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. FOLK-LORE JOURNAL,
EDITED BY THE WORKING COMMITTEE OF THE SOUTH
AFRICAN FOLK-LORE SOCIETY.
Semper novi quid ex Africa.
VOL. II.-PART IV.
J U LY,
The Lion and the Jackal, A
Hottentot Story ...
A Fragment illustrative of
religious ideas among the
Kafirs ... .. .
Six Zulu Riddles ... .
Customs of the Ovaheier6 at
the Birth of a Child ...
Some -Sacrificial Customs
among the Ovambo ...
Contributed by Mr. Thomas Bain 53
,,the Right Rev.
M.D., D.D., Bishop
of St. John's ... 56
,, Mrs. Hugh Lan-
easter Carbutt ... 60
,, theRey. E.Dannert 61
the Rev. M.
Missionary ... 68
DARTER BROTHERS AND WALTON.
CAPE TOWN :
SAUL SOLOM ; AND CO., PIHINTEnP,
THE LION AiND THE JAikAL, A HO'TENiTOT
(Contributed by Mr. Thoihas Bain,*)
The Lion and th~ Jackal agreed 6to hiifi oi ahres, tb
th& piiupos6 bf laylug iii a s2dock f iget, for thie 6 nier
ioiiths, for their families.
As th tiob i *was by Airi' thi6 iori expd t hunter 6of tlie
[In a letter (dated Bondebscli; 17th July, 1880)i MrS Bain menitidns
that he has frequentlyheard the above story related by Hottetntts, "tb
show how clever and wily the Jackal is."
The incidents of pretending to draw up the lion b a thong not
intende.l to support his weight, and giving himii ra C' d stone to
swallow, are also met witlh in ti Jackal Fables," g1i r i ir. Bl~k
on pp. 5-10 of hi- "Reyvairl the Fox in South Africa ; ofr, Horentot
.Fkbles and Tales "'TLonido:n, 1864). ThBse fables are respertively
entitled The Lion's Share" (No. 3.) and "The Jackal's Bride" (No. 4.);
the source of No. 3. being "a German original Manuscript in Sir G. Grey's
Libiaiy, viz., H. C. Krnu:-en's i 'Tbtes on the Hotteniots,"'pp. fi, 12"
aind that of Nd. 4. th Hottintot original in "G. IKrirn l-irin 1Mir' daiif'
(also in Sir G. Grey's Library), pp. 7, 8. The killing of thd li6h
by the jackal, by means of a heated tone; whilt pretending to give
him food, also occurs in a story formerly related to the writer Ib the
son of a Koranna Hottentot man and a Bushman woman, printed on pp.307
afid 08, of ~the Cape MoiitAy Magazine for May, 1974 (in company
with a rnich nim,:ternrized V6rsionof another stoty, widely spr.-ad in South
Africa, here stated t6 hav6 been related by a Hottentot, but- regard ng
whlich no further particulars appeared at the time of its piubli6ati6i)t
The incident of feigning to draw up the li6n to a height Which he
wishes to attain, appears also, as a rather favorite one, in Bushman
folk-lore. Here; a thong made from the entrails of a mouse is, in one
instance at least, the means ermplo:y.id for this purpose ; and the story
is h'trafed with p'e ulihr eunjroymet by thid Btusli~ieW?, wh6 appeal fo
abe1 little ehality ti spate' fof their en.-my tdI' 6fJ
two, the Jackal suggested that he [himself] should bi
employed in transporting the game to their dens, and thaa
Mrs. Jackal and the little Jackals should prepare and dry
the meat; adding. that, they would taLe care that. Mrs.
Lion and her family should not want.
This was agreed to by the Lion, and the hunt commenced.
After a very successful hunt, which lasted for some time,
the Lio*returned to see his family, and also to enjoy, as he
thought, a plentiful supply of his spoil; when, to his utter
surprise, he found Mrs. Lion and all the young Lions on
the point of death, from sheer hunger, and in a mangy state.
The Jackal, it appeared, had only given them a few entrails
of the game, and in such limited quantities, as barely to
keep thtem alive; always telling them that they [i.e., the
Lion and himself] had been most unsuccessful in their
hunting while his [own] family was revelling in abundance,
,and [eachineinber of it] was sleek and fat.
This was too much for the Lion to bear. He immediately
started off in a terrible fury, vowing certain death to the
Jackal and all his family, wherever he should meet them.
The Jackal was more or less prepared for a storm, and had
taken the precaution to remove all his belongings to the top
of a krantz (i.e., a cliff), accessible only by a most difficult
and circuitous path, which he alone knew.
When the Lion saw him on the krantz, the Jackal
immediately greeted him by calling out Good morning,
Uncle Lion." "How dare you call me Uncle ? You impu-
dent scoundrel! roared out the Lion, in a voice of thunder,
"after the way [in which] you have behaved to my family ?"
