their stories, that which they tell;
they listen to the Flat Bushmen's stories from the other side
of the place. They are those which they thus tell, they are
listening to them; while the other !Xoe-ssho-!kui (the sun) becomes
a little warm, that I may sit in the sun; that I may sitting,
listen to the stories which yonder come (?), which are stories
which come from a distance. Then; I shall get hold of a story
from them, because they (the stories) float out from a distance;
while the sun feels a little warm; while I feel that I must altogether
visit; that I may be talking with them, my fellow men.
For, I do work here, at women's household work. My fellow
men are those who are listening to stories from afar, which float
along; they are listening to stories from other places. For,
I am here; I do not obtain stories; because I do not visit, so
that I might hear stories which float along; while I feel that
the people of another place are here; they do not possess my
stories. They do not talk my language; for, they visit their
like; while they feel that work's people (they) are, those who
work, keeping houses in order. They work (at) food; that the
food may grow for them; that they should get food which is good,
that which is new food.
The Flat Bushmen go to each other's huts; that they may
smoking sit in front of them. Therefore, they obtain stories
at them; because
[1. With the stories of their own part of the country too.
2. ||kabbo explains that a story is "like the wind,
it comes from a far-off quarter, and we feel it."]
they are used to visit; for smoking's people they are.
As regards myself (?) I am waiting that the moon may turn back
for me; that I may set my feet forward in the path. For, I
verily(?) think that I must only await the moon; that I may tell
my Master (lit. chief), that I feel this is the time when I should
sit among my fellow men, who walking meet their like. They are
hstening to them; for, I do think of visits; (that) I ought to
visit; (that) I ought to talk with my fellow men; for, I work
here, together with women; and I do not talk with them; for,
they merely send me to work.
I must first sit a little, cooling my arms; that the fatigue
may go out of them; because I sit. I do merely listen, watching
for a story, which I want to hear; while I sit waiting for it;
that it may float into my ear. These are those to which I
am listening with all my ears; while I feel that I sit silent.
I must wait (listening) behiiad me, while I listen along the
road; while I feel that my name floats along the road; they (my
three names) float along to my place; I will go to sit at
it; that I may listening turn backwards (with my ears) to my
feet's heels, on which I went; while I feel that a story is the
wind. It (the story)
[1. When a man intends to turn back, he steps turning (?)
round, he steps going backwards.
2. The people's stories.
3. ||kabbo explains that, when one has travelled along
a road, and goes and sits down, one waits for a story to travel
to one, following one along the same road.
4. "Jantje," |uhi-ddoro, and ||kabbo.
is wont to float along to another place. Then, our names
do pass through those people; while they do not perceive our
bodies go along. For, our names are those which, floating, reach
a different place. The mountains lie between (the two different
roads). A man's name passes behind the mountains' back; those
(names) with which he returning goes along. While he (the man)
feels that the road is that which lies thus; and the man is upon
it. The road is around his place, because the road curves. The
people who dwell at another place, their ear does listening go
to meet the returning man~s names; those with which he returns.
He will examine the place. For, the trees of the place seem to
be handsome; because they have grown tall; while the man of the
place (||kabbo) has not seen them, that he might walk among them.
For, he came to live at a different place; his place it is not.
For, it was so with him that people were those who brought him
to the people's place, that he should first come to work for
a little while at it. He is the one who thinks of (his) place,
that he must be the one to return. ,
He only awaits the return of the moon; that the moon may
go round, that he may return (home), that he may examine the
water pits; those at which he drank. He will work, putting the
old hut in order, while he feels that he has gathered his children
together, that they may work, putting the water in order for
him; for, he did go away, leaving the place, while strangers
were those who walked at the place. Their place it is not; for
||kabbo's father's father's place it was.
[1. ||kabbo explains that the people know all the man's
And then ||kabbo's father did possess it; when ||kabbo's
father's father died, ||kabbo's father was the one who possessed
it. And when ||kabbo's father died, ||kabbo's elder brother was
the one who possessed the place; ||kabbo's elder brother died,
(then) ||kabbo's possessed the place. And then ||kabbo married
when grown up, bringing ||kabba-ang to the place, because he
felt that he was alone; therefore, he grew old with his wife
at the place, while he felt that his children were married. His
children's children talked, they, by themselves, fed themselves;
while they felt that they talked with understanding.
Therefore, they (||kabbo's children) placed huts for themselves;
while they felt that they made huts for themselves; they made
their huts nicely; while my hut stood alone, in the middle; while
they (my children) dwelt on either side. Because my elder brother's
child (Betje) married first, they (my own children) married afterwards;
therefore, their cousin's child grew up first; while she (the
cousin) felt that she married, leaving me; she who, from afar,
travelling came to me; because
[1. |hang#kass'o (son-in-law of ||kabbo) gave in July,
1878, the following description of ||kabbo's place, ||gubo, or
People (that is Bastaards) call it "Blauwputs"
while they feel that its rocks are black; for, they are slate.
||kabbo's place is ||gubo; and he altogether went round,
he, possessing, went along at the place; thus, he possessed !khui-tteng
and ||Xau-ka-!khoa. He possessed ||Xuobbeten (a certain water
pool); and, he, altogether possessing, went along, he possessed
Therefore, he dug out (at) ||ka-ttu [the name of a place
near ||gubo]. He dug, making a (deep) pitfall (for game), there.
Therefore, an ostrich was slaughtered at that pitfall, because
my father-in-law's pitfalls were surpassingly good ones.
2. The word @puondde here means both ||kabbo's son and
I was the one who feeding, brought her up. Her father was
not the one who liad fed her. For, her father died, leaving her.
I was the, one who went (and) fetched her, when her mother had
just died; I brought her to my home. As I felt that I had not
seen her father die, I also did not see her mother die; for,
her mother too, died, leaving her; I only heard the story.
And then I went to fetch her (Betje), while I felt that
I was still a young man, and I was fleet in running to shoot.
And I thought that she would get plenty of food, which 1 should
give her. She (would) eat it. She (would) eat with my (own) child,
which was still (an only) one. And then they would both grow,
going out from me (to play near the hut); because they both ate
my game ("shot things"). For, I was fresh for running;
I felt that I could, running, catch things.
Then I used to run (and) catch a hare, I brought
[1. The father was killed by some one who was angry with
him, while he himself was not angry; he had been visiting at
anothr house, and had slept five nights away from home. A man
who was at that place where his wife lived, gave the child food,
but it still cried after its own father. The man was angry witht
the father, because he had stayed away from his wife, ||kabo
says, and because the child still cried for him. And, when the
father had returned, and was sleeping by the side his wife, in
his own hut, the man came behind the hut in the very early morning,
and stabbed him as he slept, with a Kafir assegai, which had
be bought at Wittberg. As he lay dead in the hut, the rest (including
his wife) left him, by the advice of the murderer.
2. The mother died afterwards of some internal sickenss;
she was not buried, because, at the time of her death, she only
had a younger sister with her, who was suffering from the same
illness. The latter went away with difficulty, taking the dead
mother's child to a relative's hut, not near at hand. From the
relative's but, the fire of |kabo's dwelling could be seen at
night. She proceeded thither with the child, and was met by him
midway. Before he got the child, he had seen the dead mother's
bones lying at her hut, her body having just been eaten by jackals.
||kabo had gone off from his home in baste, hearing that the
wife's sister was ill, and fearing that she might die on the
way, and the child, yet living and playing about, might be devoured
by jackals. He left his own home early one morning, and in the
evening reached the spot where the mother's bones lay. He made
a hut at a little distance, and slept there one night, and the
next morning went to fetch the child at the relation's hut; but
the sister met him with it on the road. He slept at the newly-made
hut, to which he returned with the child, for one more night,
and then went back to his own home.]
it to my home, while it was in my bag, while the sun was
hot. I felt that I had not seen a springbok. For, I saw a hare.
I used to shoot, sending up a bustard. I put it in(to the bag)
(and) brought it home. My wife would come to pluck it, at home.
She boiled it in the pot; that we might drink soup. On the morrow
I would hunt the hare, I would be peeping about in the shade
of the bushes. I would shoot it up, that the children might
eat. For, the springbok were gone away. Therefore, I was shooting
hares, that I might chasing, cause them to die with the sun,
when they had run about in the noonday's sun. They were "burnt
dead" by the sun; while I remembered that the hare does
not drink; for it eats dry bushes, while it does not drink, putting
in water upon the dry bushes which it crunches. Therefore, it
remains thirsty there, while it does not drink. It dwells, sitting
in the summer (heat), because it does not understand water pans,
so that it might go to the water, so that it might go to drink.
For it waits, sitting in the sun.
Therefore, I chase it, in the sun, that the sun may, burning,
kill it for me, that I may eat it, dead from the sun; while I
feel that I was the one who chased it, while it went along in
fear of me. It, in fear, lay down to die from the sun; because
it had become dry (while running about) in the sun; because it
saw me when I followed it. It did not stop to walk, that it might
look backwards. For it had run about, when it was tired.
[1. i.e., make it spring up from its form and run away,
falling down dead later.]
It seemed as if it were about (?) to die; because it had
been obliged to run about. Therefore, it went to lie down to
die; because fatigue had killed it; while it had run about in
the heat; for, (it) was the summer sun, which was hot. The ground
was hot which was burning its feet.
Therefore, I used to go to pick it up, as it lay dead.
I laid it in the arrows' bag. I must, going along, look for another
hare. It would spring up (running) into the sun; it would, being
afraid, run through the sun, while I ran following it. I must,
going along, wait, so that the sun might, burning, kill it. I
would go to pick it up, when it lay dead. I would sitting, break
its (four) legs, and then I should put it in. I thought that
another hare would probably dwell opposite to it. I must first
go to seek round in the neighbourliood of the form. For it seemed
to be married. I must, seeking around, look for the female hare,
that I might also chase it, when I had unloosened (and) laid
down the bag. I must chase it, with my body. I must run very
fast, feeling that I should become thirsty.
I shall go to drink at home. For the children will have
probably fetched water. For, my wife (was) used to send them
to the water, thinking that I had walked about in the sun when
the sun was hot; because I thought that |kui would kill the
[1. Water which is in an ostrich eggshell.
2. In the ostrich eggshells, and probably also in a springbok's
3. Also called "gambro"; a vegetable food eaten
by Bushmen; which is injurious if used as the chief nourishaient
in winter, causing severe pain in the head and singing in the
children for me. The rain must first fall, and then, I
should be looking around, while I looked around, seeking for
(a pair of) ostriches which are wont to seek the water along
the "Har Rivier", that they may, going along, drink
the water. I must, going round in front, descend into the "Har
I must (in a stooping position) steal up to them in the
inside of the river bed. I must lie (on the front of my body)
in the river bed; that I might shoot, lying in the river bed.
