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


The women dig, removing the earth which lies above, lifting it away; and they only dig out the earth[1] 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 home.

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),[2] pound (it), making it soft.[3] 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[4]

[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 hole".

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 skin].

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[1] 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).[2] 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 the 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;[3] 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 this tree.]

pour in water [into the new pot]. It [the gum] boils while they feel that gum is that which adheres,[1] 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 [i.e., the blood remaining in the pot] to dry.

And she[2] again takes the pot, and she pours water into (it), she boils meat.

And, also, they do not strike with a stone,[3] 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 outside 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.]


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