"Oh Uncle Uncle How shall I explain matters ? That
beast of a wife of mine Whack Whack [was heard, as]
he beat with a stick on dry hide, which was a mere pretence
for Mrs. Jackal's back; while that lady was preinstructed
to scream whenever he operated on the hide, which she did
FOLK-LORE JOURNAL. 55
with a vengeance, joined by the little Jackals, who set up a
most doleful chorus. "That wretch [said the Jackal]
It is all her doing! I shall kill her straightt off! and away
he again belabored -the hide, while his wife and children
uttered such a dismalhowl, that the Lion begged of him to
leave off flogging his wife. After cooling down a little, he
invited Uncle Lion to come up, and have something to eat.
The Lion, after several ineffectual attempts to scale the
precipice, had to give it up.
The Jackal, always ready'for emergencies, suggested that
a riem *,should be lowered to haul up his- Uncle. This was
agreed to, and when the Lion was drawn about half-way up,
by the whole family of Jackals, the riem was cleverly cut,
and down went the Lion, with a tremendous crash, which
hurt him very much. Upon this, the Jackal again performed
upon the hide with tremendous force, for their ] daring to
give him such a rotten riem, and Mrs. Jackal and the little
ones responded with some fearful screams and yells. He
then called loudli out to his wife for a strong buffalo riem
which would support any weight. This again was lowered,
and fastened to the Lion, when all hands pulled away at
their Uncle; and, just when he had reached so far that he
could look over the precipice into the pots, to see all the fat
meat cooking, and all the biltongs t hanging out to dry, the
riem was again cut, and the poor Lion fell, with such force,
that he was fairly stunned for some time. After, the Lion
had recovered his senses, the Jackal, in a most sympathizing
tone, suggested that he was afraid that it was of no use to
attempt to haul him up on to the precipice, and recommend-
ed, instead, that'a nice fat piece of eland's breast be roasted,
i.e., a thong.
t^ Biltongs, i.e., driad pieces of meat. The expression is here employed
formeat cut into pieces for drying;]
56 FOLE-IBRE JOURNAL.
,and dropped into the Lion's mouth. The Lon, half-famishedi 4
with. hunger, and .much brulised, readily accepted the offer,40
and sat eagerly awaiting the fat morsel. In the mealtime,
the Jaekal had a round stone dm e red-hot, ad wrapp.pd a
quantity of inside fat, or suet, round it to, make it appear
like a, 'ball of fat. When the Lion saw it held 'wt, he
A FRAGMENT ILLUSTRATIVE Q' .RE-
LIGIOUS IDEAS AlMONG THEI KAfRS.,
(Contributed by the Right Rev. Henry Callaway, M.D., D.D., Bishop of
Si nenteto yetu, eti,
W'emzq, weza, Usoduimnngoshe:
W'eza, si nga mn boni,
Led ugoma yab'i nvaywa be nge ka bi abafindisi: si ti
trku yi va, tina si koyo namhlanje, yintsouii, ngokuba iintao
yabantu aba be ko si nge ka. bi ko si ti zintsomi. Kanti a
ku- ko'ntsomi, yinteto. yabantu aba be ko. si nge ka bi ko,
Ingoma i b'i vunywa ngo-Gokqozi. Ugokqozi qgnnmfazi
[* In a letter, dated Umtcata, 1 Dec., 1879, the Bishop of St. John's
writes regarding the above as follows :
"I have just translated what I regard as a native literary gem. It
contains two songs. I have had it, by me for some. time,, b t coula
not translate it without a Kxosa Kafii, as there, weipe. pgme arichipi
FOLK-LORE JOURNAL. 57
$peued his capacious mouth to the utmost extent, and the
Swily Jackal cleverly dropped the hot, shot right i-Fo it,
which ran through the poor old beast, killing him on the
It need hardly be told that there was great rejoicing on
the precipice that night.
Woodside, Rondeboseh, 17th July, 1880.
A FRAGMENT ILLUSTRATIVE OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS
AMONG THE KAFIRS.
We have the following saying,
"He came; Usodumangoshe came;-()
A barbarian! (2)
He eami without our seeing him ; ()
p* .A barbarian!
Concealed by the branch of a tree; (f)
A barbarian !
By the branch of a Yellow-wood Tree. (4)
A barbarian I "
This song was sung before the missionaries came; when
we of the present time hear it we call it a fiction;: for the
sayings of those who have been, we who live now regard as
fictions. But they are not fictions, but the sayings of men
who existed before us. The above song was sung by
Gokozi.6 Gokozi was one of the women who lived' in
in it, and allusions which [no ?] one not acquainted with the songs could
explain. If I can get it copied in time, I will send it by this mail.'