For, the western ostriches do, seeking water, come back; that
they may, going along, drink the new water.
Therefore, I must sit waiting for the Sundays on which
I reinain here, on which I continue to teach thee. I do not again
await another moon, for this moon is the one about which I told
thee. Therefore, I desired that it should do thus, that it should
return for me. For I have sat waiting for the boots, that I must
put on to walk in; which are strong for the road. For, the sun
will go along, burning strongly. And then, the earth becomes
hot, while I still am going along halfway. I must go together
with the warm sun, while the ground is hot. For, a little road
it is not. For, it is a great road; it is long. I should reach
my place, when the trees are dry. For, I shall walk, letting
the flowers become dry while I still follow the path.
Then, autumn will quickly be (upon) us there; when I am
sitting at my (own) place. For, I shall not go to other places;
for, I must remain at my (own) place, the name of which I have
told my Master; he knows it; be knows, (having) put it
[1. When he is sitting at his own place.]
down. And thus my name is plain (beside) it. It is there
that I sit waiting for the gun; and then, he will send the gun
to me there; while he sends the gun in a cart; that which running,
takes me the gun. While he thinks, that I have not forgotten;
that my body may be quiet, as it was when I was with him; while
I feel that I shoot, feeding myself. For, starvation was that
on account of which I was bound,starvation's food,- when I starving
turned back from following the sheep. Therefore, I lived with
him, that I might get a gun from him; that I might possess it.
That I might myself shoot, feeding myself, while I do not eat
my companions' food. For, I eat my (own) game.
For, a gun is that which takes care of an old man; it is
that with which we kill the springbok which go through the cold
(wind); we go to eat, in the cold (wind). We do, satisfied with
food, lie down (in our huts) in the cold (wind). It (the gun)
is strong against the wind. It satisfies a man with food in the
very middle of the cold.
HOW |HANG#KASS'O'S PET LEVERET WAS KILLED.
|Xabbi-ang killed (my) leveret for me, and I came crying
to her, because I wanted them therefore to seek for (other)
leverets; for they were those who had killed (my) leveret for
me. And she soothed
[1. The narrator's mother.
2. i.e. his mother and his maternal grandmother #kammi.]
me, about it. Therefore, she told me that the lizard had
I therefore intend to go,
guru-|na's pass. -
I therefore intend to go,
Tsatsi was the one who caught hold of (and) took up
a leveret on the hunting-ground; and, he brought it (home) alive,
he came (and) gave it to me. And I played with it; I set it down,
it ran; I also ran after it. And I went to catch it, and, I came
to set it down. It again ran; and I again ran to catch it; and
I went catching hold of it, I came to set it down. Again, it
ran; and, I again ran after it. And I again caught hold of it;
and again, I caught hold of it; and I came to set it down.
|Xabbi-ang wished that I (should) leave off playing with
the leveret, that I (should) kill it, that 1 (should) lay it
to roast. I was not willing to kill the leveret. She wished me
to leave off playing with the leveret, that I (should) kill it,
that I might lay it to roast. I was not willing to kill the leveret,
because I felt that nothing acted as prettily as it did, when
it was gently running, gently running along. It did in this manner
(showing the motion of its ears), while it was gently running
along, nothing acted as prettily as it did; and it went to sit
[1. The narrator's maternal grandfather.]
Then they told me to fetch water; for I was one who quickly
came away from the water, while I did not go to play at the water.
Therefore, I went to fetch water, when I had tied up the leveret.
And I went to fetch water; then, they killed (my) leveret for
me, while I was at the water. They killed (my) leveret for me;
and then I came (and) cried, about it; because I had thought
that they would let (my) leveret alone. For, they must have been
deceiving me; they told me to fetch water, while they must have
intended that they would kill (my) leveret for me, which I had
meant to let alone, so that it might live (on) in peace. They
had killed it for me. Therefore, I came (and) cried, on account
of it. They said, that we should not again get another leveret;
when I wanted them to seek some leverets for me, they said, we
should not again get another leveret.
Therefore, they soothing calmed(?) me with the (story of
the) lizard; while they wished that I might quietly listen to
them; when I had shut my mouth, I might quietly listen to them.
When the rain fell upon us at night, I did thus, while
the rain fell, I lay, playing the "goura", like
[1. She (my mother) said (to me), that I should not play
with meat; for we do not play with meat; for we lay meat to roast.
For the leveret is not a little fat; therefore, we kill it, we
lay it to roast, while we do not play with it.
[2. A description of this musical instrument will be found
on p. 100 of "The Native Races of South Africa", by
the late Mr. G. W. Stow (London, 1905), and a picture of it in
the preceding plate (fig. 8).]
||kunn. And mamma said to me, did I not see how the
rain was lightening; that I did like ||kunn; did I not know that
||kunn was a person who used, if people scolded him, he used,
(when) he was angry with the people, to say to the people, about
it, that the people seemed to think that the rain would fall;
but (on the contrary) the rain would stand still, while the rain
did not fall. The rain -used really to stop; when ||kunn had
said that the rain would not fall.
When mamma rebuked me, I did not listen to her, for, I
lay, playing the "goura", like ||kunn. And mamma became
silent; when she saw that I did not seem as if I heard her. And
mamma lay down; I lay, playing the "goura".
And the rain did thus, as I lay, playing the "goura"
, the rain first seemed to shine into our eyes. And the rain
did thus, (when) we were thinking that it was going to lighten
and it seemed as if the rain were closing our eyes, when it was
the light that entered. our eyes; we stood shutting our eyes,
while we felt as if darkness kept our eyes closed. And when we
had not (yet) opened our eyes, the rain gave us things on account
of which our eyes seemed as if they were green; and the rain
lightened, while our eyes felt green.
And the rain, lightening, went over us; and the rain did
as follows to a stone which stood outside, in front of our hut,
the rain, lightening, shivered it.
And mamma exclaimed: "Ng ng ng ng ng!" And father
questioned mamma, as to what was the matter
[1. ||kunn or "Coos Groot-Oog " was a rain sorcerer,
wbo lived at !khai |ku (also called "Evvicass Pits",
on account of a tree which stands by the Pits).]
with her; had the rush of the storm reached her that
she exclaimed as if in pain? And mamma told father about it,
that ) the thing seemed as if the rain were tearing off her skin;
therefore, she had exclaimed with pain. And mamma said that we
had wished to fall dead; it was our fault that we had not been
willing to obey her when she rebuked us about a very little thing.
We had wanted to see (what would happen) when we did not appear
to hear when she rebuked us.
I had acted thus, when mamma told me to leave off playing
the "goura",-like ||kunn, - I would not listen; I was
the one who saw that the rain had intended to kill us, on account
of my doings.
[1. The narrator compares this to the wind from a cannon
IX. Customs and Superstitions.
CUTTING OFF THE TOP OF THE LITTLE FINGER, AND
PIERCING EARS AND NOSE.
A little boy has this hand out. A female child has this
hand cut, because she is a little girl, therefore, she has
the hand of her female arm cut; because this is her female hand.
The little boy feels that he is a little boy, therefore, he has
this hand cut, his male arm, for, they shoot with this hand.
Another boy does not have his hand cut; another girl does not
have her hand cut.
Thus, the boy has this arm cut, with which they intend
him to shoot; therefore, he turns this (the right) hand, when
be grasps the arrow, he turns this (the left) hand, when he grasps
Another man has this (the right) ear pierced; he also has
that (the left) ear pierced. Another woman has this (the left)
ear pierced, because she feels that her female arm is here (ie.
on this side); she also has this (the right) ear pierced, because
she feels that her male arm is here; she also has her nose pierced.
Another woman does not have her nose pierced, because the
other woman is ugly; the other woman who has had her nose pierced,
[1. Showing the top joint of the little finger of the right
2. Showing the top joint of the little finger of the left
CUTTING OFF THE TOP OF THE LITTLE FINGER.
Her father, |Ukwaiyau, was the one who cut off the upper
joint of his daughter Kaueten-ang's little finger.
My husband was the one who cut off (the upper joint of)
!kabbe-tu's ("Willem Streep's") finger.
The Bushmen's letters are in their bodies. They (the
letters) speak, they, move, they make their (the Bushmen's) bodies
move. They (the Bushmen) order the others to be silent a man
is altogether still, when he feels that his body is tapping (inside).
A dream speaks falsely, it is (a thing) which deceives. The presentiment
is that which speaks the truth; it is that by means of which
the Bushman gets (or perceives) meat, when it has tapped.
[1. |Xaken-ang further explained that the joint is cut
off with reed. It is thought to make children live to grow up.
It is done before they suck at all.
2. The above piece of Bushman native literature is described
by Dr. Bleek as follows: "99. Bushman Presentiments.-They
feel in their bodies that certain events are going to happen.
There is a kind of beating of the flesh, which tells them things.
Those who are stupid, do not understand these teachings; they
disobey them, and get into trouble,-such as being killed by a
lion, etc.-The beatings tell those who understand them, which
way they are not to go, and which arrow they had better not use,
and also warn them, when many people are coming to the house
on a wagon. They inform people where they can find the person
of whom they are in search, i.e., which way they must go to seek
him successfully." ("A Brief Account of Bushman Folk-lore
and other Texts." By W.H.I. Bleek, Ph.D. Cape Town, 1875.
pp. 17 and 18.)]
The word !gwe was ased by the Bushmen to denote both letters
and books. ||kabbo explained that the beatings in their bodies,
here described, are the Bushman's "letters", and resemble
the letters which take a message or an account of what happens
in another place.]
The Bushmen perceive people coming by means of it. The
Bushmen feel a tapping (when) other people are coming.
With regard to an old wound, a Bushman feels a tapping
at the wound's place, while the tapping feels that the man (who
has the old wound) walks, moving his body. The one man feels
the other man who comes; he says to the children: "Look
ye around, for grandfather, for grandfather seems to be coming;
this is why I feel the place of his body's old wound." The
children look around; the children perceive the man coming. They
say to their father: "A man is coming yonder." Their
father says to them: "Grandfather (his own father) comes
yonder; he would come to me; he was the one whose coming I felt
at the place of his old wound. I wanted yon to see that he is
really coming. For ye contradict my presentiment, which speaks
He feels a tapping (at) his ribs; he says to the children:
"The springbok seem to be coming, for I feel the black hair
(on the sides of the springbok). Climb ye the Brinkkop standing
yonder, that ye may look around at all the places. For I feel
the springbok sensation." The other man agrees with him:
"I think (that) the children (should) do so;
[1. The Bushman, when an ostrich is coming and is scratching
the back of its neck with its foot, feels the tapping in the
lower part of the back of his own neck; at the same place where
the ostrich is scratching.
