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EDITED BY THE WORKING COMMITTEE OF THE SOUTH
AFRICAN FOLK-LORE SOCIETY.
Semper novi quid ex Africa.
VOL. II.-PART III.
Bushman Folk-lore, I. ...
The Son of the Wind ...
The Wind ... ...
From the Rev. L. Dahle's
Specimens of Malagasy
The Lost Sons (or Children)
Rafotsibe and Ikotofetsy
and Imahaka ..
The manner in which Ikoto-
fetsy and Imahaka came
by their death... .
"A True Story .. ..
South African Art ... .
... ...... 39
Related by /han 0 kass'o... .39
Translated by Miss Cameron ... 44
Contributed by the REv. William
Murray (of Ugie) 49
An extract from a letter received
from Mr. C. S. Orpen 51
DARTER BROTHERS AND WALTON.
Subscribers to the Journal issued by the South African Folk-lore
Socitky whose subscriptions for 1879 have not yet been paid, are
requested kindly to remit them to the Treasurer, 'Mr. Advocate
Innes, St. George's Chambers, Cape Town.
(Contributed by a member of the Working Committee of the South
African Folk-lore Society.)
The following translations of two short pieces of Bushman
folk-lore are here given in accordance with a wish to this
effect which has been expressed from Europe. As no type
as yet exists in South Africa by which the Bushman lan-
guage can be suitably represented in print, it is not possible,
on the present occasion, to give the original texts side by
side with the translations. The latter have, however, been
made with the assistance of the narrator, and adhere
as closely as practicable to the original;-the slightly
varied repetitions which occur in the original text having
usually been retained, at the risk of wearying the reader, so as
to convey a more faithful representation of the style. The
narrator of the following pieces, a Bushman, named /han-
: kass'5, from the so-called Bushmauland to the South of the
Orange River, is the son-in-law of Dr. Bleek's excellent old
Bushman Teacher, l/kahbo, now dead.
THE SON OF THE WIND.
(Related by l/ha;n kass'o.')
The wind t was formerly still. And he rolled (a ball) to
jhanfIkass'o had the above story from his mother, Ixabbi-an,
daughter of Tsd-tsi and :Zcammi.
t The narrator explains that the Son of the Wind is here meant.
!n--ka-ti. He, exclaimed, Oh !nd-ka-ti! there it
goes !" And !nd-ka-ti exclaimed, Oh comrade! there
it goes!" because !nd-ha-ti did not know his (the other
one's) name. Therefore, nd-ka-ti said, Oh comrade !
there it goes He who was the wind, he was the one who
said, Oh !nd-ka-ti there it goes "
Therefore, !na-ha-ti went to question his mother about
the other one's name. He exclaimed, Oh Our mother !
Utter for me yonder comrade's name; for, comrade utters
my name; I do not utter comrade's name. I would also
utter comrade's name when I am rolling (a ball) to him.
For, I do not utter comrade's name; I would also utter
his name, when I roll a ball to him." Therefore, 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 ;t 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 scamper away, thou must run lome, that
"The Young Wind," explains the narrator, blew, while the Young
Wind felt that its parents seemed formerly to have blown; for, they
were the wind. Therefore, they blew. For (my) people were not
those who talked to me about the Wind's parents ; for, they merely
talked to me about the Young Wind."
0 The name of !nd-kca-ti my informant appears to be unable to ex-
plain, as well as the two names of the Wind's Son, which are given
later. It seems, however, probable (for reasons which it would take
too long to state here) that the two latter names may bear reference
They possessed a hut, probably a mat hut; -the hut was small.
+ i.e., make a strong shelter of bushes over the mat hut,
thou nayst come into the hut, whilst thou feelest that the
wind would blow thee away."
Therefore, the child went away; 'they (the two children)
went to roll (the ball) there. Therefore, he (!na-ka-ti)
again went to his mother, he again went to question his
mother, about the other one's name. And his mother ex-
claimed, lerriten-! kuan-!ktan it is ; gau-! gaubu-ti it is.