In justice to the Bishop, now absent, on account of ill health, from
South Africa, it should be inentioned that the paper in question was
-copied for him by one who did not personally understand Kafir.]
38 POLk-LORE JOURNAL.
wabafazi aba be ko kudala noDaus noNojiko, no Nokqikqau .
Le' ngoma-ke i b'i vunywa ngabo 'bantu belo 'kusha.
Eli 'lizwi be si nalo be nga ka bi ko abafuridisi be si no
Tikxo kade, ngokuba e be si ti unmtu nxa c bubayo, a shiye
umyalelo, a ti, "U ya goduka, u ya enyangweni ;" ngokuba
ku ko ilizwi kw ingoma eli ti,
Ndi kape, bloyiya I
SNdi ye pezulu,
Ndi ye 'kufuma indoda i-hhliziyo-nye.
Kula 'madoda a'-nhliziyo ngambini,
A pate ukubusa nokutakata.
SSi bona ke ngako ukuba abo 'bantu ba be teta into ekoyo
nonhla nje e si kqonda-mhope ngelizwi e si li fundiswa
U-Tikxo o koyo ngo be ko kade, be nga ka fiki abafundisi.
Be nga ka fiki abafundisi be si nokqamata, be si notikxo;
oku ku ti ng Ukqamata kukuti ng Utikxo. Si ya temba
ukuba ku ko abantu betu aba be sezulwini, be nga ku fiki
abafundisi. Ngokuba be si nobulungisa nenkohlakalo; be
ku ko amagewihha, be ku ko abantu abalungileyo; ama-
gcwihha ngabantu abakohlakileyo; be si nobomi be si nokufa;,
amanewaba a koyo nga be ko kade. Ngako-ke si ti, a ku ko
Tikxo o sand'ukufika. Ma ka nga te umntu Utikxo o koyo ng-
Utikxo wamangisi. A ku ko 'Tikxo abaningi; Utikxo mnye.
Si ya posisa sa kuti ng-Utikxo wasemangisini, a kua ko
'Tikxo wasematileni. Njengoku baku nge ko Ingisi no Mkxosa;
ku nge ko Imfingo neLau,. ngum'ntu mnye o vela ku Tikxo
FOLK-LORE JOURNAL. 59
ancient times, and by Daus' and Nojiko and Nokika.7 So
the song was sung by the people of that time.
We had this word before the missionaries came, we had
God (Utikxo) long ago ; for a man when dying would utter
his last words, saying, I am going home, I am going up
on high."(s) For there is a word in a song which says,
Guide me, 0 Hawk !
That I may go heavenward,
To seek the one-hearted man, (0)
Away from the double-hearted men,
Who deal in blessing and cursing.' (10)
We see then that those people used to speak of a matter
of the present time which we clearly understand by the
word which the missionaries teach us.
The God who is now, is the one who was from everlasting,
before the missionaries came. Before they came we spok6
of Kamata, and we spoke of Tiko ; () the word Kamata
means Tiko. We trust that there were some of our people in
heaven before the missionaries came. We had (12) righteous-
ness and evil; there were men-destroyers (13) and there
were good men; the men-destroyers were wicked men ; we
had life and death; and the graves which are now, were
So we say there is no God who has just come to us. (4)
Let no man say The God which is, is the God of the English.
There are not many Gods. There is but one God. We
err when we say, "He is the God of the English." He is
Snot the God of certain nations; just. as man is not English
afi Kosa; (15) he is not Fingo and Hottentot; he is one
man who came forth from one God.
(1.) Usodmangashe, means The Renowned One from beyond the
sea." Igashe is an archaic .word for ngesheya;
(2.) Gantshilili! a barbarian; one speaking an unintelligible
language, requiring an interpreter. Ukugantshiliza to talk as a barbarian.
(3.) Without our seeing him; i.e., he being enclosed in a ship by
which he came to our shore.
(4.) Branch of a tree, poetical for a plank.
(5.) Yellow-wood Tree; the tree which is most known amongst
them as a source of plank.
(6.) Golcoxi, in the Kafir, Ugokqozi ; but as the first vowel of Kafir
Proper Names is always U, in taking them over into English, the U
may as wall be dropped : and as the clicks are not easily pronounced
by the generality of Europeans, it appears best to drop the click, and
write in English the consonant with which the click sound is associated
in the Kafir word.
(7.) Kafir, Unokqikqa.
(8.) Up on high," enyangweni; the Inyango is a miniature hut
raised on poles for stowing away maize, &c., and so any high place;
(9.) The one-hearted man, that is, the sincere man, who is reliable
because of his truth.
(10.) Lit. By giving gifts and by witchcraft.
(11.) Lit. We had Ukqamata and we had Utikxo.
