Oor~nbuK by. Mr" II R Gor VY12.
:i~ ~ 6. 4-4, Ni
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~PRARD j i.;a 2 -
r~c~f~i~~J~ ~ :''-~' iA
E DIED BY
THE WORKING COMMITTEE OF THE SOUTH
AFRICAN FOLK-LORE SOCIETY.
Semper novi quid ex Africa,
VOL. II.-PART VI.
Izindaba zaMahlozi, "Words
about Spirits." ... ... Contributed by Mr. W. ,Gordon 100.
The Customs and Ceremonies
of the Ovaherer6 at the
Birth of Twins ... ...
Concerning -the Rev. J. G.
published Collection of
Tsh Proverbs ... .
,, the Rev. E Dannert 104.
DARTER BROTHERS AND WALTON.
SAUTE SOLQMDN AND QO., I RINTERS,
IZINDABA ZA MAHLOZI.
(Contributed by Mr. W. R. Gordon.)-
Tina abantu abamyama ba gwa Zulu sina mahlozi-a
wona asi pete, esi hamba gawo. Ihlozi letu, Imamba emyama
(isituta sagiti). Mina ngo ba ngi umuntu omkulu, ginomuzi,
ginga guquka Imamba. Umfazi, noma indoda, -bd guquke
Urnhdiazi ompofu; nomtwana futi. Isalugazi esidala
siguquka Umabibini. Umfazi, umbelwa ngapandhle go muzi;
Umnigazi muzi umbelwa ebusweni kwendhlu yan ga sendhla,
eqaleni gwesibaya samatole.
Umfazi ongazele aka nalo ihlozi elenza umkuba ekaya-
nomca ii gena ekaya,.linga hamba ne zinyokana ezi hamba
nga pansi,-ezi hlonipa Ihiozi ekulu la se kaya (la sendhlu
nkulu), li ga ise.
o The accompanying ideas, as representing the b:Iief of the Zu'u
population about the spiritual world, are, it appears to me, valuable as
emanating from the natural uninfluenced reflections of one of them-
selves, furnished also by an undeniably competent authority.
The strained attempt of many whose wish is probably father to the
thought to make the native superstitions coincide with the Christian
ideas of an omnipotent creator is, I believe, more misleading than
A. S. WINDHAM.
o The accompanying dissertation on spirits was related to me by an
intelligent Native of Zulu origin, now resident in the Colony of Natal.
The narrator is an influential man, with a large kraal; holding the
wORDS ABOUT SPIRITS.*
We black people of the Zulu Country have 'Amahlozi which
guide us and enable us to exist. Our Hlozi (i.e., Spirit) is
the black Mamba (serpent). Myself being a person of
good birth, with a kraal, I should turn into an Imamba. A.
woman, or an ordinary man turns into an Umhhiasi (that is
a thin brown whip snake); a child would do the same,
A very old woman turns into Mabibini- (a little black
snake of no importance). A womanis always buried at some
distance'from the kraal; the owner (he must be a man)
is buried in front of his chief hut, close to the s;de of the
A woman that has had no children, has not a Hlozi
which can do any'harm in the kraal, If it did enter the
kraal, it would associate with the little spirits (snakes) of
the minor people of the kraal who had died, which
are supposed to be always near the place; all being afraid or
bashful of the big Hlozi ef the chief hut, that is, the spirit
of the late deceased owner of the kraal, or father of the
present owner (who is supposed to breathe and exist
by the spirit of his late father, who has turned into a spirit
in the shape of a snake).
position of Umnumuzana (Headman) in his own tribe, in 'the Tugela
Division, under the Chief "Makedama."
The account was noted verbatim in the Zulu language,
and subsequently translated by me into English. I do not
think it advisable to offer any comment on these peculiar
superstitions, but present them to those who feel interested in
the welfare of these people. I may say, in conclusion that, out of a
population of nearly 400,000 natives, more than two thirds believe in
Ma ihlozi li bonwa nga pagati komuzi, li ya dhluhlwa n'e.