The springbok, when coming, scratches itself with its horns,
and with its foot; then the Bushman feels the tapping.
2. When a woman who had gone away is returnitig to the
house, the man who is sitting there, feels on his shoulders the
thong with which the woman's child is slung over her shoulders;
he feels the sensation there.]
for the springbok come in the sun; for the Brinkkop standing
yonder is high; they shall look down upon the ground. And then
they can see the whole ground. They can therefore (?) look inside
the trees; for the springbok are wont to go hidden inside the
trees. For the trees are numerous. The little river beds are
also there. They are those to which the springbok are wont to
come (in order) to eat in them. For, the little river beds have
become green. For I am wont to feel thus, I feel a sensation
in the calves of my legs when the springbok's blood is going
to run down them. For I always feel blood, when I am about to
kill springbok. For I sit feeling a sensation behind my back,
which the blood is wont to run down, when I am carrying a springbok.
The springbok hair lies behind my back." The other agrees
with him (saying): Yes, my brother.
Therefore, we are won t to wait (quietly); when the sensation
is like this, when we are feeling the things come, while the
things come near the house. We have a sensation in our feet,
as we feel the rustling of the feet of the springbok with which
the springbok come, making the bushes rustle. We feel in this
manner, we have a sensation in our heads, when we are about to
chop the springbok's horns. We have a sensation in our face,
on account of the blackness of the stripe on the face of the
springbok; we feel a sensation in our eyes, on account of
the black marks on the eyes of the springbok. The ostrich is
one, for whom we feel the sensation of
[1. i.e., the grass and the little bushes of the river
2. A black stripe that comes down in the centre of the
forehead, and terminates at the end of the nose.]
a louse; as it walks, scratching the louse; when it
is spring, when the sun feels thus, it is warm.
Then it is that the things go from us. They go along, passing
opposite to the hut. Therefore, we early cross the things' spoor,
when we early go to hunt. For, the things which are numerous
are us, to come first, when we are lying in the shade of the
hut; because they think that we are probably lying asleep in
the noonday's sleep. For we really lie down to sleep the noonday's
sleep. But we do not lie sleeping at noon, when we feel this
sensation. For we are used to feel like this when the things
are walking; when we have felt the things coming, as they walk,
moving their legs. We feel a sensation in the hollows under our
knees, upon which blood drops, as we go along, carrying (the
game). Therefore, we feel this sensation there.
Therefore, the little boys do not lie in the shade inside
the hut; they lie in the shade above yonder, so that they may
beckon to us, when they have perceived the things, when the things
walk at that place. They will beckon, making us see; for we are
wont, sitting at a distance, to watch them, as they sit above
yonder. Therefore, we say to each other, that the children appear
to have seen things. For, they beckon. They point to that place,
while they point to the place towards (?) which the things are
walking, where the Brinkkop, mountains lie thus spread out (?).
So we may quickly chase
[1. An insect which bites the ostrich, a black insect;
an "ostrich louse" as the Bushmen describe it.
2. ||kabbo explains that ||gu means "de bloem tijd."]
the things at the hill which lies across, to which the
things are walking. The things walk, putting themselves in front
of it; we will quickly pass behind it, while it still lies
away (from the springbok). We will stand nicely (ready) for the
things, that we may not steal up abreast of the things, (but)
that we may steal up in front of the things, at the place
to which the leader goes.
DOINGS AND PRAYERS WHEN CANOPUS AND SIRIUS COME
The Bushmen perceive Canopus, they say to a child: "Give
me yonder piece of wood, that I may put (the end of) it (in the
fire), that I may point (it) burning (towards) grandmother, for,
grandmother carries Bushman rice; grandmother shall make a little
warmth for us; for she coldly comes out; the sun shall warm
grandmother's eye for us."
Sirius comes out; the people call out to one another: Sirius
comes yonder; they say to one another Ye must burn (a stick)
for us (towards) Sirius." They say to one another: "Who
was it who saw Sirius?" One man says to the other: "Our
brother saw Sirius." The other man says to him:
[1. That is, putting their faces towards the mountain.
2. That is, not at the side of the game as it goes along,
but right in front of its path.
3. The Bushmen are at the back of the hill, waiting for
the springbok to cross it, coming to the place where they (the
4. The sun is a little warm, when this star appears in
I saw Sirius." The other man says to him: "I
wish thee to burn (a stick) for us (towards) Sirius; that the
sun may shining come out f or us; that Sirius may not coldly
come out." The other man (the one who saw Sirius) says to
his son: "Bring me the (small) piece of wood yonder, that
I may put (the end of) it (in the fire), that I may burn (it)
towards grandmother; that grandmother may ascend the sky, like
the other one, Canopus."
The child brings him the piece of wood, he (the father)
holds (the end of) it in (the fire). He points (it) burning towards
Sirius; he says that Sirius shall twinkle like Canopus. He sings;
he sings (about) Canopus, he sings (about) Sirius; he points
to them with fire, that they may twinkle like each other.
He throws fire at them. He covers himself up entirely (including
his head) in (his) kaross and lies down.
He arises, he sits down; while he does not again lie down;
because he feels that he has worked, putting Sirius into the
sun's warmth; so that Sirius may warmly come out.
The women go out early to seek for Bushman rice; they walk,
sunning their shoulder blades.
[1. ||Ukoa-ggu, "Canopus," and !kuttau, "
Sirius," are both female stars, ||kabbo says.
2. With the stick that he had held in the fire, moving
it up and down quickly.
3. They take one arm out of their kaross, thereby exposing
one shoulder blade to the sun.]
THE MAKING OF CLAY POTS.
The women dig, removing the earth which lies above, lif
ting it away; and they only dig out the earth which is inside
there. And they scoop it out; they put it into the bag. And they
sling it (the earth) over their [left] shoulder, they take it
And, as they return, they go along plucking grass, they
only pluck the male grass; they bind it together. And they take
it to the hut.
And they pound the pot (clay), pound (it), making it
soft. And they pound the grass, they also pound, making the
grass soft. And they put the grass into the earth; and they make
the earth wet. And they make the earth wet, and they make the
earth very nice indeed, and they mould
[1. The earth resembles stones which contain things which
seem to glitter. Hence, the earth of which the people make a
pot contains things, which are like them (i.e., like the said
glittering particles). The earth is red,
The earth to which the people go, to dig it out, is red.
They call it "a pot's hole", because they dig, making
a stick's hole, there. Therefore, they call it "a pot's
2. The earth of which they make the pot.
It is earth; it is dry; the people pound it (when) it is
dry. And they sift it, sift out the earth which is soft. And
they pour down the earth which is hard [to be pounded again at
another time]. With regard to the soft earth, they pour it out
upon a skin [a whole skin, which has no holes in it, a springbok
3. Pound, making it like sand. (They) put it upon a skin.
4. They work it; they work, making a pot of it.]
the earth. And, when they have made the lower part of the
pot, they, holding, break off the clay, they rub the clay between
their hands. They put the clay down (in a circle). And they smooth
the clay very nicely indeed; they moulding, raise (the sides
of) the pot. And they smooth it, smooth it, smooth it, make it
very nice indeed, they set it down to dry (in the sun). And
they make a little pot which is small, beautiful beyond comparison.
They anoint the pot with fat, while they wish the pot not to
split. Therefore, they anoint the pot with fat, while the pot
is still damp, when the pot has just newly dried, the pot's inner
part (the inner layers, not the inside) being still damp; because
they wish the pot to dry when it has fat upon it (inside and
out). And they set the pot (in tile sun) to dry; they make a
little pot; they make it very nicely indeed. They set the little
pot to dry (in the sun) by the side of the large pot; and they
take the other part of the clay; they make it also wet. They
mould it; they mould it very nicely indeed; they set it down.
They also make another little pot, a little pot which is larger
(lit. "grown"). And they set it to dry (in the sun).
When the pot dries, they also prepare gum; they pound it (between
stones); they pound it, they pound, making it fine. They take
it up in their hand (and) put it into the pot; and they
[1. This is done with a piece of bone called !kau or !au
(See IX.-185, and also illustration.)
2. (They) wish that it may become dry.
3. The berries (lit. "the eyes") of the "Doorn
Boom" are black (i.e. "black gum"). The people
call them the dung of the "Doorn Boom", because they
come out of the stem of the !khou tree.
4. A white gum, called !gui, seems also to be found on
pour in water [into the new pot]. It [the gum] boils while
they feel that gum is that which adheres, it resembles |kwaie.
And if springbok are at hand, a man kills a springbok,
they pour the springbok's blood into (its) stomach, and the man
brings back the blood he takes the blood home.
And the wife goes to pour the blood into the new pot. And
she boils the blood; and, when the blood is cooked, she takes
the pot off the fire, she takes the blood out of the pot (with
a springbok horn spoon), and she sets the pot down; because she
wishes the blood [ie., the blood remaining in the pot] to dry.
And she again takes the pot, and she pours water into
(it), she boils meat.
And, also, they do not strike with a stone, when a new
pot is on the fire, because they wish it not to split.
[1. They smear the pot outside [with gum taken out with
the spoon, made from springbok horn, with which they stir the
gum which is boiling inside], while they wish this gum to adhere
to the outsicle of the pot.
2. A man works at springbok's arrows, making them straight.
A woman moulds pots.
3. |hang#kass'o further stated that his wife, Ssuobba-||keng,
had been taught to make pots by |Xu-ang (an elder sister of her
mother, !kuabba-ang), and also by |Xu-ang (another elder female
relative on the maternal side).
3. To break bones (with a stone). The Bushmen do this because
they do not possess an axe. They place a bone upon a stone which
stands upon the ground, while they hold a stone which has a sharp
edge, they strike with it; strike, dividing the bone because
they intend to boil it, that they may gnaw it.]
THE BUSHMAN SOUP SPOON.
The hair of the Proteles is here, that part of the hair
which is on the top of its back. The roots of the hair are
here, those which stick into the skin.
I do not know whether it is springbok's paxwax [which
binds the hair on the stick]. This is the (wood of the) "Driedoorn"
(the "Driedoorn") is a bush.
We scratch the fire together with it (i.e., with the handle
of the brush). Therefore, the fire burns, blackening this part
of it. It becomes black.
THE SHAPED RIB BONE.
A bone (it) is; a rib (it.) is; a Bushman is the one who
makes it. He works it; he shapes it with a knife.
"Kambro" is that which we eat (with) it.
[1. Among some Bushman implements given to Dr. Bleek. by
a friend, was the brush of which a picture appears in the illustrations.
||kabbo recognized this at once as a Bushman "soup spoon"
and showed us, with immense pleasure, in what manner the bushmen
eat soup with it, and how well it can be used to take up the
fat on the top of the soup, if rolled round in it.