He is /erriten-! khan-! k an; he is gau-! gaubu-ti, he is
Ierriten-! kuan-! ky.an."
Therefore, !na-ha-ti went away. He went to roll (the
ball) there, while he did not utter the other one's name,
because 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, whilst thou feelest that the wind would
blow thee away."
Therefore, na-ka-ti went away. They went to roll (the
ball) there, while the other was the one who uttered his
(! na-ka- ti's)name ; while he felt that he (!na-ka-ti) intended
that his father might first finish sheltering the hut, and
(when) he beheld that his father sat down, then he would,
afterwards, utter the other one's name, when he saw that his
father had finished sheltering the hut.
Therefore, whenhe beheld that his father finished sheltering
the hut, then he exclaimed, There it goes Oh lerriten-
!kuan-!kuan! there it goes! Oh !gau-! gaubul-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 flat ground. Therefore
the people's huts vanished away; the wind blew away 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* (i.e., of the wind's hut); his
mother came 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 upright.
Therefore, the wind became still; while the wind had,
at first, while it lay, made the dust rise. Therefore, we
who are Bushmen, we are wont to say, The wind seems to
have lain down, for, it does not gently blowf=it blows very
strongly). For, when it stands (upright), then it is wont to be
still, if it stands ; for, it seems to have lain down, when it feels
like this. Its knee is that which makes a noise, if it lies
down, for, its knee does make a noise. I had wished that it
might be gently blowing for us, that we might go out; that
we might ascend yonder (hill), that we might look at yonder
(dry) river-bed behind (the hill). For, we .have driven
away the springbok from this place. Therefore; the
springbok have gone to yonder (dry) river-bed, behind (the
hill). For, we have not a little shot springbok here (i.e.,
at this place); for, we have shot, letting the sun set, at the
(Related by \han =* kass'&.)
The wind was formerly a person. He became afeathered
things (i.e., a bird). And he flew, while he no longer walked
Her hut had remained standing, while it felt that they themselves
were the wind.
t The wind's son is meant here.
$ "The wind was formerly a person ; he became a feathered thing.
Therefore, he is tied up in stuff." The word /Xi, here translated
stuff," is used by the Bushmen in conversation with Europeans to
indicate cloth, calico, &c., &c., and the narrator explains that the skin
of the wind is that which they (here) call !Xi.
as formerly; for, he flew, and he dwelt in the mountain
(that is, in a mountain hole). Therefore, he flew. He was
formerly a person. Therefore, he formerly rolled (a ball)
he shot; while he felt that he was a person. He became a
feathered thing; and then, he flew, and he inhabited a
mountain hole. And he was coming out of it, he flew
about, and he returns home to it. And he comes to sleep
in it; and he early awakes (and) goes out of it; he flies
away; again, he flies away. And he again returns home,
while he feels that he has sought food. And he eats, about,
about, about, about, he again returns home. And he, again,
comes to sleep in it (that is,'in his hole).
[That this curious belief (i.e., 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.
//g6" ka kui (i.e., Smoke's Man," the only son of //kabbo's,
and brother to the narrator's wife) saw the wind, when a
child, at mountains at a place called by the Bushmen
=ko6iia, and by Europeans, Haarfontein." Believing it
to be only a certain kind of bird (the Bushman name for
which is kuerre-!z uerre, he threw a stone at it. And the
wind burst, blew very hard, and raised the dust, because
he (//g6o-ka-! kui) had intended to throw a stone at it. The
wind had (previously ?) intended to fly away. It went into
a mountain hole, and burst, blowing very hard. The
boy, being afraid, and unable to see his master's sheep for
the dust, went home, and sat under the hut's sheltering
bushes, wishing that the dust might settle; and the sheep
returned by themselves. The narrator (who has himself
acted as shepherd) adds, that "Africander" sheep will do this,
but not the Va'rland sheep, which remain where they
THE LOST SONS (OR CHILDREN) OF GOD.
\(Translated from the Rev. L. Dahle's Specimens of Mlalagasy Folk-lore,
by Miss Cameron-.)