Noko uli gema kenduku, ga li tuki. Abantu bati kugene
uise; isitunzi esi uye, besekuhlatshwa inkomo. Abongwe
nge zi bongo zake, gumenyezwe, gutiwe,
"Hlana baba emuzini wako wena wa se Matenini, ubize
onke amahlozi amacane agiti ubape ugudhla," abe se sinda
Ga tywa Unabibini; isalugazi leso; noko ulele onga
hamba'.e n'ga pezulu kwako angaze enza luluto, noko we tuka
wena. Siti tina gasimazi Utixo otshiwa a be lungu. Sazi
Ihlozi isi tunzi so muntu esi penduka inyoka abati ihlozi.
Makubulawa ihlozi bengazi abantu uguti ilona, gu hlatshwa
izinkomo, gutetwe, uguba ungafi umuzi-gutiwe Xepepani
Makosi, gasenzile nga mabomu. 'Gezinye izikati amahlozi
atuma Isiqatshagazana" intwana efana nesibankwa.
Makufike sona ku vela umkuba omubi ekaya abati umhlola,
.enga ma kukwela inkonyana nga pezuli kwendhlu, noma
ku kwela in'a kutiwe be ku fike Isiqatshagazana be se
kuhlatshwa imbuzi-be se ku bongwa Ihlozi elikulu-ubusuza
pela lowo umkuba obuzabulala abantu.
If a Illozi is seen inside the kraal, it is merely
passed. Even if you brandish a stick at it, it is not
frightened. The people exclaim, His father has
entered! his real shadow and then a beast is slaughtered.
He is praised with praises, with the following exclama-
tion, "Eat, father, in your own kraal; you of the family
of Amatenjini; and call all the small spirits of our family to
partake of the food" (figuratively meaning meat in this in-
stance); and then the sick person will recover.
Mabibini(a snake or spirit) must not be struck; it'is an old
woman; if you were asleep, it would merely walk over you,
and do you no harm, even if you were alarmed, We say that
we know nothingof Utixo or Unyaniso(God)spoken of by the
white people. We know the Hlozi, the shadow of the person
which turns into a snake called a Hlozi. If an ihloziis killed
unintentionally, the people not knowing that it was one,
battle are slaughtered, and the meat is offered as an immo-
lation to the great spirit, in order that the kraal may be
saved from destruction, by saying, We are sorry, Great
One ;it was not killed purposely. Sometimes the amailozi
(spirits) send the Isiqatshagazana" (species of lizard), a
little thing like a lizard. If it arrives in the kraal, something
very serious befalls the inmates, and it is considered an ill
omen, such as a calf climbing on the top of a hut, or even
a dog; it is said that an "Isigatshagazana has arrived
and then a goat is killed, and praises are offered to the great
tHlozi (great spirit), and then the evil spirit goes away,
which would have killed people.
the transformation of the spirit into a snake (together with many
other fetish customs and beliefs); and, with the exception of a very
few who have been influenced by the Missionaries, the Zulu nation be-
lieves in the Amahlozi (snakes) in the same superstitious way as the
Natal Kafirs do.
W. R. GORDON,
Maritburg, 18thSeptember, 1880.
Lapa gwafa Utyaka inkosi ya kwa Zulu-Kwaduguza,
abantu abamyama ba bengayi, ba be saba Ihlozi lake, noma-
bedhlula babe'zwa abantu sengati ba kuluma elibeni lake, izi
tuta zake.-Na be lungu aba qala ugwaka kona be suka be
saba ubu ningi be zituta zake, izinyoka ezazilapo. Umlilo ubu-
ngafiki elibeni lake-ubuzicitshela nje. ngobe utshani be bu-
ngomi lapo gwenziwa isitunzi sake isikulu sobukosi, ngobe
wa hlula onke amakosi amyama, wa weqa. Ihlozi lake
lidhlula amahlozi onke asemhlabatini ahamba 'ngezisu ngobe
THE CUSTOMS AND CEREMONIES OF THE
OVAHERERO AT THE BIRTH OF TWINS.
(Contributed by the Rev. E. Dannert*).