2. The men are those who bind (i.e., make) them.
3. Really along its back, the narrator explains.
4. It is in the flesh; it lies upon the bone. It is yellow.
5. see illustration.
6. He works two ribs, with a knife.]
THE BUSHMAN DRUM AND DANCING RATTLES.
They tie, putting the bag over the pot's (drum's) mouth.
Then they tie on the sinew. And they pull the drum's siirface
tight; for they wish that the drum may sound, when they beat
The men will tie springbok ears upon their feet; they
will dance, while the springbok ears sound, as springbok ears
are wont to do, like what we call dancing rattles. Springbok
ears (they) are; we call them dancing rattles. They sound well,
when we have tied (them) on to our feet. They sound well, when
we have tied (them) on to our feet. They sound well, they rattle
as we dance, when we have tied (them) on to our feet. The drum
which the women beat sounds well. Therefore, the men dance well
on account of it, while they feel that the drum, which the women
beat, sounds well. The dancing rattles which the men tie upon
their feet sound well, because a woman who works nicely is the
one who has worked them. Therefore, they sound nicely, beeause
they are good. Therefore, they sound nicely, because they are
[1. For a drawing of the dancing rattles see illustration.
2. A springbok's bag. They wet the skin of the springbok's
thigh; then, when it is wet, they tie it over the pot's mouth
and they try the drum.
3. Their insteps.]
HOW THE DANCING RATTLES ARE PREPARED.
A woman takes off the skin of the springbok's ear; and
then, she sews the inner skin of the springbok's ear, when she
has laid aside the (hairy) skin of the springbok's ear; for it
is the inner skin of its ear which she sews. And she sews it,
and she scoops up with her hand, putting soft earth into it.
And they dig, lading in earth, because they wish that the springbok
ears may dry; that they may put in ||kerri berries when they
have taken out the earth. And then they tie on a small piece
of sinew at the tip of the springbok ear, which was open, while
they tie shutting in the ||kerri berries, so that the ||kerri
berries may not come out of the springbok ear. And they pierce
through the springbok ears; and they put in little threads, which
the men are to tie, fastening the springbok ears on their feet.
THE USE OF THE !GOING!GOING, FOLLOWED BY AN ACCOUNT
OF A BUSHMAN DANCE.
The people beat the !going!going, (in order) that the bees
may become abundant for the people, (in order)
[1. The hairy skin.
2. The top of this plant is described as being like that
of a pumpkin. Its seeds are black, and small. They are found
underneath the flower, which is red. The root is roasted and
eaten by the Bushmen. The seeds are also eaten, unroasted; being,
when dry, pounded fine by the women with stones, and mixed with
"Kambro" in order to moisten them for eating.
3. The narrator explains that the springbok ears, when
thus prepared and filled, are tied, in fours or fives, on to
the top of each foot (on the instep), letting the men's toes
appear below them.
4. To become abundant.]
that the bees may go into the other people's places, that
the people may eat honey. Therefore, the people beat the !going!going,
when they desire that the people's bees may go into the other
people's places, so that the people may cut honey, that they
may put honey away into bags.
And the people carry honey. And the people, carrying, bring
the honey home. And the people take honey to the women at home.
For, the women are dying of hunger, at home. Therefore, the men
take honey to the women at home; that the women may go to eat,
for they feel that the women have been hungry at home; while
they wish that the women may make a drum for them, so that
they may dance, when the women are satisfied with food. For they
do not frolic when they are hungry.
And they dance, when the women have made a drum for them.
Therefore, the women make a drum for them; they dance. The men
are those who dance, while the women sit down, because they clap
their hands for the men when the men are those who dance; while
one woman is the one who beats the drum; while many women are
those who clap their hands for the men; because they feel that
many men are dancing.
Then, the sun rises, while they are dancing there, while
they feel that they are satisfied with food. Then, the sun rises,
while they are dancing there, while they feel that the women
are satisfied with food. Therefore, the sun shines upon the backs
[1. That the women may play for them, when the women are
satisfied with food; that the women may also arrange the (game
of) !goo for them, that they may roar.]
their heads; while the women get the dust of the drum.
Then the men are covered (?) with dust, while the dust of the
drum lies upon the women's faces, because the women are accustomed
to sit down there; therefore, the dust of the drum lies upon
the women's faces. Because they (the men) do not dance a little,
for they dance very much. Therefore, their foot's dust covers
the women's faces; because they have danced strongly. Therefore,
they get their foot's dust, which rises up from their feet, it
rises up among them, as they stand dancing. They dance, standing
around, while the women are those who sit down, while the men
are those who dance, standing around.
Therefore they sleep, letting the sun set; because they
are tired when they have been dancing there; while the women
leave off drumming. Therefore they sleep, letting the sun set;
because they are tired when they have been dancing there. Therefore,
they sleep, letting the sun set; because they are tired when
they have been dancing there. The place becomes dark, as they
sleep there, because they are tired, when they have danced there.
Therefore, morning is (the time) when they send the children
to the water, that the children may dip up (water) for them,
that they may drink; for they are thirsty. Therefore, the children
go early to dip up (water) for them, at the break of day, so
that they may come to drink. For they are
[1. The men are those, on the backs of whose heads the
sun shines (literally, upon "the holes above the nape of
2. They sleep at noon, because the women had bound on the
drum for them, when the sun had just set.]
thirsty. They are aware that they are tired. Therefore
it does not seem as if they will be those to send the children
to the water; for they feel at first that they are still tired.
Therefore, it does not seem as if they will be those to send
the children to the water. Because they are still sleeping there
for a while; because they are still tired. Therefore, they do
not seem as if they will be those to send the children to the
water. Therefore, when they awake, they send the children to
the water; when they feel that they have had their sleep out.
Therefore, they awake. And then they send the children to the
water. They speak to the children, they thus say to the children,
that the children must quickly bring them water, that they may
quickly come to drink. For they are thirsty.
PREPARATION OF THE FEATHER BRUSHES USED IN SPPLINGBOK
They roll the feather brushes, binding the ostrich feathers
(the body feathers) upon the "Driedoorn" stick. They
become numerous; and they (the Bushmen) pound red stones,
they paint, the feather brush sticks. And they make ready
the (dried) skin of a springbok's chest; they thread little thongs
[1. I used to see my grandfather (Tsatsi) roll the feather
2. The red stones here meant, are ||ka; not tto. At the
"Philadelphia Exhibition," in November, 1875, Dia!kwain
recognized red hæmatite as ||ka.
3. Paint them red.
4. Thongs (they) are. The "children of thongs"
(they) are. The Korannas call them !Ya.]
into (it); and they put away the feather brushes. They
put away the feather brushes; they dig ||kuain, they roast
(the stem of) the ||kuain, they lay the feather brushes over
the ||kuain's smoke, while the ||kuain's smoke ascends into the
First, they dig [with a stick pointed with horn], making
a little hole; they put live coals into it. And they put ||kuain
upon the live coals, while they wish that the ||kuain may smoke
quietly, and not flame up; for the ||kuain would set the feather
brushes on fire, if the fire were to flame up, if they (the stems)
flamed up, when roasted.
They (the Bushmen) put the springbok skin over (the
fire); they put a stone upon the place where the feather brush
sticks are for they intend that the smoke should only go out
through the ostrich feathers.
THE MARKING OF ARROWS.
The Bushmen are those who mark arrows, while they wish
that they may recognize the arrows, when they are shooting springbok
at one place. And, when they are following the springbok spoor,
[1. Its stem is that which the people call ||kuain, because
it does not a little smell. Therefore, the people smoke the feather
brushes with it. The people call the stem of the !Ywa-kau, which
is in the earth, ||kuain.
2. Men dig with sticks which have no stones (upon them);
they are those with which men dig.
3. They turn the skin, into which the feather brushes have
been put, upside down, over the hole into which the live embers
and the ||kuain were put.
4. All the arrows.]
they are going along picking up the arrows they recognize
the arrows. They say: "Thy arrow it seems to be, for, their
mark is like this." Another man says: "Yes, my arrow
is yonder." They again go to pick up this arrow. The other
man says: "My arrow seems to be yonder; for their mark is
|kwae is that with which they make the marks. They put
tto into (it), and they pound the tto together with the ||kuae;
and the ||kuae becomes red on account of it; then, they mark
the arrows with it.
THE ADHESIVE SUBSTANCE USED BY THE BUSHMEN IN MARKING
It is |kwae; it is ||kuarri juice. It is like a pumpkin,
it is round. Its juice is white; it is like water. Its juice
is not a little white; its whiteness resembles milk. It is poison.
We make an incision(?) (and) set it (the ||kuwarri) down;
and then we hold a tortoise (shell) underneath it; because we
wish its juice to be upon the tortoise (shell), that we may make
||kuae of it. And we warm (it) by the fire, making it hot; and
we beat(?) it, when it is hot. Then, we beat(?), cooling it.
And we take it up in this manner, with a "Driedoorn"
stick; we do in this manner to it, with the "Driedoorn"
stick, as we make it round; while we think that we intend to
make little springbok arrows.
[1. They (the farmers) call it "Harpis." (Probably
harpuis, * * * "resin.")
2. The later spelling of this word has been followed in
the translation, as probably more correct.
3. The narrator here imitated the manner of taking lip
the |kwae by means of rolling it upon a stick.]
MODE OF GETTING RID OF THE EVIL INFLUENCE OF BAD
My mother used to do in this manner, when she intended
to go out to seek for food, when sho was about to start, she
took a stone; (and) as she plunged the stone into the ashes of
the fire, she exclaimed: "Rider(?) yonder!" while she
wished that the evil things, about Which she had been dreaming,
should altogether remain in the fire; instead of going out with
her. For, if she did not act in this manner, they would go out
with her. That place to which she went would not be nice; while
she knew that she had dreamt of evil things which were not nice.
Therefore, she acted in this manner; because she was aware that,
if she went out with the dream which she had dreamt, her going
out would not be fortunate.
The Bushman rice which she dug would not be favourable
to her, because it was aware that she had dreamt evil things.
Therefore, the Bushman rice would not be favourable to mamma;
while the Bushman rice was aware that mamma had dreamt evil things;
therefore, the Bushman rice would act in this manner about it.
CONCERNING TWO APPARITIONS.
We buried my wife in the afternoon. When we had finished
burying her, we returned to the home of my sister, Whai-ttu,
and the other people, whence they had come forth. They had come
to bury my wife with me; and we went away, crossing over the
And we perceived a thing, which looked like a little child,
as it sat upon the salt pan, seeming -is if it sat with its legs
crossed over each other.