This is a tale which was common to the ancients long ago,
when they met together for conversation. The Sons of
God, said they, descended upon this earth. And Rakoriaho
and Ravao were their nurses. And these sons of God were
Lost, and could not be found, both they and their nurses.
And all things whatsoever sought them; whether the stones
that were below the ground, or the trees that pervaded the
earth, or the people who dwelt upon the earth, and the
water and the beasts. Likewise the living creatures and
the things without life,-each and all sought them,-for
the son's of God were lost. Nevertheless, they were not
found by any one of them all. And so they sent to inquire
of God. And when the messenger was come, God spake,
saying, Let each one stop in his way." And some of the
stones. had gone 'searching down below the ground, and
pieces of the trees that had. also been buried in the ground
(while searching) happened accidentally to meet the word
of God, saying, Stop ;" and this, it is said, is the reason
why there are some stones below the ground; and the trees,
with roots in the earth, and stems appearing to view ; but,
if the. roots and the stems separate, the trees are dead.
[Hence, portions of trees found under the surface of the
groind.t] And the people, moreover, it is said, dispersed
o[The original of this is entitled NY ZAAIK' ANDRIAMANITRA VERY,
and is found on pp. 267 and 268 of Specimens of Malagasy Folk-
lore," edited by the Rev. L. Dable, of the Norwegian Mission in
Madagascar (Antananarivo, 1877), forming No..28. of the therein-con-
tained Angano na Arigi (Legends or Fables). This and the two fol-
lowing translations have been made with Mr. Dahle's permission.]
t [The above words in brackets have been added by the translator,
who did not like to depart from the original in the translation itself,
but feels sure that this is the meaning of the "ancients."]
themselves, going north and west and south, seeking ; and
finally going east. (Hence, it is believed, some pray look-
ing eastward.) And that is the reason why men have been
scattered abroad in different lands. And God also spoke,
saying, Let not the name Rakoriaho fall from your lips "*
(from this, it is said, arose the greeting to strangers, Akory
hianao, i.e., How are you ? "); and the idea is as if to say,
" Is Rakoriaho there ? And dogs were protectors of
Ravao; and God spoke yet again, saying, "Let not the
name Ravao fall from your lips." That is the reason of
-dogs always saying V6v6 (barking); and the idea of this also
is as though one should say, Is Ravao there ? And the
cause of the sons of God being lost, was connected with
the waters. And God spoke thus unto the waters, Ye
shall find no rest by day or by night until Rakoriaho and
Ravao are found." And, for this reason, the waters go on
day and night, still seeking for Rakoriaho and Ravao, for,
it is they who are the nurses of the sons (or children) of
RAFOTSIBE AND IKOTOFETSY AND IMAHAKA.
(Translated from the Rev. L. Dahle's Specimens of Malagasy Follc-lore,
by Miss Cameron.t)
There was an old woman (Rajotsibe),,who tended sheep
E[This, from the context, would appear to mean, Let not the name
Rakoriaho be disused among you." Although the translator has not
herself met with a native bearing the name Rakioriaho, the name of the
other nurse, Ravao, is, this lady informs us, as common "among the
Malagasy, as "Mary" among the English.]
-- The Malagasy original of the above-given translation occurs on
46 FOLK-LORE JTOU-RNAL.
in a certain dell ; and it is said that this old woman had a
disease in her eyes (probably inflammation of the eyelids).
And 1hotofetsy and Imahaka came to that place and saluted
Rafotsibe, and when they had ended the salutation, they
told her that she and they were inhabitants of the same
place (though they were in truth strangers). And when
the two men saw that Rafotsibe's eyes were. diseased, they
said to her, We are physicians." Rafotsibe was then ex-
cited, and asked them to give her medicine for her eyes.
To this they agreed; and they closed up her eyes with
some glutinous substance so that she was unable- to open her
eyes in the least. Then Rafotsibe spoke again, and said,
" Take it away, gentlemen, I pray you, for I cannot see."
