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Page 4, Note 11.
There is an interesting version of this legend given by Casalis as existing among the Basutos:—
"'The Lord,' they say, 'in ages gone by, sent this message to men: Oh, men, you will die, but you will rise again. The messenger of the Lord was tardy in the performance of his mission, and a wicked being hastened to precede him, and proclaimed to men: The Lord saith, You will die, and you will die for ever. When the true messenger arrived, they would not listen to him, but replied, The first word is the first, the second is nothing.' In the legend the first messenger of the Lord is designated by the name of the Grey Lizard, and the other who supplanted him, by that of the Chameleon." (The Basutos, p. 242.)
The word here rendered by Casalis "Lord" is no doubt Morimo, the meaning of which see in the article on Utikxo.
Arbousset again gives another version "as current in South Africa," and which connects in a curious way the Hottentot legend with that of the natives of these parts:—
"The Lord (Morena) sent in the former times a grey lizard with his message to the world, 'Men die......they will be restored to life again.' The chameleon set out from his chief, and, arriving in haste, he said, 'Men die......they die for ever.' Then the grey lizard came and cried, 'The Lord has spoken, saying, Men die......they shall live again.' But men answered him, 'The first word is the first; that which is after is nothing.'" (Op. cit., p. 342.)
Campbell gives the following legend of the cause of death on the authority of a Mashow native:—
"Matoome was the first man, and had a younger brother of the same name, and a sister whose name was Matoomyan. She was the first who came out from the hole, and had orders respecting the cattle, and was appointed to superintend them; but her brother Matoome came out, and without leave went and led the cattle round the end of a mountain, which so enraged his sister, who possessed medicine for the preservation of life and health, that she returned to the hole, carrying with her the precious medicine; in consequence of which diseases and death came into the world, and prevail in it to this day." (Op. cit. Vol. I., p. 306.)
Page 65, Note 27.
The following extract from the Sire de Joinville's Saint Louis, King of France, is added as an interesting illustration of the existence of a custom similar to that of making the Isivivane:—
"He related to us yet another great marvel. While he was in p. 101 their camp a knight of much means died, and they dug for him a road and deep trench in the earth; and they seated him, very nobly attired, on a chair, and placed by his side the best horse and the best sergeant he had, both alive. The sergeant, before he was placed in the grave with his lord, went round to the King of the Comans, and the other men of quality, and while he was taking leave of them they threw into his scarf a large quantity of silver and gold, and said to him, 'When I come to the other world thou shalt return to me what now entrust to thee.' And he replied, 'I will gladly do so.'
"The great King of the Comans confided to him a letter addressed to their first king, in which he informed him that this worthy man had led a good life and had served him faithfully, and begged him to reward him for his services. When this was done they placed him in the grave with his lord and the horse, both alive; then they threw over the trench boards closely fitted together, and the whole army ran to pick up stones and earth, so that before they slept they had erected a great mound over it, in remembmnce of those who were interred."
THE following letter is republished from the Natal Courier to establish the fact that Ukulukulu is only a dialectic pronunciation of Unkulunkulu:—
To the Editor.
SIR,—You have thought the discussion of the meaning of Unkulunkulu worth a place in the Courier. Will you grant me space for a few more remarks?
I have, for some years, been perfectly satisfied with the accuarcy of my views on this subject. Yet I have not discontiuned my researches. Every fresh objection, and even every old objection repeated by a new objector, has led to new investigations; and every fresh investigation has led to a confirmation of my previous views, whilst it has at the same time extended them and made them more clear. This has been the case with A. B.'s objection, that I have confounded Unkulunkulu, the nasalized form, with Ukulukulu, the unnasalized word.
I have for a long time been aware of the use of the two words among the natives; and although I copied without comment Dr. Bleek's remark;—"perhaps the unnasalized form is at present more usual in the signification of a great-great-grandfather, or the first ancestor of a family or tribe;"—thinking he had authority for such a statement; it did not tally with my own experience, my impression being very decided, that the nasalized form is by far the most common, I having very seldom heard the unnasalized word used by natives. The reason of this is now obvious. My investigations have been conducted for the most part among the Amazulu: whilst the unnasalized form, Ukulukulu, is a tribal pronunciation. So far as I at present know, it is pronounced thus especially by the Amalala; but probably it is also in use among other tribes. The Amazulu, the Amakxosa, and the Amakuza use the nasalized form, Unkulunkulu.
It will perhaps help others to a p. 102 clear understanding of this matter, if I just detail some conversation on the subject with two sets of natives on two different occasions, since my last letter to the Courier.
There were three men working together. The eldest, Ungqeto, some time ago gave me Dumakade as the name of the Unkulunkulu of his house. This word Dumakade is his isibongo, and all members of his house can be addressed by it. I addressed him by the name, "Dumakade!" The other two smiled at my knowing his isibongo; and he, laughing, said—"I told you that name a year ago, and you remember it now."—I said—"Yes; you told me Dumakade was the name of the Unkulunkulu of your house."—He said—"Yes."
I turned to another, and said—"Usibamu, what is the name of yours?"—He replied, without a moment's hesitation—"Ubaleni."
I turned to Utambo, and asked—"And of yours?" He answered—"Ukwele."
Another native here joined us, and I asked him—"Ulwati, what is the name of the Unkulunkulu of your house?"—He said—"Does he ask our isibongo?"—I replied—"I said nothing of isibongo. I asked the name of your Unkulunkulu."—He answered—"Uzimande."