And my sister, Whai-ttu, spoke, she questioned us: "Look
ye! What thing sits yonder upon the salt pan? It is like a little
child." And !kweiten-ta-||ken [another sister] spoke, she
asked us: "Look ye! Why is it that this thing is truly like
a person? It seems as if it had on the cap which Ddia!kwain's
wife used to wear." And my sister, Whai-ttu, spoke, she
answered: "Yes, O my younger sister! The thing truly resembles
that which brother's wife was like." It did thus as we went
along, it seemed as if it sat looking (towards) the place from
which we came out.
And ||ku-ang spoke, she said: The old people used to tell
me, that the angry people were wont to act thus, at the time
when they took a person away, they used to allow the person to
be in front of us, (so that) we might see it. Ye know that she
really had a very little child, therefore, ye should allow us
to look at the thing which sits upon this salt pan; it strongly
resembles a person, its head is there, ) like a person."
And I spoke, I said: "Wait! I will do thus, as I return
to my home, I will see, whether I shall again perceive it, as
And we went to their home. And we talked there, for a little
while. And I spoke, I said to
[1. Whai-ttu means "Springbok Skin".]
them that they appeared to think that I did not wish to
return (home); for the sun was setting. And I returned on account
of it. I thought that I would go in the same manner as we had
come; that I might, going along, look whether I should again
perceive it, as it sat. Going along I looked at the place, where
it had sat; because of thought that it might have been a bush.
I saw that I did not perceive it, at the place where it had sat.
And I agreed that it must have been a different kind of thing.
For my mothers used to tell me that, when the sorcerers
are those who take us away, at the time when they intend to take
us quite away, that is the time when our friend is in front of
us, while he desires that we may perceive him, because he f eels
that he still thinlis of us. Therefore, his outer skin still
looks at us, because he feels that he does not want to go away
(and) leave us; for he insists upon coming to us. Therefore,
we still perceive him on account of it.
My sister's husband, Mansee, told us about it, that
it had happened to him, when he was hunting about, as he was
going along, he espied a little child, peeping at him by the
side of a bush. And he thought: 'Can it be my child who seems
[1. That part of him (with) which he still thinks of us,
is that with which he comes before us, at the time when the sorcerers
are taking him away; that is the time when he acts in this manner.
For, my mother and the others used to tell me, that they change(?)
(when we die) we do as the last people do, themselves into a
2. My sister, |a-kkumm's husband it was who told us, that
he bad perceived a child who was afraid of him. It wanted to
have run after me? It seems to have lost its way, while
it seems to have followed me.' And Mansse thought: 'Allow me
to walk nearer, that I may look at this child (to see) what child
And Mansse saw that the child acted in this manner, when
the child saw that he was going up to it, that he might see what
child it was, he saw that the child appeared as if it feared
him. The child sat behind the bush; the child looked from side
to side; it seemed as if it wanted to run away. And he walked,
going near to it; and the child arose, on account of it. It walked
away, looking from side to side; it seemed as if it wanted to
And Mansse looked (to see) why it was that the child did
not wish him to come to it; and the child seemed to be afraid
of him. And he examined the child; as the child stood looking
at him. He saw that it was a little girl; he saw that the child
was like a person. In other parts (of it) it was not like
a person; be thought that he would let the child alone. For a
child who was afraid of him was here. And he walked on, while
the child stood looking from side to side. And (as) the child
saw that he went away from it, it came forward (near the bush),
it sat down.
[1. At one time, when he looked at it, it was not like
a person; for, it was different looking, a different thing. The
other part of it resembled a person.]
THE JACKAL'S HEART NOT TO BE EATEN.
They (the Bushmen) feel that a little child is wont to
be timid; therefore, the little child does not eat jackals' hearts;
because the jackal is not a little afraid; for the jackal runs
The leopard is the one whose heart the little child eats;
it which is not afraid; for, a little child becomes a coward
from the jackal's heart, it fears immoderately (?).
Therefore, we do not give to a little child the jackal's
heart; because we feel that the jackal is used to run away, when
it has not (even) seen us; when it has only heard our foot rustle,
it runs away, while it does not look towards (us).
Note added by the Narrator.
He (my grandfather, Tssatssi) had bought dogs from |gappem-ttu,
and |gappem-ttu gave him a dog. And he took hold of the dog,
he tied the dog up; and he took the dog away; holding the thong
with which he had tied up the dog. He at first kept the dog tied
up; and, when the dog had slipped his thong(?), he put it upon
the scent(?), and the dog killed jackals.
He (my grandfather) skinned the jackals; and my grandmothers
dressed the jackals' skins; they dressed them, they sewed them.
He again(?) killed(?) a jackal and an Olocyon Lalandii,
he brought them (home), he skinned them.
And he made a kaross for |gappem-ttu, a jackals' kaross,
while he put on the Otocyon kaross, the Otocyon skin.
And he took the kaross to |gappem-ttu, the jackals' kaross,
while he felt that |gappem-ttu was the one who had given him
the dog. Therefore, he made a kaross for i|gappem-ttu; while
be made for |gappem-ttu an equivalent(?) for the dog; therefore,
he gave the kaross to |gappem-ttu, and |gappem-ttu also gave
him a pot, while he rewarded (?) my grandfather for the jackals'
kaross. And my grandfather returned home.
Then my grandfather used to act in this manner, when he
was boiling a jackal, he said: "Thou dost seem to think
that we eat jackals' hearts? for, we become cowards (if we do
so)." Therefore, we did not eat the jackals' hearts.
For, my grandfather used not to eat the jackal; he only
boiled the jackal for his sons.
||HARA AND TTO.
||hara is black; the people [having mixed it with fat]
anoint their heads with it; while tto is red, and the people
rub their bodies with it, when they have pounded it; they pound
it, pound it, pound it, they rub their bodies with it. They pound
||hara, they anoint their heads, when they have first
[1. A certain stone which is said to be boith hard and
pounded the tto; they first rub their bodies with tto.
And they pound ||hara, they anoint their heads. They anoint their
heads very nicely, while they wish that their head's hair may
descend (ie., grow long). And it becomes abundant on account
of it; because they have anointed their heads, wishing that the
hair may grow downwards, that their heads may become black with
blackness, while their heads are not a little black.
And they return, when they come away from the other man,
while they return to their home; when they have told the other
person (the woman) about it, that the other person shall prepare
[More] ||hara for them, as well as tto. For he (the man) also
goes, (his) wife will go to dress bags for him, bags which he
will also bring to the other man; while the other (man's wife)
will also put aside ||hara for him, when the other (man) collects
||hara. And the other (man) comes to put aside ||hara for him;
while she [the wife of the man who brought the bags] also dresses
(and) puts away bags for the other; for, she has told the other
(woman) that the other must also bring her ||hara and tto; for
she has been to the other, and she will not be coming (soon again)
to the other, for, the other must go to her; the other must go
to receive the bags, when the other takes tto to her. Therefore,
the other one also does so; she takes to the other tto and ||hara.
||hara sparkles; therefore, our heads shimmer, on account
of it; while they feel that they sparkle, they shimmer. Therefore,
the Bushmen are wont to say, when the old women are talking there:
"That man, he is a handsome young man, on account of his
head, which is surpassingly beautiful with the ||hara's blackness."
They say, "Handsome young man" to him, "His head
is surpassingly beautiful; for, his head is like the !khi tree.
It is a tree which is in our country; it is the !khi tree;
it is large; (it) is a great tree. They are not a little abundant
in our country: the ||Ukerri tree and the khi.
HOW TTO IS OBTAINED.
Tto is in the mountain, the tto mine; the people say that
the tto mine is on the side of the mountain, the people say 'tto
mine' to it.
The people are afraid of it [that is, of the sorcerers
who live by the mine], because the people are aware that people
are there (sorcerers). They (the sorcerers) make a house there.
Theref ore, the people who intend to pound tto, rub themselves
when they (go to) collect tto. And when they go to the tto, they
throw stones at the tto mine, when they wish the sorcerers to
bide themselves, that they may go undisturbed to work at the
tto, while they feel that the sorcerers dwell at the tto mine.
Therefore, they take up stones, they throw stones at the tto
mine, when they wish the sorcerers to hide themselves, that they
may go in peace to work at the tto. And they go to work at
the tto, tto, tto. They also get ||hara; they put away the
||hara and the tto, and they return home.
[1. The !khi tree bears berries; and has no thorns.
2. The narrator thinks that their houses are small holes,
3. For, they would be ill, if the sorcerers saw them.
4. The ||hara mine [literally, "mouth" or "opening
"] is in a different place; the tto mine is also in a different
SIGNS MADE BY BUSHMEN IN ORDER TO SHOW IN WHICH
DIRECTION THEY HAVE GONE.
They (the Bushmen) are accustomed to act thus, when another
man has gone away (and) does not return, they push their foot
along the ground, if they travel away; and they place grass
near the marks (they have made); and the other man does thus,
when he returns, he comes (and) misses them at the house. He
looks at the house, he looks (and) looks, he perceives the grass
standing upright. And he goes to the grass, he looks at the grass.
Ile also perceives the grass which stands yonder.
And he exclaims: "The people must have travelled away
to the water pool there." And he goes to the water, while
he goes, looking (and) seeking for the people, (to see) whether
the people have gone to dwell at that water.
And, he goes, ascending the water's hill; he sits upon
(it), that he may, sitting, look, look seeking for the huts.
And he perceives the huts, as the huts stand white yondor. He
sits, looking at them; the (smoke of the) fire rises from
the huts, as he sits looking. And he exclaims: "The
[1. They push their foot along the ground.
2. (They) stick grass into the bushes.
3. There are four pieces of grass, at a distance from each
other, in the direction of the place to which the people have
4. (It) is a hill, behind which the water is.
5. All the fires smoke.
6. The fire is outside.]
house must be yonder!" And he arises, he goes to the
house, and, returning, arrives ) at home.
And the other people exclaim: "Our brother must be
(the one who) comes yonder; for, he is the one who walks in this
manner; for, a man of the place (he) is, he knows the water.
He would do thus, when he came past (and) missed the house. He
would come to the water which he knew. For, ye did say that he
would lose his way, when I said that we should travel away.
Ye did say that he would lose his way, when I wished that we
should travel away, although we had not told him about it that
we should travel away; for, the water was gone. Therefore, we
travelled away on account of it."
We are used also to reverse branches. We thus place
them, their green top is underneath, while the stump of the branch
is uppermost. And we again, we go yonder to place that branch.
And we draw our foot along the ground (making a mark), while
we feel that we shall not again go to place another branch; because
we altogether travel away.
Therefore, the other man is wont to do thus, when he returns
home (and) misses the house.
[1. The Bushmen are those who say, ||gwi !k'u, while the
white men are those who say, "verdwall" (i.e. verdwalen,
"to lose one's way").