In connection with the foregoing [i.e., a paper concerning
the Customs of the Ovaherer6 at the Birth of a Child"
published in Vol. II. -Part IV. of this Journal, pp. 61-68],
a description of the customs of the Ovaherer6 at the birth
of twins may here follow ; since these are, as has already
been observed, entirely different from those ceremonies
observed at the birth of a single child.
The birth of twins is the greatest and most fortunate
event which can happen to a mortal Omuherer6. It invests
him with privileges which are, on the one hand, altogether
unattainable to any other child of earth, and, on the other,
o [In the translation of this paper, the original of which is in the
German language, the kind assistance of the Rev. J. Rath and Miss L:
Schunke is gratefully acknowledged.]
When" Utyaka" died, the King of the Zulus, at Duguza,*
black people did not go there, they were afraid of his
spirit. Even when passing, they fancied they heard
people talking at his grave, his spirits; and the white people
who first lived there left, through the number of his spirits,
the snakes that were there. The fire never reached his
grave; it went out of its own accord, because the grass
never got dry there on account of his shadow, the big
shadow of Royalty; because he was greater than all the
-other black Kings; he jumped over them. His spirit is
above all the other spirits on earth which crawl on their
stomachs; for, there are none in the air above.
only to be acquired by the prerogatives of primogeniture.
And not only the father, but also the child, in so far as it is
a boy and born a twin, receives, by means of its birth;
advantages which could in no other way fall to its lot.
From the moment of the birth, the parents are sacred (ve
zera), that is, they may not, up to a certain period, address
any one, nor may they be addressed by any one; they may
not come into contact with any one, without conjuring up
a misfortune. (For exceptions to this rule, see below.)
Likewise, no one may venture to elude any one rule, or
to neglect any duty with regard to the parents of the
twins, if his life is dear to him. Every one who trespasses
0 Stanger, on the sea-coast.
t The idea [intended to be expressed by] "heilig" [holy, sacred,
godly] may here [be considered to] occupy a middle position between
the classical and the -theological use of the word. [The Rev. J. Rath
adds here, that, The 'tabu' of the South Sea Islanders seems to
express the same idea as 'zera' in Otyiherer6."]
i n this respect [is] ma huhua,* i. e., he becomes bewitched,
and therewithis his death certain.
As has already been said (in the description of the
religious ceremonies at a single birth), at the approach
cf a birth, the husband leaves his wife, and perhaps
joins'-the other men of the village; since, generally,
only women may be present at a birth. Should there
be several women in the house of an omupanduke
(woman in labor), these leave the house as soon as they
are aware that a twin birth is taking place ; without,
however, daring to speak a word. Two women only, who
render the necessary assistance, remain behind with the
womanin labor. When the birth has taken place, one of the
women who have remained behind, makes this known ; not
however, to the father, or to any other person (since no
one may be addressed), but to the field. According as the
children are two boys, two girls, or of both sexes, she calls
out, Kuti! Kuti! (o) kauta avevari (or (o) kaseu avevari,
or kauta no haseu), that is to say Field Field They are
both boys &c.t When the father hears this, he arises,
and leaves the village,without, however, daring to say a word.
When I inquired of the Ovaherer6 what causes the death of those
people of whom they say va huhua, they said, "The dread of the
crime which they have committed." As a crime which cannot be
expiated, they, however, regard every neglect of their religious
t [The literal translation has here been added by the Rev. J. Rath as
Kuti! Kuti! okaula avevari; "Field Field Little Bow both! "
Kuti Kuti okaseu avevari Field Field! Little Onion both I "
Kuti Kuti okauta nokaseu; "Field! Field! Little Bow and
Two men accompany him. About one or two hundred paces
from the village, according as he find a suitable little spot,
he has a sleeping place (ondanda) made by the men who
have followed him (and who by this have become his ser-
vants), in order to dwell there for the present. Should
strangers be at the village when the birth of- the twins is
proclaimed, these at once arise and return to their own
The lying in woman, with both her poor little children,
accompanied also by two female servants, follows at her
husband's heels, whether it be winter or summer, in rain
or sunshine. Her -remaining in the village would bewitch
it. Existing elder children are, if possible, kept back in
the village, but, should they follow their parents, then they
also may not return before these do. The company thus
assembled in the ondanda, consisting generally of eight
persons, including the two new-born children, is called
Epaha [twin]. Every single person, however, is also for
himself Epaha, but this designation is particularly applied
to the twins. With those persons only, who are here
assembled, may the parents speak, and have free inter-
course. In the ondanda (sleeping place);both the man and
the woman are undressed by their servants. Rings, beads,
shells, every ornament is taken from them. What could
be done in the hurry, was already taken off the woman
while she was still in her house. If this undressing is not
done as quickly as possible, death comes over them. In
the ondanda they receive for their covering a few old value-
less skins, so that then, with regard to clothing, they look
shabbier than their servants. To the question, What has
occasioned this ceremony ? I received, as almost always in
such cases, the answer, These are ovirangera (religious
ceremonies) of the Ovaherer6."
