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


The Vultures formerly made their elder sister of a person;[1] they lived with her.

They, when their elder sister's husband[2] brought (home) a springbok, they ate up the springbok. And their elder sister's husband cursed them, he scolded at them.

And their[3] elder sister took up the skin of the springbok, she singed it. Their elder sister boiled the skin of the springbok, their elder sister took it out (of the pot).

[1. A woman was the one of whom they made their elder sister. The woman was a person of the early race.

2. man of the early race (he) was.

3. |han#kass'o explains the use of the singular form of the pronoun, here, in the following manner: "Their elder sister was one, they were many."]

And they were taking hold[1] of the pieces of skin, they swallowed them down. Their elder sister's husband scolded them, because they again, they ate with their elder sister, of the springbok's skin, when they had just eaten the body of the springbok, they again, they ate with their elder sister of the springbok's skin.

And they were afraid of their elder sister's husband, they went away, they went in all directions, they, in this manner, sat down. And they looked at their elder sister's husband, they were looking furtively at their elder sister's husband.

Their elder sister's husband went hunting. He again, he went (and) killed a springbok; he brought the springbok home, slung upon his back.[3] They again, they came (and) ate up the springbok. Their elder sister's husband scolded them. And they moved away, they sat down. [4]

Their elder sister singed the springbok's skin she boiled the springbok's skin. Their elder sister was giving to them pieces of the skin, they were swallowing them down.

Therefore, on the morrow, their elder sister's husband said that his wife must go with him; she should altogether eat on the hunting ground; for, his younger sisters-in-law were in the habit of eating up the springbok. Therefore, the wife should go with him. Then, the wife went with him.

[1. I think that it was (with) their hands, if they were not taking hold of things with their mouths; for, they flew.

2. Their elder sister was the one who had been giving to them of the springbok's skin.

3. Carried the springbok.

4. When the meat was finished; they had eaten up the meat.]

Therefore, they,[1] when their elder sister had gone, they went out of the house,[2] they sat down opposite to the house,[3] and they conspired together about it. They said, this other one said: "Thou shalt ascend, and then thou must come to tell us what the place seems to be like." And another said: "Little sister[4] shall be the one to try; and then, she must tell us." And then, a Vulture who was a little Vulture girl, she arose, she ascended.

They said: "Allow us, that we may see what little sister will do." Then, she went, disappearing in the sky, they no longer perceived her.

They sat; they were awaiting the time at which their younger sister should descend. Then, their younger sister descended (lit. fell) from above out of the sky, she (came and) sat in the midst of them.

And they exclaimed Ah! What is the place like? "And their younger sister said: "Our mate[5] who is here shall ascend, that she may look. For, the place seems as if we should perceive a thing, when we are above there."

Then, her elder sister who was a grown up girl, she arose, she ascended, she went, disappearing in

[1. The Vultures.

2. Their elder sister's house, in which they had been living with their elder sister.

3. They felt that they were people.

4. A little girl.

5. Her elder sister was the one of whom she spoke.]

the sky. She descended from above, she sat in the midst of the other people. [1]

And the other people said: "What is the place like?" And she said: "There is nothing the matter with the place; for, the place is clear. The place is very beautiful; for, I do behold the whole place; the stems of the trees,[2] I do behold them; the place seems as if we should perceive a springbok, if a springbok were lying under a tree; for the place is very beautiful."

Then, they altogether arose, all of them, they ascended into the sky,[3] while they wished that their elder sister should eat; for, their elder sister's husband scolded them.

Therefore, they used, when they espied their elder sister's husband coming, they ate in great haste. They said: "Ye must eat! ye must eat! ye must eat in great haste! for, that accursed man who comes yonder, he could not endure us." And, they finished the springbok, they flew away, flew heavily away, they thus, they yonder alighted; while their elder sister's husband came to pick up the bones.

They, when they perceived a springbok, they descended, and their elder sister perceived them, their elder sister followed them up.[4] They ate, (they) ate, they were looking around; they said: "Ye must eat; ye should look around; ye shall leave some meat for (our) elder sister; ye shall

[1. The Vultures.

2. Large trees.

3. While they felt that they altogether became Vultures.

4. Vultures are those which we follow up.]

leave for (our) elder sister the undercut,[1] when ye see that (our) elder sister is the one who comes." And they perceived their older sister coming, they exclaimed: "Elder sister really seems to be coming yonder, ye must leave the meat which is in the springbok's skin."[2] And, they left (it).[3] And, when they beheld that their elder sister drew near to them, they went away, they went in all directions.

Their elder sister said: "Fie! how can ye act in this manner towards me? as if I had been the one who scolded you!"

And their elder sister came up to the springbok, she[3] took up the springbok, she returned home; while the Vultures went forward (?), they went to fly about, while they sought for another springbok, which they intended again to eat.

[1. It is meat; the |kuaiten is that which lies along the front of the upper part of the spine.

2. The word |kuaiten, translated here as "undercut" (in accordance with the description of its position), bears some resemblance to that given for "biltong flesh", in the Katkop dialect, by Dia!kwnain, which is |kwaii.

3. They ate the skin together (with the meat).

4. It is possible that the pronoun hi may have combined with the verb here.]


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