2. Pierce it into the ground.
3. I feel that I used to see nay grandfather reverse (branches).
4. Four branches (and sometimes five) are said to be used;
the first is placed opposite to the house, the next about fifty
yards distant, the next a little further than that distance,
the next rather more than double the previous distance, and,
then, no more. At the last stick, the foot is drawn along the
ground in the direction of the place to which they go, from the
last stick; which leans in the same direction.]
He looks (about), and he espies a branch; and he exclaims:
"The folk must have travelled away to that little pool,
for, this is why they have reversed (a branch), pointing in the
direction of the place where the water is. I will go down(?)
to the water, that I may go to look for the people's footprints
at the water, at the place to which they seem to have gone to
make a house, (from which) they go to the water." And
he goes to the water, he goes down(?) to the water. And he goes
to look at the water, he espies the people's foot- path, he takes
it, he follows it, follows it along to the house.
A BUSHMAN, BECOMING FAINT FROM THE SUN'S HEAT
WHEN RETURNING HOME, THROWS EARTH INTO THE AIR, THAT THOSE AT
HOME MAY SEE THE DUST AND COME TO HELP HIM.
A man is wont, when returning home, when he feels as if
he should not reach home, he throws up earth (into the air),
because he wishes that the, people at home may perceive the dust.
And the person who is looking out, standing up to look
out,-because she feels that the sun is not a little hot,-she
stands up, she looks
[1. Seeking for food (to dig up) is one thing; making a
house is different: "to dwell at a place."
2. The people's footpath is that which goes along.
3. Dying is that on account of which a person throws up
earth (into the air).
4. (It) is the man's wife; while she feels that (her) husband
has not returned; for, she sees that all the (other) people have
around. And, as she stands looking around, she perceives
the dust, she exclaims: "A person seems to be throwing up
And the people run, run out of the house, exclaiming:
" His heart is that on account of which he throws up earth.
Ye must run quickly, that ye may go to give him water quickly;
for, (it) is his heart; the sun is killing him; (it) is his heart;
ye must quickly go to give him water." While the people
feel that all the people run to the man. They go, pouring (water),
to cool the man with water.
And he first sits up, to remove the darkness from his
face; for, the sun's darkness resembles night.
These are not women's doings; for, men's doings they are.
They (the Bushmen) feel that they chase things, chase
the springbok; and it happens thus when they are tired by running,
the sun is killing them
[1. While she feels that the old man (her father) was the
one who said: "My child! (?) thou art not standing up that
thou mightst look around seeking for (thy) husband. The sun is
really(?) very hot, for it did scorch me as I walked hither;
as if it were not still morning, the sun did scorch me."
2. While they feel that they are numerous.
3. He was lying down, on account of his heart.
4. (To) run after a (wounded) springbok, to run after a
springbok which we have shot. A wounded springbok they call:
" a wounded thing(?)." A springbok, which is not wounded,
they call: "a living springbok."
People who are strong to bear the sun('s heat), they are
those who chase the living (i.e. unwounded) springbok; they run
after them through the sun, and the springbok vomit on account
of it. And they turn the springbok, chasing, take the springbok
to the house.]
when they are tired. Then, they go staggering along, also
(from) fatigue. The fatigue goes out, and they become cool. Then,
they go staggering along, while they go along becoming cool,
when they were previously hot; while they feel that they still
perspire. Therefore, they go along staggering, widle they do
not feel as if they should reach home; therefore, they go to
sit down; they throw up earth (into the air); throw up earth
for the people at home, while they wish that the people at home
may perceive the dust.
The star does in this manner, at the time when our heart
falls down, that is the time when the star also falls down; while
the star feels that our heart falls over. Therefore, the star
falls down on account of it. For the stars know the time at which
we die. The star tells the other people who do not know that
we have died.
Therefore, the people act thus, when they have seen a star,
when a star has fallen down, they say: "Behold ye! Why is
it that the star falls down? We shall bear news; for a star falls
down. Something which is not good appears to have occurred at
another place; for the star tells us, that a bad thing has happened
at another place."
[1. As when something which has been standing upright,
falls over on to its side.]
The hammerkop acts in this manner, when a star has fallen,
it comes; when it flies over us, it cries. The people say:
"Did ye not hear the hammerkop, when the star fell? It came
to tell us that our person is dead." The people speak, they
say that the hammerkop is not a thing which deceives, for it
would not come to our home, if it did not know; for, when it
knows, then it comes to our home; because it intends to come
and tell us about it, namely, that our person has died.
Therefore, mother and the others used,-if they heard a
hammerkop, when it flew, going over us, to say: "Do thou
go (and) plunge in, * * * for I know that which thou camest to
tell me", while mother and the others said that the story,
which it came to tell, should go into the Orange River's water,
where the stars stand in the water. That is the place where its
stories should go in. For mother and the others did not want
to hear the story which it came to tell; for they knew that the
hammerkop does in this manner at the time when a man dies, that
is the time at which it comes to us, it tells us about it, that
the man has died. For, mother and the others used to say,
[1. Of this bird, the Seopus umbrella, or Hammerkop, the
following description is given in "The Birds of South Africa"
by E.L. Layard, Cape Town, 1867, p. 312.
"The "Hammerkop" (literally, Hammerhead)
is found throughout the colony, and all the way to the Zambezi,
frequenting ponds, marshes, rivers, and lakes. It is a strange,
weird bird, flitting about with great activity in the dusk of
the evening, and preying upon frogs, small fish, &c. At times,
when two or three are feeding in the same small pool, they will
execute a singular dance, skipping round one another, opening
and closing their wings, and performing strange antics.'
2. Yak! or Yaak! is the bird's cry, which it repeats twice.]
that the hammerkop is a thing which lives at that water
in which we see all things. Therefore, it knows what has happened;
while it is aware that it lives at the water which is like a
pool, in which we see all things; the things which are in the
sky we see in the water, while we stand by the water's edge.
We see all things, the stars look like fires which burn.
When it is night, when another man walks across, we see
him, as he walks passing the water. It seems as if it were noonday,
when he walks by the water. We see him clearly. The place seems
as if it were midday as we see him walking along. Therefore,
mother and the others said, that, when the hammerkop has espied
in the water a person who has died, even though it be at a distance,
when it knows that (he) is our relative, it flies away from this
water, it flies to us, because it intends to go to tell us about
it, that our relative has died. (It) and the star are those who
tell us about it when we have not heard the news; for they are
those who tell us about it, and when we have heard the hammerkop,
we also perceive the star, we afterwards hear the news, when
we have just perceived them; and we hear the news, wlien they
have acted in this manner towards us.
For, mother and the others used to tell us about it, that
girls are those whom the Rain carries off; and the girls remain
at that water, to which the Rain had taken them, girls with whom
the Rain is angry. The Rain lightens, killing them; they become
stars, while their appearance has been changed. They become stars.
For, mother and the others used to tell us about it, that a girl,
when the Rain has carried her off, becomes like a flower which
grows in the water.
We who do not know are apt (?) to do thus when we perceive
them, as they stand in the water, when we see that they are so
beautiful; we think, 'I will go (and) take the flowers which
are standing in the water. For they are not a little beautiful.'
Mother and the others said to us about it, that the flower-when
it saw that we went towards it,-would disappear in the water.
We should think, 'The flowers which were standing here, where
are they? Why is it that I do not perceive them at the place
where they stood, here?' It would disappear in the water, when
it saw that we went towards it; we should not perceive it, for
it would go into the water.
Therefore, mother and the others said to -as about it,
that we ought not to go to the flowers which we see standing
in the water, even if we see their beauty. For, they are girls
whom the Rain has taken away, they resemble flowers; for (they)
are the water's wives, and we look at them, leaving them alone.
For we (should) also be like them (in) what they do.
Therefore, mother and the others do in this manner with
regard to their Bushman women, they are not willing to allow
them to walk about, when the Rain comes; for they are afraid
that the Rain also intends, lightening, to kill them. For the
Rain is a thing which does in this manner when it rains
[1. #kamme-ang's mother, |abbe-ttu, was the one who formerly
told mamma about the flower which grows in the water; she said
to mamma about it, that mamma seemed to think that she would
not also become a flower, if she did not fear the Rain.]
here, it smells our scent, it lightens out of the place
where it rains. It lightens, killing us at this place; therefore,
mother and the others told us about it, that when the Rain falls
upon us (and) we walk passing through the Rain, if we see that
the Rain lightens in the sky we must quickly look towards the
place where the Rain lightens; the Rain, which intended to kill
us by stealth. It will do in this manner, even if its thunderbolts
have come near us, (if) we look towards (the place where it has
lightened), we look, making its thunderbolts turn back from us;
for our eye also shines like its thunderbolts. Therefore, it
also appears to f ear our eye, when it f eels that we quickly
look towards it. Theref ore, it passes over us on account of
it; while it feels that it respects our eye which shines upon
it. Therefore, it goes over us; it goes to sit on the ground
yonder, while it does not kill us.
THE RELATIONS OF WIND, MOON, AND CLOUD TO HUMAN
BEINGS AFTER DEATH.
The wind does thus when we die, our (own) wind blows; for
we, who are human beings, we possess wind; we make clouds, when
we die. Therefore, the wind does thus when we die, the wind makes
dust, because it intends to blow, taking away our footprints,
with which we had walked about while we still had nothing the
[1. Black, pointed, shining stones, which only come from
the sky when it lightens. They disturb the ground where they
fall. They are called !khwa !kweiten (the Rain's thunderbolts).]
us; and our footprints, which the wind intends to blow
away, would (otherwise still) lie plainly visible. For, the thing
would seem as if we still lived. Therefore, the wind intends
to blow, taking away our footprints.
And, our gall, when we die, sits in the sky; it sits
green in the sky, when we are dead.
Therefore, mother was wont to do thus when the moon lying
down came, (when) the moon stood hollow. Mother spoke, she said:
"The moon is carrying people who are dead. For, ye are those
who see that it lies in this manner; and it lies hollow, because
it is killing itself (by) carrying people who are dead. This
is why it lies hollow. It is not a ||k'auru; for, it is a moon
of badness(?). Ye may (expect to) hear something, when the
moon lies in this manner. A person is the one who has died, he
whom the moon carries, Therefore, ye may (expect to) hear what
has happened, when the moon is like this."
The hair of our head will resemble clouds, when we die,
when we in this manner make clouds. These things are those which
resemble clouds; and we think that (they) are clouds. We, who
[1. Mother, she used to tell me, that it (thus) happens
to us if we sit in the shade when the place is not particularly
warm, when it is (only) moderately warm, (and) we feel that the
summer seems as if it would be hot. We think: 'Allow me to sit
for a little in the shade under the bush; for the sun's eye is
not a little hot; I will sit a little while in the shade;' (then)
we make clouds; our liver goes out from the place where we are
sitting in. the shade, if the place is not hot. Therefore, we
make clouds on account of it. For, when it is really summer,
then we (may) sit in the shade.