But they said, Endure patiently for a while, for, otherwise
you cannot be cured." Now the reason of their doing this
was that they might remove her sheep to a considerable
distance. And Rafotsibe, it is said, was quite unable to
reach her home, and some wood-gatherers took her by the
hand (as one blind), until she arrived at the town; but the
sheep had been taken away by the two men.
pp. 293 and 294 of Mr. Dahle's already-mentioned Specimens, where it
forms No. 43. of the Angano na Arira.
A much longer account of the adventures of Ikotofetsy and Mfhalka
was presented by the late Mr. James Cameron in 1865, and exists in
manuscript in the Grey Library. Of this story, which contains ten
chapters, besides two in an appendix, one chapter (V.) was given by
Dr. Bleek in Part I. of his paper entitled, African Folk-lore (Cape
lMonthly magazine, Vol. I., pp. 174-176), and the remainder, with the
exception of chapter VI., in Part II. of the same paper (C. M. M.,
Vol. III., pp. 334-344).
THE MANNER IN WHICH IKOTOFETSY AND IMAHAKA
CAME BY THEIR DEATH.
(Translated from the Rev. L. Dahle's Specimens of Malagasy Folk-lore,
by Miss Cameron.)3
It happened on a certain day that Ikotofetsy and Imahaka
were returning from a journey, and as they passed by a
Valley they saw an old woman (Rafotsibe) plucking out -the
young rice-plants (for transplanting); it is said that they
approached her craftily, and began to impose upon her;
and thus they spoke, saying, See here, O Grandmother Is
it because you are childless that you are plucking out the
rice-plants in this great heat? And Rafotsibe answered
and said, "I am not childless, Sons, but my daughter is
dead; my son is living." Then lkotofetsy and Imahaka
spoke again, saying, "Where is he now?" And Rafotsibe
said, He is gone trading; and when one month is past he
will be here." And when the two men heard that, they
-were pleased, and said to Rafotsibe, "Go home, then, Grand-
mother, and let us pluck out your rice-plants; you are
weary, and we have relations old as you are, and we like
not to see you at work." Then Rafotsibe replied, "I thank
you, Children; may you be blessed of the ancestors and of
God; 'and may you reach unto old age like mine." So
Rafotsibe went home, and cooked food for the two men ; but
after she had been gone a little while, the two men cut the
young rice-plants with knives, instead of plucking them up
by hand. And when it was time for the labourers in the
rice-ground to go home, these two men went up and came to
Rafotsibe. Then she served the rice and the fowl (for, she
The Malagasy original of the above translation forms No. 23. of
the Alngano in Arira, and will be found on pp. 244--246 of Mr. Dahle's
Specimens. In the version communicated to Dr. Bleek by the late
Mr. James Cameron, Ikotofetsy and Malaka have a different end.
had killed a cock for them). And when they had eaten,
they said to Rafotsibe, Go along, Grandmother, and look
at your rice-plants." And she said, Yes; Children," and
went away. Then, as soon as she had gone, these two men
collected every thing they could carry away with them; and
they took the cooking pots and the dishes and covers, and
placed them inside a mat, which they put into Rafotsibe's
bed. Now, when Rafotsibe came in from the field, she was.
angry, and looked around towards the bed, and there, behold
the mat, with pots and dishes and covers ;-she thought that
llotofetsy and Tmahaia were hidden there;-so she took the
fanoto (the vice-pounding pole), and struck and beat until
all these things were crushed to pieces; then, she opened
the mat, and there she beheld the things broken and smashed
topieces. Then Rafotsibe's distress increased greatly. Not-
withstanding all this, Ikotofetsy and Imahaka ceased not
from practising their deceit upon this poor old woman, and
.again they returned. And one day, it is said, Rafotsibe
was weeding the manioc, and these two men disguised them-
selves and came up to her. And, as they came, they pre-
tended to be lame, and sobbed and cried, and they said,
"We feel pity for you, 0 Grandmother!" while, at the
same time, they took the spades into their hands. But, she
guessed what their intentions were, and went away home to
cook food for them. And when she was come (to the house),
she dug a hole underneath the wall, near the sheep-pen, and
laid a heap of manure, &c., for, she intended to burn those
two men together with the house that night; she would get out
at that hole, while the door would be fastened on the out-
side, so that the two men should be unable to get out. And
when all that was arranged, Rafotsibe went away and killed
a nice pullet, and boiled a little rice. And when these two
men came in from the manioc-ground (they' had again
rooted up and spoiled the manioc-plants of Rafotsibe), the
old woman said to them, I have prepared only a little rice
and a small fowl for this meal, but, for to-night, I will kill
yon fat-tailed sheep, that you may have something to carry
home to your wives and children and servants." And
when the two men heard that, they were very glad. They
cut up and divided the mutton, and when they had eaten
abundantly, they lay down to sleep. And, when their
slumber was deep, Rafotsibe crept away, and went out at
the hole; she-set fire to the house, and the two men perished
EEN WAARACHTIG VERHAAL.