(12.) We had righteousness, &c., that is, we used the words, and there-
fore there was that amongst us which the words meant.
(13.) Men-destroyers, Amagcwihha, which are the same as Abatakati,
-Thugs, or men who are supposed to have a vicious pleasure in secret
killing and evildoing.
(14.) There is no God who has just come to us, viz., That God of
w .....i the missionaries speak is not a new God, but the same God of
whom we sp)kce by the terms Ukqamata and Utikxo.
(15.) Kosa, iiL. Kxosa.
SIX ZULU RIDDLES.
(Contributed by Mrs. Hugh Lancaster Carbutt.)
(1.) Ngi tshele ibizo le 'nyoka ende e dhlula i:.',y1ti a
STell me the name of the longest snake ?-A road.
(2.) Ngu bani oma njalo a ngez' a hlala pansi -Isiblahla.
Who is it that stands always and never sits ?-A tree.
(3.) Ngi gu pica nge 'mpongo edhla nez' imbuzi ezi 'mblope,
-yona iya zula, zona zidhla ndawo inye ?- Ulimi nama-
I puzzle you with a goat-ram, which grazes with white
goats,; it moves about much, but they eat in one place.
-The tongue and teeth.
(4.) Guyini ogu zikulisa pambi gwako, uti unga bona,
What is it that grows before you, and from which, when
you see, you move off?-A puff-adder.
(5.) Yini into ebanzi epete izinto ezi ningi ezi dhlula
ogunye ?- Yizulu.
What wide expanse holds more things than any thing
else ?-The sky.
(6.) Yini into engu nina, wabantu, gepa bati guyo, ngi
belete, iba belete ?-Yihatshi.
What thing is it that is the mother of a people, and they
say to it, Carry me,' and it carries them ?-A horse.*
CUSTOMS OF THE OVAHERERO AT THE
BIRTH OF A CHILD.
(Contributed by the" Rev. E. Dannert,)f
As probably more or less every where, so also among the
Ovaherer6 the birth of a child is considered as a cause for
Among the natives the horse frequently goes by the nickname of
Uhina wa Belungu, i.e., "The Mother of White Men," because of the
horse carrying a man as a native woman carries her child, on her back,
It 4 'said that in the late Zulu war, at the commencement of a battle,
the Zulus always shouted (after their war cry), Kill the mothers first,
we'll kill the children after !"
[1 In the translation of this paper, the original of which is in the Ger-
man language, the kind assistance of the Rev, J. Rath is gratefully
rejoicing. The birth of a boy is usually considered as a
more fortunate occurrence than that of. a girl; but, if
there are already some boys, then, even an Omuherer6
may wish for a girl. When, on the contrary, there are
already two or three girls, and the fourth [child] is again
a little sister, the father can become very angry; because,
to have no son, is felt, to a certain degree, to be a shame.
At the approach of birth, the husband leaves his wife and
house, and perhaps joins the other men of the village. He
waits outside, until the woman who acts as midwife
announces the happy birth. Should the newborn child be
a boy, the midwife calls out into the werft, okauta!
to which the father, as a sign of his gladness,
answers, Ii. Should it be a girl, then she [the midwife]
calls out, ohaseu I which is answered with Ee.*
Should the newborn child belong to the family, or to the
oruzo, of the Chief, the women of the village hastily con-
struct a hut for the lying in woman, near the otyizero
(sacred house).t At the birth of a boy this house must be
built towards the south, and at that of a girl, towards the
north, near the otyizero or Chief's house. This house is called
ondyuo yomuuari (the house of the lying in woman). -I
must not be plastered with cow dung as the pondoks of the
Okauta means bow" [Little Bow], and the use of this word,
on this occasion, means, The newborn child will one day help to
defend the village, i.e., it is a boy. Okaseu means [Little Earth-onion,
or] Uintje." This little root, in form and size resembling a tiny
onion, is a favourite field food, and the word here used at the birth,
means, The newborn child must later seek for "uintjes ;" because
seeking for field food is the work of the women.
[This, as the Rev. Dr. C. H. Hahn informs us, is "the chief house of
the Chief, in front of which is the place of the holy fire. The Chief has
several houses, according to the number of wives, each wife having her
Ovaherer6 usually are.; but must simply be covered with
grass, bushes, bark, skins, &c. This hut for the lying in
woman is sacred (i zera), as well as the woman herself
(u zera). For this reason, the men are not allowed to see
the lying in woman, until the navel string has separated
from the child, otherwise they would become weaklings, and
when later they yumbana, that is, go to war with spear and
bow, they would be shot.
The house of the lying in woman has two doors, one
towards the okuruo ([place of] the sacred fire), which is
always towards the west of the Chief's house, while the
other one is on the opposite side of her hut. These doors
are, however, merely holes, which cannot be closed: and
besides, these two larger ones, the house: has innumerable
small holes, so that the wind has full play; which shews
how little the Ovaherer6 understand the care of health.