At a short distance there was a fifth man, Ugovana, working. I had asked him a few weeks ago if he knew anything of Unkulunkulu; and he gave me the common version of the tradition of the origin of man. I went to him; and he, having overheard us, said—"O, you were asking of that! I thought you were asking me about the Unkulunkulu wabantu bonke (the Unkulunkulu of all men)."—I said—"Yes, I was, when I asked you a short time since. But are there not many Onkulunkulu?"—He said—"Yes. Ours is Umdaka."
Thus in the space of half an hour I have the names of five different Onkulunkulu given to me. And be it remembered that these Onkulunkulu are the objects of worship in their respective houses.
I observed, on another occasion, Umpengula, a native Christian, standing by the side of three heathen natives. Their names are Udingezi, Ubulawa, and Umkonto. They are all probably more than sixty years old. I called Umpengula and said—"They say I have confounded Unkulunkulu with Ukulukulu. What do you say?"
He replied—"What do they mean? Why, it is one word. The Amazulu say Unkulunkulu; the Amalala say Ukulukulu."
I said—"I know. But what I want to ask is, whether you remember when Ukota came, and I asked him about Unkulunkulu?"
He said—"Yes. I remember quite well."
"He told me that their Unkulunkulu was Usenzangakona."
"Do you remember my asking him whether he did not mean Ukulukulu, and his answering, 'We (viz., Amazulu) say Unkulunkulu. But it is all one?'"
He said—"Yes. I remember."
"And you agree with him?"
I said—"Let us call Udingezi, and hear what he will say. Do you ask him, and I will be silent. Ask him what the heads of generations are called."
Umpengula put his question thus—"What is the name of your Ukulukulu (the unnasalized form)?"
I was vexed with this, because I had not wished any thing to be suggested; and said—"No; ask him thus, What is the father of your father called, and so on backwards."
He began—"He who begat ubaba is ubaba-mkulu, or ukulu; he who begat ubaba-mkulu is ukoko; he who begat ukoko is unkulunkulu." Thus using the nasalized form, though the unnasalized word had been suggested. An experimentum crucis this!
We then went to Ubulawa and Umkonto, who were still sitting on the grass at a distance. They gave the heads of generations in the same way as Udingezi, viz., Ubaba, Ukulu, Ukoko, Unkulunkulu: each using the nasalized form.
I asked them what the Amalala called the head of the fourth generation back?
They thought for a little while, and Ubulawa answered—"Ukulukulu."
I said—"Then Unkulunkulu and Ukulukulu is one."
They replied—"Yes. The Amazulu say Unkulunkulu; the Amalala Ukulukulu."
I asked—"Are you Amazulu?"
They replied—"No; we are Amakuza."
I continued—"Well, you speak of one Unkulunkulu of all men. What was his name?"
They replied—"We do not know him. We know nothing about him."
I said—"I mean him who first came out of the bed of reeds, and brought out all things."
They replied they knew nothing about him.
We are not to understand this answer absolutely. Had I wished it, I could have got each of them to relate a version of the tradition.
I said—"But some of the Onkulunkulu have names?"
I asked—"What is the name of yours, Ubulawa?"
"And of yours, Udingezi?"
"And of yours, Umkonto?"
"Has the Unkulunkulu of the Amakuza tribe a name?"
And Udingezi added, without my asking—"Udhlamini is the name of him who divided the tribes."75
From these conversations we conclude that there are many who are called Unkulunkulu:—
1. Great-great-grandfathers, of whom eight are here named.
2. The heads of tribes, of whom one is named.
3. The dividers of tribes, of whom one is named.
4. The Unkulunkulu of all men, whose name is unknown.
This last I have been accustomed to call, for the sake of distinction, Unkulunkulu the First, and the others, Secondary Onkulunkulu. Dr. Bleek feels the need of a distinctive epithet, and says, the Unkulunkulu par excellence.76 We find a native making the distinction of his own accord, by saying the Unkulunkulu of all men. We have also the separate testimony of several natives that Ukulukulu is all one with Unkulunkulu, and that the former is a tribal pronunciation.
I think, Sir, that entirely independently of other materials in my possession, the position is fully established by what I have here written, that Unkulunkulu is, both on critical and religious grounds, an utterly unfit word with which to translate GOD. The error of supposing it to be, appears to me to have arisen from the fact that the natives ascribe in some sort the divine act of Creation to the first man. But I think I shall be able, at a future time, to show that their notions of creation are so widely opposed to ours, that most of the words they use to express it are unfit to be used for the purpose by the missionary, implying as they do a theory of creation utterly inadmissible in Christian theology, which is founded on the Word of God.—H. C.
75 We have met with this saying frequently in the previous pages. It has been understood to mean that Unkulunkulu created the nations. But it has no such meaning, and does not even allude to creation at all, as will be clear from the following explanation of the words:—
To divide (or break off) the nations is this, to separate house from house, that they may go in different directions, and have their own government. This, then, is division; for they will never again return to their first position, but separate further and further from each other.
For instance, it is said there was a division of the rope when Udingane separated from Umpande. p. 104 It was said, "Umpande has broken off from Udingane, and goes by himself; and Udingane too is by himself." That is to divide or break off.
The dividing (or breaking off) of the nations at first is this, that a primitive chief should make a division in his many houses, saying, "So-and-so, live in such a place. Depart from this place, and go and reign for yourself." He says the same to another, and to all his children,
This, then, is to divide (or break off) the nations. And those become nations who are taken out together with their villages. For example, Umahhaule broke off from the Abambo, and Unjan also, and Umunyu, and Ungangezwe. All these came from Uzithlanthlo, their great chief.
76 Usithlanu calls him "Unkulunkulu wamandulo," The most ancient Unkulunkulu, see p. 89.