If the Epaha [ Omapaha], twins, are born in the morning,
a head of cattle is sent from the village to the father to be
slaughtered. This, however, the people may not take to
the ondanda itself, but must tie it up at some distance from
it; during which [operation], however, they dare not speak.
Then the men of the Epaha come to fetch it and strangle
it; as blood may only in one case be shed by the Ovaherer6.
Should- the children be born towards evening, then, perhaps
only a small animal is sent to the Epaha, which is treated
in the same manner as the head of cattle. An Epaha (the
word is here applied to the whole company in the ondanda)
may only eat meat; omayere [sour] milk [their usual
repast] being for them holy [or forbidden] ye zera.
The two babies are, of course, excepted from this rule.
For them, milk is sent from the village, still this, again,
may not be taken to the ondanda, but must be poured-into
a bucket placed by the Epaha at some distance from the
ondanda; during this, however, the bearer of the milk may
not say a word. When he has gone away, the milk is
fetched by [one of] the Epaha for the babies.
Before the people in the ondanda eat of the meat, each
one must first makera, i.e., taste, try [it]. Upon this occa-
sion, the meat is held to the baby's toes, instead of to its
mouth. 'When they have eaten the meat, and nothing else
has as yet been sent from the village, the father calls out,
Kuti! Kuti! tu nondyara! i.e., "Field! Field! we have
hunger !." and immediately another head of cattle is sent.
Should it please the man to slaughter an animal out of a
flock passing his ondanda, he can confidently do so. The
owner will not venture to open his mouth concerning it,
even were he his bitterest enemy.
When the navel strings of the children have fallen off,
they are first of all kept, and, later, when the Epaha returns
to the village, they are put into the great bag, ondyatu
yomapando, the particulars of which have already been
related in the first section.
Immediately after the birth of the twins, messengers are
sent out, to call together all the members of the tribe.
Then every one has to appear, from the oldest man down to
the youngest child, even if they live ever so far away; and
if-the former, as well as the latter, should have to be carried.
And not the people only, but also all the cattle, large and
small, must come to the village where the Epaha has been
born. He who does not appear will be bewitched (ma hiu-
hua), and must on this account die. Should the tribe be
large, one can see, upon this occasion, the field covered,
perhaps for hours of distance, with oxen and sheep.
As soon as the people and cattle have assembled, this is
,.made known to the Epaha with the words, Kuti! Kuti! ve
ya, va ongara! i.e., "Field! Field! They have come!
They are assembled Not until then may he (i.e., the
Epaha) leave his ondanda. In order to announce his return
to the people at the village, he blows upon an onya yomenye
(springbok horn). It is then said in the village, There
comes the Epaha -Up! that we may turn it !" and
thereupon they go to meet it, seemingly as enemies, taking
dry manure, clods of earth, dry wood, &c., and throwing
therewith at those advancing (mave yumbana), but without
hitting them, while the women raise a terrible lamentation
(?)-howl (mave roro ondoro*). However, as has been said,
this is done merely for show. The whole Epalha then
Only the women of the Ovaherero make the ondoro ; and this
'they do by crying in rather a high tone of voice, wururura u 6u ururu-
rurururu ea, &c., bringing out the single notes rather shortly and
sharply, and uttering the 6i about five tones higher than the
t [In the same manner as the Epaha has been, in seeming, killed, so
also is it, in seeming, bewailed. The Epaha, as an Epaha (as was
already observed at the beginning), may not venture to come into the
comes to the village, and sits down on the right, and, there-
fore, the northern side, of the house which stands in the
otyizero. Then each one who is present, from the eldest to
thd youngest, comes forward, in order to be consecrated.