As soon as it is possible, usually from two to three hours
after [the birth], the lying in woman is brought into the
house which has been prepared for her. She must enter, or
rather, creep in, by the backdoor (that is, by the one which
is furthest from the sacred fire), and is only allowed to use
this door for going out and coming in;-indeed, until the
navel string of the child has separated, she may not even
look out through the other door. In this house, the lying
in woman generally remains for about four weeks; but, a
poor woman, who has no servants, by whom she can have
her house looked after, may leave the hut sooner; in no case,
however, before the navel string has separated.
In order to render intelligible another custom observed
by the lying in woman, it is necessary that a few additional
rerharks should be made.
The Ovaherer6 allow their milk to ferment in calabashes.
Each calabash has a particular name, such as okahengua,
otyipanga, omuaha, &c.
The particular cows whose milk is poured into these
calabashes, bear the same name. When the milk has
fermented, some of it is poured into wooden buckets for
drinking purposes. But, everyone who wishes to drink
milk, must first take it to the Chief, who makera's it; that .i
he lifts the bucket to his mouth, and tastes a little of the
milk; after this, he gives it back, and then it maybe drunk.
What may be the object of this maker, it is difficult to say
[perhaps it is a kind of dedicating].
Should there be a lying in woman on the place, she must
maker (taste, perhaps dedicate?) the fermented milk
(omayere) instead of the Chief, until the navel string of the
child has separated ; but, even in this case, the milk buckets
must first be taken to the Chief, because he first tova's the
milk; that is, he puts his right forefinger into the milk, and
puts it back to his throat-pit. Thereupon the milk is
taken to the lying in woman, which she then mahera's.
The milk for the lying in woman is, however, only tova'd by
the Chief, even after the navel string of the child has
separated, even should she remain for four weeks or longer,
in her temporary confinement chamber.
On the day of the birth, a head of cattle is slaughtered,
which, according to the circumstances of the father, is either
a sheep or an ox. The neck, and the long ribls with the
adjoining part of the back, is for the menJ but women, with
the exception of the lying in woman, are also allowed to
eat of it. Of the remaining meat, the men are not allowed
to eat. The meat for the lying in woman is called
ongarangandye. The breast and a bone of the upper part
of the thigh are set aside, until the navel string of t~e
child has fallen off. The meat for the lying in woman, also,
until this epoch, may only be cooked at the backdoor of her
hut.. When the first meat is boiled, a whirl-bone (ombu-
mbuangoro) with a piece of meat attached to it, is put into
the. pot. The lying in woman is, however, not allowed to
eat of the meat left on the whirl-bone, but it must be allowed
to lie undisturbed in her dish, until the navel string of the
child has separated; it may then be: eaten by any one.
Even if the lying in woman principally drinks only from the
soup, the meat dish (otyiaha) must not become empty ([it is]
tyi zera,=is sacred). Also, she must likewise always have;
ormayere [fermented milk] in the milk bucket (ehjro)
standing near her.
From the meat (which is mainly boiled for the lying in
woman), a few very small pieces are torn, and given to. the
lying in woman, who dedicates them by breathing upon
them, and afterwards touching with them the toes of the
new-born child. These pieces of meat are called' odendura,
and, after they have been dedicated, are set aside until the
evening. Should the new-born child be a boy, this ondendura
is given, after sunset, to any little girl of th6 village to eat..
In case that the newly born is a girl, then a boy must eat
these little pieces of meat. The meaning of this custom
appears to be no longer clear ; for, if some state that this
is done, in order that the next child may not be of the same
sex.as the last born, the others declare, "We know nothing
After the navel string of the child has separated, it is
put into the on[d]yatu onene yomapando [Great bag of
the knots]. This is a large skin bag, which the Chief keeps,
in his sacred house, and in which he conceals all the sacred,
objects. Thus, for example, at the birth of a child, besides
the navel string, the above-mentioned whirl-bone is put into,
it; because, in this case, this also is sacred. The bag
derives the name yomapando from a strap which is likewise
kept in it, and in which the head of the family at the birth
of each ehild makes a knot (epando, pl. omapando'). It;is
interesting that whleh. die of the children becomes, a
Christian, the knot, made at its birth, in the strap, is un-
done, he being as if released from heathenism.