2. Possibly, "of threatening."]
not know, we are those who think in this manner, that (they)
are clouds. We, who know, when we see that they are like this,
we know that (they) are a person's clouds; (that they) are the
hair of his head. We, who know, we are those who think thus,
while we feel that we seeing recognize the clouds, how the clouds
do in this mauner form themselves.
A. FEW !KUNG TEXTS.
THE DOINGS OF |XUE ARE MANY.
The works of |Xue are many, and were not one, but many;
and my father's father, Karu, told me about |Xue's doings, for
|Xue's works are numerous.
VARIOUS TRANSFORMATIONS OF |XUE
1. |XUE AS !NAXANE.
(When) the sun rose, |Xue was !naXane; the birds ate |Xue;
|Xue was !naXane. The sun set, (and) |Xue, was |Xue; and lay
down and slept. The night fell, and |Xue lay down, (he) slept;
the place was dark; and the sun rose, and |Xue was another (kind
of) !naXane, a large (kind of) !naXane, which is a tree. And
the night fell, (and) |Xue was not a tree, and was |Xue, and
2. FURTHER CHANGES OF FORM.
The sun rose, and |Xue was a dui; and the sun set, and
|Xue was an Omuherero and lay down; and the sun rose, and |Xue
was |Xue, and went into another country and was a sha'o; and
[1. The flower of the dui is light-coloured; its fruit
is green; another day, (when) its fruit has ripened, its fruit
2. The shao is a tall tree, like the !kuni (palm?).]
set, and |Xue was a Makoba, and lay down; and the sun rose
and |Xue was a |naXane.
3. |XUE AS A ||GUI TREE AND AS A FLY.
The sun set, and |Xue was |Xue, and lay upon the ground,
and slept, was alone, and lay upon the ground and slept. And
the sun rose, and |Xue awoke and . . . and stood up, and saw
the sun,-a little sun,-and was ||gui, and was a tree.
And his wife saw the ||gui, and went to the ||gui, and
went to take hold of a |gui fruit, and the ||gui vanished; and
|Xue was a fly. And his wife laid herself upon the earth, and
cried about the |gui, and died. And |Xue was a fly, and settled
upon the grass. And his wife lay down upon the earth, and
cried about the ||gui
4. |XUE AS WATER AND AS OTHER THINGS. IN HIS OWN
FORM, HE RUBS FIRE AND DIES.
|Xue was water; and the water was (in) the shadow of the
tree. And the wood pigeons ate
[1. (One kind of) !naXane lies upon the earth; another
(kind of) !naXane is a tree. The !naXane are numerous. The fruit
of the tree !naXane is yellowish. The fruit of the tree !naXane
is large; and the ground !naXane fruit is small, and resembles
the |kui fruit, is red, is small, and abundant.
2. And he settled upon the grass, and the grass broke.
The naine of the grass is goo.
3. The ||gui is a tree. People eat the ||gui, the||gui
fruit. People do not put the ||gui into a pot, but eat it raw.
The ||gui has thorns.]
the fruit of the |kui And |Xue was a lizard) and lay in
the dead leaves of the |kui. And (he) saw the wood pigeons, and
was water And the wood pigeons saw the water, and settled
upon the water's edge. And |Xue worked large grass, like reeds,
and it took hold of a wood pigeon. And the wood pigeons came
to drink (lit. to eat) water, and the grass I came near, and
bit the wood pigeon's bill, and the wood pigeon cried out; and
the other wood pigeons flew away.
And |Xue was |Xue and rose up, and took hold of the wood
pigeon, and plucked out the wood pigeon's feathers, and put the
wood pigeon's feathers in his head, and lay upon the ground.
And the water vanished, and he was and put the wood pigeon's
feathers in his head, and lay upon the ground. And (he) put the
wood pigeon's body into the hot embers, and lay down. And continued
to lie down, and arose, and went to take out the wood pigeon's
body from the fire.
And (he) ate the wood pigeon, and heard Ovahereró,
and arose. And went to the Ovahereró, and the Ovahereró
saw him. And he hid himself on the ground. The Ovahereró
came to search for him, to search for him, (and) did not see
him. For (he) was little, and was a |nu-erre; and a little
Omuhereró boy saw the |nu-erre upon a bush, and
[1. This lizard (called also ggoru and nggoru by my !kung
informants and |hai-@pua by |hang#kass'o) appears to be the comnion
2. (He) was not a large (piece of) water, but (?) was a
little water, a water hole.
3. |Xue was a grass which is (called) go, and (is) small;
and bit the wood pigeon. Large grass, which is (called) reeds,
took hold of the wood pigeon; and was |Xue.
4. A (certain) little bird.]
he saw the Ovahereró, and cried out. And was
the Bushman's eye water and fell upon the ground. And he said:
"Ye-he ! Ye-he ! Ye-he ! " And the Omuhereró
heard, and sought for him, sought for him, sought f or him, and
did not see him, and (he, |Xue) flew away.
And (he, |Xue) flew, coming to his mother's country,
and saw his father, and was not a |nu-erre but was |Xue, and
died. And his father went to him, and came to look at him,
and he was dead. And his father went away, and be was not dead,
and was and rose up. He called to his father: My father! O and
his father called to him, and said: "My child! O!"
and he called to his father once, and cried out: "#no! #no!"
and came to his mother's country.
And his father saw him and stealthily approached him. And
he heard his father. And (he) saw his father, and died; and was
a lizard, and lay down, lay down upon the ground.
And his father saw him, and said: "It is my child)|Xue!
for it is not another person, but is iny child; and (he) saw
me, and died. And (he) was rubbing sticks (to make) fire; and
saw me, and died; and is not another person, but is my child,
and is |Xue. For, I went (?) away to my country, and did not
see my child; and to-day,
[1. And (he) cried: "Tsuai! tsuai ! tsuai!" (Two)
Ovahereró children saw him; for be was a |nu-erre.
2. |Xue was a |nu-erre, and cried out. He was not one |nu-erre;
but was many |nu-erre.
3. He was [now] not many |nu-erre, bat was one |nu-erre,
and went to his mother's country.
4. He carried over his shoulder a little bag, the skin
of an antelope, a female antelope's skin.]
I saw my child, and my child was rubbing fire, little sticks'
fire; and my child rubbed fire, and saw me, and died. And
is |Xue; and is not another person, but is |Xue. I am afraid
of my child, for my child is dead.
"I go to my country; and my country is far away, and
(during) many moons I go to my country,
(and) do not see my country; my country is far distant.
And, to-day, I see my child, for my child is and makes fire,
little sticks' fire, and eats |shana, and rubs fire, and his
hands hurt (him), and he cries, and sees me, and dies; for I
am |Xe-||n'u and my child, |Xue, sees me, and dies; and I am
afraid of my child. I go away to my country, my country that(?)
is far distant.
"And my child is another person; I see my child. And
(I) wear in my head wood pigeons' feathers; and my child saw
me, my head with wood pigeons' feathers, many wood pigeon feathers,
for they(?) were two wood pigeons. And, to-day, I am afraid of
my child, and (I) go to my (own) country."
And (he) went to his (own) country; the name of his country
is ||noa; it is a mountain, a large mountain. And he went away
to his (own) country.
[1. The tree's name was |n'au-|kumm; and (he had) two sticks;
the fire stick (i.e., the one which he held in his hands) was
long, small, and long, like a reed. The other (fire) stick lay
on the ground; for he had laid (it) the other stick upon grass;
he rubbed fire, the fire fell upon the grass; and he took up
the fire (i.e., the grass), he blew the fire.
2. Tshana is the name of a tall fruit-bearing tree. The
fruit of it is eaten raw.]
PRAYER TO THE YOUNG MOON.
Hail, Young Moon!
Young Moon! speak to me!
Tell me of something.
Thou must speak to me about a little thing,
That I may eat.
[1: When (?) we see the moon [!nanni elsewhere explained],
we say !ka!karrishe; we sound the male antelope's horn.
We call the small moon !ka!karrishe; (but) women call (it)
THE TREATMENT OF THIEVES.
If a !kung woman steals, her father and her mother being
(still) there, we take hold of her, we give her to her mother
and her father; and they all go away from their place. Her stolen
thing, we take it, we run, we give (it) to the other person,
run to give to the other person the other person's thing. And
we say to the other person: "My wife stole your thing which
is here; your nice thing here, my wife stole. And I have given
(back ) my wife to her father and her mother. For, my wife stole
the nice thing here."
And the other person hears, and objects (saying):
No; kill thy wife." And, we hear, (and) object (saying):
"No; I do not listen to you, and will not kill my wife;
for, my wife has gone away, has gone to her father and her mother;
and is far away; and has gone to her country; and I will not
kill my Wife."
And the others cry, and we hear; and our hearts ache, and
-we go away; we say to the other people: "We go away; come,
that I may kill my wife, kill my father-in-law, kill my mother-in-law,
kill my. . ."
On the day that the woman took the thing, we see the thing,
we take the thing. The woman says to us: "My husband, look
at my nice thing, here, which I stole." And we hear;
and we say:
[1. Another relation.
2. A !kung woman is not afraid.]
"My wife, give me thy thing, that I may look (at it)."
And (we) persuade her; and she takes (it) and gives (it) to us.
And we take (it), and put (it) into our bag; and she cries (saying):
"Give me my thing, oh dear! My husband! give me my thing,
oh dear!" And we refuse (saying): "No, my wife, I will
not listen to thee; for, the other person would kill me; and
I will give the other person the other person's thing. My wife!
I will not listen to thee, for thou dost (try to) persuade me
If a woman steals another person's thing, (and) returns
to her husband, (and) her husband sees the other person's thing,
his heart aches, and be kills her; he altogether kills his wife.
Another man (i.e., his father) says to him: "No; do
not quite kill thy wife." And, he objects (saying): "No;
I object to stealing; and my heart aches; and I will kill my
wife; leave off talking to me; to-day ye must fear me."
A female child, if her mother is dead and the female child
is an only child, goes to another person's hut. Another day,
if she steals, the other person into whose hut she went (to live)
takes her, (and) gives her to the other person, the other (from
[1. Should the father be dead, and the mother alive, the
woman, who stole, is still taken and given back to the latter.
And, should she be an old offender, the mother is said to give
her, through a son, to another person, to be burned to death.
2. He shoots with an arrow, killing his wife; he shoots,
killing his wife with a |nubbo (a particular kind of arrow).
3. Meaning, that he may beat her.]
whom she stole, the other people kill her altogether; (they)
put her in a hut, and burn, killing her with fire; and she dies
altogether; and the other people return home.