(Contributed by the Rev, William Murray, of Ugie, St. John's
Neen Mijnheer-,maar zeg wat je wil daar tegen, ik
geloof in spoken want ik heb een met mijne eigene oogen
gezien. En te zien is te gelooven, niet waar ?
Een nacht was ik in de transport pad, van Cradock af
naar de Baai toe. Daar was een heele partij wagenen, en
mijn was de voorste.
C"Wel, de pad was zoo mooi, en de nacht was niet donker,
en zoo was al de andere kerels op de wagens met de voor-
loopers zaam, en de laatste een in slaap. Net ik alleen
wakker, want mijn wagen was de voorste.
"Wel, just te middernacht toen wij bij een bosch
kwamen, heb ik lets wit voor mij in de pad gezien. Het
heeft opgekome langs de zijd van de pad. Het was een
groot bont os; en als hij heeft de ossen bij gekomen, hebben
[In a letter, dated 28th July, 1879, the Rev. Mr. Murray informs
us that the above story was related to him by a Dutch farmer in his
zij geschrik, en geschrik tot dat hij was mijn wagen voorbij,
en toen heeft hij bij de andere wagens gekomen, heeft die
ossen ook geschrik, net zoo voor hem. Zoo heb ik geweten
dat het een spook en geen os was."
A TRUE STORY.
"No; Mr.- but say what you will against it
(against belief in ghosts), I believe in ghosts, for I have
seen one with my own eyes, and 'seeing is believing,' is it
One night, I was on the road (with my waggon) from
Cradock to Port Elizabeth. There were quite a number
of waggons, and mine was the foremost.
Well, (as) the road was very good, and the night clear, all
the other fellows were (riding) on the waggons, together
with the leaders, and every one of them fast asleep. Just
I alone was awake, because my waggon was the foremost.
Well, just at midnight, when we were entering a forest,
I observed something white in the road before me. It came
up along the roadside. It was (like) a great black and
white ox; and as he approached the oxen, they became
dreadfully terrified, until he passed my waggon; and, when
he was passing the other waggons, their oxen were just as
afraid of him. So I knew that it was a ghost, and no
As another proof that South African ghosts do not always adopt
the human shape, my maid-servant insists that she once saw a ghost,
and on asking her to describe it, she said : Het was net lijk een groot
wit paard ;" just like a great big white horse, which kept appearing
and vanishing at intervals.
POLK-LORE JOURNAL, 51
SOUTH AFRICAN ART.
(An extract from a letter written by Mr. C. S. Orpen.)
In a letter dated Smitlfield (0. F. S.), 13 February,
1880, the above-named gentleman writes as follows:
"I was lately in Elands berg, over Caledon, looking for some caves,
and a Boer lady, at whose house I was, opened a door of an inner
room and shewed me her wall adorned by several hundred paintings,
by a Mosuto who had been brought up with Bushmen in the Maluti.
They were very well done. All sorts of game, boers on horseback,
Natives in costume and with arms, a hotel and stable with horse being
led in. I am trying to find the Mosuto who is named atel.' Ratel'
drew twelve per diem, and considered that a day's work."
[If only this Mosuto could be found, something might
probably be ascertained from him regarding the method of
painting pursued by Bushman artists, at all events by those
of more recent times.]