From the time when the navel string of the child has
separated, the fire too-is removed from the backdoor to the
front one, that is to say, the one towards the okuruo. The
first thing then to be boiled, is the above-mentioned breast
and the upper part of the thigh, which have been reserved
until now. Then, too, the happy father may come and see
his wife and new-born offspring, but, even now, he is not.
allowed to enter the house of the lying in woman. He
now, also, makera's, or dedicates, the meat of the breast, and
of the upper part of the thigh, by taking water into his
mouth, spurting this out upon the meat, and then biting off
a little piece. At the same time, he speaks as follows:
Mba koaterua omundu omurumendu (or omukazendu), mo-
nganda indyi ; ndyi mua mbandye; nga kare naua, Ai yanda
ho; i.e., "A boy (or girl) has been born to me in the
village, which ye (the ancestors, the fathers) have given to
me. May it be well with him (or her)! [May] it (viz., the
village) never come to an end "
The woman now remains, according to necessity, a longer
or shorter time in her temporary house, and, during this
time, the child also remains without a name. When the
time of her confinement comes to an. end, she goes, for the
first time out through the front door, in order to carry her
child to the sacred fire, to be named. It sits in the
otyivereko, that is, in a skin tied to the back [of the mother].
On the way [to the okuruo] she is followed by omuatye
ondangere, that is, the eldest unmarried daughter of the
Chief, who has charge of the sacred fire, since this must
never be allowed to go out. This maiden priestess or vestal,
however she may be called, sprinkles, on the way to the
A iruo, with water which she carries in a dish, the back of
the mother and the child. Arrived at' the okuruo, the
FOLK-LORE JOURNAL. 67
mother seats herself upon the outspread skin of an ox. Then
she takes her child off her back, and sets it upon her right
knee. The Chief and the other men have already assembled
themselves. The first then takes a mouthful of water out
of a dish standing near him, and spurts this over the bodies
of the mother and the child. Then, addressing his ancestors,
he says, To ye is a child born in your village; may this
[i.e., the village] never come to an end !" Thereupon he
ladles some fat out of a vessel standing near him, spits upon
it, and anoints his hands with it. When this is done, he
again takes fat and a mouthful of water, then rubs the fat
in his hands, spurts upon it the water contained in his mouth,
and besmears or anoints with it the lying in woman. In
doing this, he must cross his arms, so that he touches with
his right hand the right [side] and with his left [hand] the
left side of .the woman. The same ceremony, in the same
manner, is then performed upon the child, during which the
Chief lays the child upon his knees. After this, he takes
the child into his arms, and while he touches with his
forehead the forehead of the child (which action is called by
them okukunga), he gives the child the name. The men
[who are] present, thereupon repeat this okukunga, and
utter every time while doing this, the name which the
father [?] has given to the child, [*] or they themselves
add another new one to it. Thus one can hear one and the
same person often called by from five to six different names.
These names are commonly derived from some event which
happened before, at, or after the birth. Thus a man, now
called Gideon, was formerly named Kambandandumbu, that
is, in the ondumbu (colored garment), because he had been
first wrapped in one after birth. One Hosea, was formerly
0 [The Rev. Mr. Dannert is too far distant for us to be able to ak
him, before printing, whether the Chief, or the father of the child, is
Called Komombumbi, that is, He is in the dung," for, the
child was carried, immediately after birth, into the cattle
pen, and there covered over with [fine dry] manure; a
practice by means of which the Ovaherer6 protect their
children from death. The father of Hosea had, before this,
lost three children in sficcession. After the giving of the
name, another (young) head of cattle is taken to the okuruo,
and to this the young inhabitant of the world is likewise
kungisa'd; that is, its forehead is brought into contAct with
that of the head of cattle. By means of this action, he [the
-child] is rendered an Omuherer6, or nomad. 'The head of
cattle is thereupon the property of the child. When this
ceremony has been accomplished, the mother returns to her
real dwelling-house. The house constructed for the time of
the confinement is then left to decay. It may not be pulled
down, nor may the wood of the same be burnt, because it is,
as has already been remarked, sacred [i zera].
In conclusion, it is stillto be noticed that there are a few
otuzo (that is, families united by means of certain food-
ordinances) which deviate in some respects from the rules
described above; and that the customs to be observed at
the birth of twins, are altogether different from the foregoing.
Omnburo, 22nd May, 1879.
SOME SACRIFICIAL CUSTOMS, AMONG THE
(Contributed by the Rev. 1M. Rautanen, Fisnish Missionary.#)
'The Ohula is a sacrifice or sacrificial meal to the spirits
[* The manuscript original of the above, which is in the German
Wlnguage, was sent from Ovambo land, through the Rev. Dr. G. H.
Hahn, by one of the Finnish Missionaries at work in that country.
The continuation of it (which [has not yet reached us) was to be the
of the deceased ( =Aasisi). Omusisi (pl. aasisi) is probably
the same as the Herero Ovakuru. The Omundonga has a
great dread of the aasisi, and from fear he also honors them.
It often happens that the aasisi trouble people with illness,
and as soon as this has been declared by the sorcerers, then,
even the last cow will be slain as a sacrifice to the aasisi.