They say to the people, to the people who gave them the
girl who stole, they, (who) killed the girl, they say: "We
have burning, killed the girl with fire, put the girl into a
hut, and burning killed the girl. Leave off reproaching us about
the girl." And the. other people object (saying): "No;
we are not scolding you; for, we object (to stealing); for this
girl stole; and we do not scold you; for, we hear, and our hearts
If a man steals, we kill (him), we shoot, killing him (with)
arrows, and do not put him into the fire; but, kill him altogether
with arrows. It is only a woman (whom) we burn, burn, putting
(her) into the fire.
If a child steals, we merely scold the child; and do
not kill the child.
Another day, when the child has grown up, if it steals,
we object, we kill the child; give the child to other persons,
and they kill it altogether.
[1. We fear her name, and do not utter her name; (but)
merely mention her.
We fear the people whom we kill, on account of their spirits.
2. Many arrows, not a single arrow; the arrows of many
persons; many persons shoot at him.
3. For, we respect the stealing of a little child.
4. We fear its name, and call it "child". Those
persons whom we kill altogether, we fear their naraes; we do
not utter their names.]
If another woman comes into our hut (and) her child steals
a thing of ours, (if) her child eats our food, (and) we see,
we take it, and we take its mother, we give them to other people,
(and) the other people put them into the fire, and buria, burn,
killing them with fire; (and) return (and) say to us: "We
have, burning, killed the two people with fire." We hear;
we say: "Yes; we object to stealing." And (we) are
silent. And they say: "We have burnt the two persons;
ye must not scold (us)." Our hearts are glad, and we
sing. And (we) say to them: "We . . . object to stealing;
and fear stealing; and do not steal." And those (who
killed the woman) hear; and (one) says: "Yes."
And we give them a male elephant's tusk; and they go away
to their home. And, another day, they give (it) to the Makoba.
And the Makoba give them one bull, with Indian Hemp; and they
give to us; and we kill, and eat (it) up; and they return to
their home; and we speak nicely to them (saying): "Return
ye to your dwelling; give us Indian Hemp; do not give us the
bull alone; we object to one thing (only); we do not eat one
thing; for, we eat two things." And they hear, and assent
(to us); and they return to their home.
And we eat up the bull; and they say to us:
[1. (They) are not strangers, but, are our other people
(of the same place).
2. It is not many of us, but, one of us (who) speaks to
him (to the other person).
3. Our many hearts are glad.
4. They (are) many.
5. Many other people listen, displeased; and one person
assents, and says: "Yes."]
Ye have eaten up the bull; give us an elephant's tusk."
And we hear; and our hearts are glad. The sun arises, and we
return to our dwelling. And come, telling the other people
who are at our dwelling-our people-we say to them: "Give
ye an elephant's tusk to the people." And the others, who
are our people, hear; and we give them Indian Hemp.
THE FOUR PIECES OF WOOD CALLED |XU, USED FOR
The !kung women respect these things, (they) do not take
hold (of them). Men take hold (of them). A small !kung child,
who is a little girl, does not take hold of this thing; for (she)
respects (it). For, her mother says to her: "This thing,
thou must respect, my mother." And the child listens, (and)
respects the thing; but a little male child does not fear the
thing, (and) takes hold of the thing, (and) carries, carries
the thing to his father.
And his father puts down the thing upon the ground,
and (the child) does not see (or look at) the thing, he goes
away. For his father objects
[1. When we have eaten up the bull, (we) go to their dwelling,
to seek Indian Hemp; and they give us Indian Hemp.
2. The |Xu is a set of four pieces of wood, two "male"
and two "female ". Spoons are also made from the wood
of the same tree. The narrator described it as follows:-
The name of the tree is !ke; and (it) is a food tree; (it)
is not a mere tree. (It is) one tree, (from) which we make the
thing (i.e., the set of !Xu).
By the Makoba, the !Xu is called |nu|num. Their name for
the fruit of the !ke tree is kanzuai.
3. (When putting down) one thing, I say ||ning; (when putting
down) several things, I say ||ning-a.]
(to his looking on, and says): "Go, my father!"
The child laughs, and runs off, goes to his mother, (and) says
to his mother: " My mother! give water." For the child
ran, coining (and) saying to his mother:
Give my father water."
And his mother took water (from the pot) with a gourd(?),
the skin of food; and gave her child water; and her child carried
the (vessel of) water in his hands, carried water to his father.
And the water (vessel) fell, and (the water) poured upon the
ground; and he (the boy) saw, and cried out: "My father!
the water pours down, oh dear! My father! the water pours down,
oh dear!" And his father heard him, and ran, coming to take
hold of him. And (he) beat his child, broke off a little stick,
and beat his child; and the little stick was a shana. And his
son's speech was this (?): "My father! leave off beating
me! oh dear! My father! leave off beating me! oh dear! My father!
leave off striking me! oh dear! My father! leave off striking
me! oh dear!"
And the people took hold of him, his mother came to
take hold of him (saying): "My mother! my child! oh dear!
My mother! my child! oh dear! My mother! my husband is striking
my child, oh dear!"
His (the child's) father came and took (his) quiver, and
drew out an arrow, and put his arrow upon his bow; and the people
(ie., the women) called out. For, he took aim at his wife with
arrows; for his arrows were a |nubbo, and a ||Xi.
[1. (He) caressed (?) his child; for his child was a little
2. (They) were not men, but were women.
3. He aimed at his wife with two arrows (one after the
And his wife cried, and avoided the arrow. And (she) cried;
and his wife's mother cried: "My mother! my son-in-law takes
aim at my daughter with two arrows, oh dear!" And (she)
fell down, and lay upon the ground, and cried; and the people
(many other women) came (and) took hold of her, and said to her:
"Do not cry!" And she refused (saying): "No! my
son-in-law aims at my daughter with two arrows, oh dear!"
And the people took hold of her; and she would not listen to
the people, and refused.
TO BEAT THE GROUND (WITH A STONE).
The !kung beat a stone upon the ground. My father's mother
beat a stone upon the ground. She said: "Fall into the water
! Fall into the water!" And the thing (the lightning?) fell
into the water.
A man does not beat a stone upon the ground. A woman beats
a stone upon the ground.
My (Tamme's) father's mother was Ng-||na. My mother's father
was Little Tamme; and my mother's mother was !karo-||n'a. My
father's father's father was Great Tamme.
SNAKES, LIZARDS, AND A CERTAIN SMALL ANTELOPE,
WHEN SEEN NEAR GRAVES, TO BE RESPECTED.
A snake which is near a grave, we do not kill, for, (it)
is our other person, our dead person, the dead person's snake.
And we do not kill (it); for (we) respect it. And (if, during)
many days, we see it, we do not kill (it); looking (at it), (we)
let it alone.
Another day, (if) we see a lizard, we f ollow the lizard's
spoor; (if) the lizard has gone to the earth (grave?) of our
other person, we respect the lizard, (we) do not kill the lizard,
(we) let the lizard alone.
(When) we see an antelope, an antelope (which is) near
our other person's place, that place where our other person has
died, we respect the antelope; for, the antelope is not a mere
antelope. Its legs(?) seem(?) small, it is the person who has
died, and is a spirit antelope. It is a male antelope; it is
not a female antelope.
A CERTAIN SNAKE, WHICH, BY LYlNG UPON ITS BACK,
ANNOUNCES A DEATH IN THE FAMILY; AND WHICH MUST NOT, UNDER THESE
CIRCUMSTANCES, BE KILLED.
The ||hing (is) a serpent of our country. (If, when)
we strike it, it does in this manner with its belly, it
[1. (When) our "other one", (who) is a man, dies,
he becomes (?) a snake; and his snake is a spirit. A snake bites
him, he dies, he is a snake.
When a woman just dies, the woman has no snake. If a snake
bites a woman, (and) the woman dies, the woman is a snake. If
a woman merely dies, her sprit is a mere spirit.
When a man dies, his "other" is a mere spirit;
his "other" is a snake; near his earth (grave?); and
his mere spirit goes away.
If an elephant kills him, (he) becomes (?) one kind of
snake; (he) is a #ne-ko, and is black; he is not a different
kind of snake; for his heart aches.
2. At the Cape Town Museum, a very small kind of buck (the
name of which the Curator did not know) was recognized as the
|ou by my informants. It had been, I believe, brought from Damaraland
or its neighbourhood.
With regard to the above belief, it may also be mentioned
that, on one occasion, I saw a snake close to the coping of a
burial place; and showed it to !nanni, expecting him to destroy
it. He merely looked at it in rather a strange way, and allowed
it to depart uninjured; saying something about its being near
a grave; which, at the time, I did not clearly understand-ED.
3. A. long, light-coloured snake, which does not bite,
and is timid.
4. That is, turns the under side of its body upwards.]
gives us its belly, we fear it, and go away, and return
home; while (we) do not kill it. For (we) let (it) alone;
and it lies, lies, lies; arises, (and) goes away altogether.
And, another day, (if) we see it (and) it does not give
us its belly, we beat it, we kill it altogether, and throw (it)
altogether away; (we) do not keep (it) [do not eat it].
Another day, (when) it sees us, (as) we approach it, approach
it, approach it, (and) reach it, (and) it gives us its belly,
we are afraid, we do not kill it, we run away.
Another day, we see it, (when) it is in the water-tree
water -we are near it, we think that we will drink water,
we see its body, (when) it is in the water, (and) it sees us,
it quickly(?) goes out of the water, and lies upon the ground.
We think that we will strike it, (and) it gives us its belly,
we turn back, we go away, and it alone lies (there).
And (if) a woman comes (and) the woman sees it, (she) unloosens
(her) skin necklace, and (gently) lays (it) down; and it turns,
and lays its belly upon the earth. And the woman kills it, and
throws it away.
(If) another person dies, (and) we have not heard his news,
(and) we see the ||hing turning its belly towards us, we are
afraid of the ||hing, and cry.
[1. And (we) tell the people who are at home, and say:
"I saw a ||hing, and struck the ||hing; and the ||hing objected,
and gave me its belly; and I was afraid of the ||hing, and did
not kill the |hing. but ran away." And many women hear,
2. And, another day, (when) it lies nicely [not turning
up its belly at us, in a hollow manner, while it lies on its
back], we skin it, and throw away its flesh; and keep its skin;
give the Makoba its skin.
3. Namely, that which is in the hollow of a tree.
4. It sees the woman, it does thus with its belly. It sees
the woman's skin necklace, it is afraid; for the woman has worked
the necklace with plenty of fat; and (it) smells good; its scent
being powerful (lit. "long ", i.e., reaching a long
5. The words ||numm and #nua both mean "news",