They must, however, first bring an offering. For men,
youths, and boys, this consists of two iron beads, which are
given to the Husband Epaha ; and for women, maidens, and
girls, of two omitombe,* which are given to the Wife Epaha.
The beads and omitombe are placed in an oruakot (a large
dish made of interlaced roots, already placed for this pur-
pose), to be worn later as body ornaments. Persons of the
male sex are consecrated by the father, those of the female
sex by the mother of the twins. This is done by their
taking between the tips of the fingers a little of the
powdered root of the Omun[d]yoze Tree+ (which they have
lying on a sandal, and which has been already prepared in
the ondanda), and rubbing with it the one to be conse-
Little round disks [half an inch in diameter] carved from ostrich
egg shells, which are strung together, and the several strings plaited
together in such a manner as to form a sort of corset, which is worn
round the lower part of the body and called omutombe.
t "A long-shaped dish or basket, made of roots."
+ [The Onmndyoze is a bush, growing in the mountains, and posses-
sing reddish-colored tuberous roots. These roots are roasted to ashes,
and the ashes employed, as a protection from the Epaha, in the manner
here described by Mr. Dannert. Why the ashes should be placed upon
a sandal, instead of upon a dish (wooden dishes being in use among
the Ovaheroro), cannot, at this moment, be ascertained ; it being merely
stated by a native, who has been consulted, that the use of the sandal
is customary upon this occasion.
The roots of the Omundyoze are also employed medicinally in the
following manner, viz., the fresh roots are pounded with a stone, so
that the juice is expressed ; this is boiled ; and used, when it has
become a little cool, to rub stiffened limbs. The whole root is also
employed for tanning purposes.]
crated, on the left side of the forehead and on the left arm,
and then throwing the remainder of it upon his chest.
The ceremony is called okukuua. In the case of a man,
his gun, spear, lance, bow, or whatever other weapon he
may carry, are also previously consecrated. All the
weapons must then be left behind, and be kept, during the
day, placed together near the sacred house.
The first among the women who have been consecrated,
build, in the meantime, a hut for the Epaha, exactly like
the hut of an omuari, as has already been described in the
first part [Vol. II.-Part IV., see pp. 62 and 63]. The house
for an Epaha, however, is not built near the Sacred House,
but further to the right of it, near the thorn-kraal. Like-
wise, some of the men who were first consecrated take an
ox, in order to slaughter it, as, before this is done, the
cattle may not go out to the pasture. Meanwhile, the
consecration is completed; and the meat of the slaughtered
ox is then laid down, near the Sacred House, upon a
branch (otyihuno). First of all, one of the two fore quarters
must be boiled, and when the meat is ready, all the people
are called together, in order to maker, i.e., to taste [it] ;
which, however, as is evident from what has ali'eady been
said, is not done for the sake of the tasting, but is a religious
ceremony. This okumakera again takes place in the follow-
ing order, that the father first, and then the mother, takes a
small piece of meat, then such another is held to the toes
of both the children (which [operation] as distinguished
from okumakera is called okutova), and after this all the
members of the tribe may makera. The slaves dwelling.,in
the village are not allowed to makera. After this ceremony
is completed, the remaining meat is taken to the hut which
has been built for the Epaha, into whichthis [latter] then
During the following days, the Epaha goes round the
werft in procession, visiting two or three houses each day;
where exactly the same takes place as op the first day of its
return to the village. They sit down at the right side of
the house, and again, at each single house all who are at
theiwerft gather together, each time bringing the above-
mentioned offerings, each time, being again consecrated;
each time a head of cattle is strangled, from which a fore
quarter is again boiled, and makera'd, and the remaining
meat carried to the house of the Epaha. When, finally,
meat becomes too plentiful, the man says, "' There is meat
enough ; bring me now living cattle w which he then adds
to his flock. However, from each living head of cattle
which is brought, half an ear must be cut, which is then,
in.thi.place of the fore quarter, roasted in the ashes, and,
for the okumakera, is held to the teeth of those assembled
for the festivity.. These earlaps are then put away, and
later strung upon a thin strap, and the milk-calabashes
of the father of the twins therewith adorned. After his
death only one of these twins may inherit these calabashes.