When the Omundonga is ill, he must, with the exception
of a very few and distinct diseases, either have aasisi, or be
bewitched. The very rare illnesses which are not to be
ascribed to the two causes named, are ascribed to Kalunga.
In grave cases of illness, the cause of the illness is in-
quired into, which is done by the Onganga (" Sorcerer ").
Should the illness have arisen from witchcraft, then, by
witchcraft it must also be cured, or driven away. Should
the person, however, have aasisi which trouble hin in him,
the aasisi must be frightened away, or better, appeased,. by
the bringing of a sacrifice, so that they depart from the
patient. According to the 'nature of the illness and the
age of the patient, so the ohula differs. The principal
oohula fplur. of ohulal are of six different kinds:
I. Ohula y'ofnbuay'omakunde, "Dog-Bean Sacrifice;"
II. Ohula y'ombua y'omushila, or Ohulay'ombua-mbua,
Tail-Dog, or Dog-Dog Sacrifice," i.e., the
sacrifice of the real dog.
III. Ohula y'engombe, Ox Sacrifice." .
IV. Ohula y'ondyuhua, Fowl Sacrifice."
V. Ohula y'oshikombo, "Goat Sacrifice."
VI. Ohula y'onzui, Sheep Sacrifice."
These six kinds of sacrifices can be divided into three
following: Uulozi "Witchcraft or Sorcery," and Eanekelo, "F'rtui na
SIn the translation of the paper now published, the kind assistance
of the Rev. F. W. Kolbe is gratefully to be acknowledged.]
classes; the first and second kinds forming the First Class,
the third and fourth, the Second, and the fifth and sixth,
the Third Class.
In the First Class, the "Dog Sacrifice" occupies the
first rank; and the "Dog-Bean Sacrifice" the second.
' The beans represent the dog, or rather the dog's flesh, hence
also this wonderful composition.
I. OHULA Y'OMBUA Y'OMAKUNDE, 1r "DOG-BEAN
Here the dog has only so much to do [with it] that the
beans represent him.
The chief personages in the Ohula are, the omutomisi. or
performer, and the omutomisoa or patient, for whom the
action is performed. The performer may be any one of the
male sex; but, where this is possible, they summon an
onganga [sorcerer] or some one who is dexterous in the mat-
S ter. Here, as throughout the world, in the case of the poor,
things take place far more simply, and the performer may
be any relation of the patient's; whereas, among the rich,
who are in a position to pay the onganga, all proceeds more
solemnly. .The main points, however, are, and remain the,
same. When a patient has been examined by an onganga,
and it is discovered that aasisi are in the sick man, then the
patient must eat ohula," and, in the case of children and of
those who are for the first time ill, ohula y'omakunde.
The time when this is usually done is before noon. The
after-festivity however continues until about four o'clock in
When all the preparations appertaining have been made,
the performance is proceeded with in the following manner.
It is not said that ohula is sacrificed for any one, but that the
sick person will eat, or has eaten, ohula.
Omahunde and oshisima (beans and pap) are cooked, at
the usual cooking-place; then the omutomisi takes some-
what from the cooked beans, spits upon it, and throws it
out, with the words, E, kuateni aasisi omakunde geni (" Here,
take ye, aasisi, your beans "); and again says, Okanona
kandye. ka tye naua, "My child, become (good) well." Im-
mediately upon this, the performer takes. a lump of pap,
kneads ahollow in it, and puts beans into it,.and hands it to
the sick person that he may eat it; before this, however, the
performer again takes twice of the beans and pap, from the
lump which has been given to the sick person, and throws it
out to the aasisi, as before, with the words Kuateni, &c.
After the sick person has tasted of the beans and&pap which
have been given to him, the company there present betakes
itself to the repast. At the Bean Ohula, there is not exactly
much to be eaten, and many persons do not come to this
solemnity; but, where, for example, an ox is slaughtered,
there are many guests. Each one who comes on such an
occasion, must also bring with him, as a present, corn or beans,
if only ever so small a quantity. No one dares to go
out of the place who has not tasted the Ohula.
If the sick person becomes better, this is a sign that the
aasisi were contented with the Bean Sacrifice, and have
gone away; should, however, the patient not become better;
but still worse, then the Ohula y'ombua y'omushila or
Ohula y'ombua-mbua is offered to the aasisi.
II. OHULA Y'OMBUA Y'OMUSHILA 01 OHULA
Y'OMBUA-MBUA (SACRIFICE OF THE REAL
This takes place in a much more complicated manner.
