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Specimens of Bushman Folklore, by W.H.I. Bleek and L.C. Lloyd, [1911], at


Thou knowest that I sit waiting for the moon to turn back for me, that I may return to my place.

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,[1] 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.[2] 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.[1] 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.[2] These are those to which I am listening with all my ears; while I feel that I sit silent. I must wait (listening) behind me,[3] while I listen along the road; while I feel that my name floats along the road; they (my three names)[4] 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.[1] 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 names.]

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.[1] 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[2] 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 Blauwputs."

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 |unn.

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 daughter.]

I was the one who feeding, brought her up. Her father was not the one who had 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,[1] I also did not see her mother die; for, her mother too, died,[2] 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 I 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 another 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 with 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 sickness; 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 hut, 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,[1] 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 neighbourhood 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.[1] For the children will have probably fetched[2] 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[3] would kill the

[1. Water which is in an ostrich eggshell.

2. In the ostrich eggshells, and probably also in a springbok's stomach.

3. Also called "gambro"; a vegetable food eaten by Bushmen; which is injurious if used as the chief nourishment in winter, causing severe pain in the head and singing in the ears.]

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 Rivier".

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 remain 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.

Next: How |Hang#Kass'o'S Pet Leveret Was Killed.