After these ceremonies have come to an end in their own
village, and among those belonging to his oruzo [tribe of
the father, the Epaha goes round the country, still clad
in the same old garments that were put on immediately
after the birth of the children. Should the father be a
bold. or impudent man (ependa), he passes no village, even
should it belong to a strange tribe and to him be quite
unknown. At every village which he visits, quite the same
cerepnonies as those described above are repeated.. No
chief will dare to send him away, as this would cause his
death When a chief, who just then has no cattle at the
placq, hears that an Epaha is coming, he probably has
it caBled out to it, Field field Wait a little, and then
come I I have now no cattle here." He will, however,
no.t attempt to keep him [viz., the Epaha] away from his
village, even if he should have to give him his best milch
cow, Such a procession [about the countryJ sometimes
lasts more than a year; and, as the Epaha chiefly allows
itself to be presented only with live-stock, it usually comes
back rich. The servants who carry the iron beads and
omitombe, have at last quite a load. When the Epaha
finally returns to its werft from its expedition, the twins are
taken to the okuruo,# for the purpose of receiving their
names; and exactly the same ceremonies then lake place,
there, as have been already related in the description of the
namegiving which occurs in the previous paper. From this
epoch the Epaha is again common (ra hahuruha), and is no
longer feared. The father and the mother now also lose
the title Epaha, the former is called Omupandye, the latter
Onyambari, whilst the children remain Epaha. The old
rags are also laid aside, and better clothes put on again;
and, with the beads and omitombe which have been
collected, the bodies are adorned in various ways.
Every Omupandye (father of twins) has the right to act
as the representative of the Chief of the werft in his
priestly functions, even should he be the Chief's youngest
son, or cousin. If the Chief is not present, an Omupandye
can, for example, disenchant a sick person, maker the
[0 It will be of interest, to students of native customs, to add here that
a Missionary from one of the most northern stations in Damaraland
informs us that there is more than one holy fire (okurn-) to be
met with in an Ovaherer6 village. That one which is the most
highly thought of, belongs to the omurangere, or priest of the village ;
and to this fire are his own children, as well as certain members of his
own family, taken, to be there named by himself. Each head of a family
(that is to say here of a household), however, possesses an okurvo of his
own; considered to be inferior in importance to that of the priest; and here
it is that the children, with the exception of those already mentioned
above, receive their names; from the respective fathers, each at his own
omayere, and so bn. The twin child also already possesses
all the priestly privileges. For a twin boy there exists no
forbidden meat, no forbidden milk ; also no one would dare to
curse an Epaha. Should any one kill an Ebaha, his werft
would be destroyed from the face of the earth. As a twin
boy, he [viz., the Epaha] inherits, if the Chief dies, the
priestly.dignity; and even should an elder brother succeed
his father as owner of the werft, it is still called by the
name of the younger twin child, who is invested with the
When, shortly after the death of a man for whom the
ovirangera [religious ceremonies] have not yet been accom-
plished, a twin birth takes place, this is not sacred (hari
zera), that is to say, if the father of the twins is of the same
oruzo or ondukuo [*] as the deceased. There are also a
few otuzo [pl. of oruzo], such as the Ounguendyandyp,
Ounguenyuva, Ombonqoro, who, as the Ovaherer6 express
it, make no Epaha." Of the birth of three children at
once, none of the Ovaherer6 whom I questioned had ever
Omburo, 23d Sept. 1879.
A FEW WORDS CONCERNING THE REV. J. G.