The dog which is brought as a beast for sacrifice, is nA'
slaughtered, but beaten dead with an ondimbo (stick or
"kirrie "). The head is completely beaten to pieces. In
S72 FOLK-LORE JOURNAL.
the bloodlof the head [thus] beaten to pieces, a little stick,
upon which strips of palm leaves have been bound, is
dipped., and with it, the forehead, breast, arms, and legs of
the sick person'are daubed, or rather rubbed. After the
killing, the entrails (liver,'heart, and kidneys) which are the-
S proper sacrificial pieces, are roasted on the embers. Mean-
while, pap is boiled, for this must not be wanting at an
The offerings to the aasisi are made in the same manner
as at the BeaSacrifice, with only this difference, that
meat as well asjpap (by means of the little stick which
was dipped in blood)]are thrown away. The words, E,
kuateni aasisi onyama yeni-and ashisima sheni; okanona
handye Ka'tye naua, are always the same. After the
omutomisi has made the first offering to the aasisi, he puts
from the entrails, which have been roasted upon the embers,
ihto the pap, and gives it to the sick person, who takes it
with both hands. He may not, however, as yet eat of it,
because from his hands another offering must be made, and
again by means of the little stick which has been dipped in
During the repast, the sick person may not touch the
meat with his hands'; but he must take the meat out of the
pap with his teeth, and bite it off. The words which the
omutomisi says to the sick person are rnm~r kable ones, while
he -gives to him of the sacrificial meal. They are the follow-
ing:.Lia ohula yoye, ayo ya zipageloa 'ngoye "Eat thine
ohulA? it is killed for thee !"
The r- ning meat is boiled as usual, and eaten by the
These two kinds of sacrifices, belonging to the First
Class, are almost exclusively used for children.
The'sacrifices of the Second Class, are used for all, for
the little ones and for adults.
FOLK-LORE JOURNAL. 73. j
III. OHULA Y'ONGOMBE, Ox SACRIFICE."
As already mentioned, the Ohula y'ongombe is offered
for young and old, and as that for the little ones takes
place in a particular manner, and is very interesting, I will
relate this first.
Should the sacrifices of the First Class not have availed,
then the patient must eat Ohula y'ongombe, and be washed
in blood. When the ox or cow (it may also be a large
calf) has been slain in the customary jnanner of the
country, and the skin has been taken ot, the flanks in the
region of the heart are bored or pierced through, and the
patient must creep through, through the blood and entrails.
This is the Washing in blood," or through e blood."
It is impossible that the patient can by himself contrive
to creep through the ox; for this purpose, however, the
omutomisi is there,.who helps him to pass through. While
the patient is thus being pulled through, the omutomisi says,
Inda, inda, 'ngoye u naasisi. (" Go, go, thou hast aasisi").
SWhen this has happened, the sacrifice is proceeded with
in quite the same manner as the other sacrifices.
The sacrificial piece, in the case of the ox, is the breast,
which is boiled.
As an after-solemnity for the children who have come,
there is still a Water-Baptism, or rather a Besprinkling .
with the water. 'Asthey go out of the werft, all the chil- &
dren are at the Lplace of] egress sprinkled with waer.
What meaning, however, this may have, I have notjbeen
able to) ascertain. The people merely say that it has
always been the custom to do so. ..
Should all of the meat not have been eaten at once, it is
permissible to save it until the next day; and the guests
O The slaughtering of oxen among the Ovambo is performed by a
spear (tsuela= Herero tuera =-" stechen").
V 74' FOLK-LORE JOURNAL.
may even take of the unboiled meat home with them;
of the boiled, however, not.
IV. OHULA Y'ONDYUHUA, FowL SACRIFICE."
This sacrifice corresponds to the Ox Sacrifice, as the*
Beans do to that of the Dog. As in the case of the other
sacrifices, so also here is the chief part, i.e., the sacrificing
itself, quite the same; but, as in the case of the other
[sacrifices], so here also there is a difference. The fowl
(hen or cock) is~taken hold of by its head and feet, and held
to the invalid, so that the fowl beats the patient with its
wings, and flutters over him, by which means the aasisi
are driveway. Finally, the head of the fowl is twisted,
and, without blood-shedding, it is roasted whole upon the
fire, after which the sacrificing with pap takes place.
V. OHULA Y'OSHIKMBO, "GOAT SACRIFICE."
The Goat Sacrifice is the rarest, because there are many
persons who do not eat the heart of a goat, which, however,
as in the case of the dog, belongs to the sacrificial morsels.
The heart, the kidneys, and the liver are also roasted upon
the fire, and the sacrifice is made in the usual manner to
To this Third Class belongs also a similar [sacrifice].
S.VI. OHULA Y'ONZUI, "SHEEP SACRIFICE."
Ohula y'onzui, (" Sheep Sacrifice ") however, like that
of the goat, is only practised by certain omazuimo
(clans). The method of conducting the sacrifice is quite
the same as in the case of the goat.