CHRISTALLER'S RECENTLY PUBLISHED
COLLECTION OF TSHI PROVERBS.
It will be cheering to those who amid the many practical
difficulties of daily life in South Africa are yet endeavour-
ing to lend a helping hand in the work of recording at least
some specimens of the traditionary literature to be met with
[Onduko ? The latter word has the same meaning as oruzo.]
among our South African Native races, to read of a kind
gift which has lately reached the Grey Library, at Cape
Town, from the Rev. J. G. Christaller (late Missionary in
Akuapem and Akem, now resident in Germany). The work
hus bestoived is a copy of the Rev. Mr. C hristaller's recently
published "Collection of Three Thousand and Six Hun-
dred Tshi Proverbs in use among the Negroes of the Gold
Coast speaking the Asante and Fante Language."* The
Preface to this volume, dated Schorndorf (February, 1879),
is so full of interest for other collectors of Native Lore,
that, as the majority of our South African fellow-workers are
hardly likely to meet with it otherwise, a few extracts from
it shall be given here.
After speaking of the "extraordinary exuberance of
proverbs in Tshi, the "prevalent language of the countries
lying on the Gold Coast between the rivers Assinie and
Volta and inland," and the numerous ways in which pro-
verbs are employed by the Negroes of the Gold Coast, Mr.
Christaller proceeds as follows :
"That a collection of proverbs like the present will be of no
common value for all students of the language in which they
sprang up, or of the peculiarities of the people who use them,
needs no proof. They contain almost inexhaustible materials for
the grammar and dictionary, and still more for those who
aspire, to a sound and thorough knowledge of the Negro mind.
So the printing of this Collection has been undertaken not only foi
the benefit of the Natives who are able to read and write their own
language and who will be glad to find them together, but also for the
"A Collection of Three Thousand and Six Hundred Tshi Proverbs
in use among the Negroes of the Gold Coast speaking the Asante and
Fante Language, collected, together with their variations, and alpha
betically arranged by the Rev. J. G. Christaller, late Missionary in
Akuapem and Akem.-Basel: 1879. Printed for the Basel German
Evangelical Missionary Society. Sold by the Missions-Buchhandlung
Basel, and C. Buhl, Christiansborg, Gold Coast, W. Africa."
benefit of those Europeans who have to deal with the Natives as
missionaries, rulers, magistrates or judges, not excepting the merchant,
if his pursuits allow of sufficient time being spent on gaining a real
acquaintance with the people.
To add a translation and explnaiion to the proverbs h is not been
possible to the Editor for the present. Not a few of the proverbs given
would lose much even in the best possible translation ; many would
require a good deal of explanation. Perhaps at some later time the
Editor may find leisure to translate a selection of them with a short
commentary. Meanwhile this collection points out 268 proverbs that
have been translated and explained by the Rev. H. N. Riis in his
"Grammatical Outline and Vocabulary of the Oji Language, Basel,
1854," page 111-136, an 92 more that are found translated in the
Editor's Grammar of the Asante and Fante Language called Tshi
Basel, 1875." o0 0 Thus about 440 of our 3680 proverbs may be said
to be already translated, and for the rest the student of the language
must be referred to the Editor's Dictionary of the Asante and Fante
Language (t) be printed in 1879) or to the help of native interpreters.
I may add something about the way in which the present collection of
Tshi proverbs h,- been obtained. 0 o 0 They were taken down by the
missionaries themselves from the oral communication of certain elders
or of other old and younger people, or they were written by native
assistants who increased their own previous knowledge by learning
from experienced countrymen. s o
May this Collection give a new stimulus to the diligent gathering
of folk-lore and to the in-reasing cultivation of native literature.
May those Africans who are enjoying the benefit of a Christian
education,; make the best of this privilege ; butlett:'em not despise the
sparks of truth entrusted to and preserved by their own people, and let
them not forget that by entering into their way of thinking and by
acknowledging what is good and expounding what is wrong they will
gain the more access to the hearts and minds of their less favoured
SAUL SOLOMON AND 0o., ST UAM PRINTING OFFICE, ST. GEORGE'S-STREET