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


They sought for !haken,[1] they were digging out !haken. They went about, sifting !haken, while they were digging out !haken. And, when the larvæ of the, !haken were intending to go in (to the earth which was underneath the little hillock), they collected together, they sifted the larvæ of the !haken on the hunting ground.

And the hyena[2] took the blackened perspiration of her armpits, she put it into the !haken. And they[3] gave to !ko-g!nuing-tara of the !hagen. And !ko-g!nuing-tara exclaimed, she said to her younger sister: "Thou shalt leave this !haken alone; I will be the one who eats it. For, thou art the one who shalt take care of the child.[4] For, this !haken, its smell is not nice."

Therefore, as !ko-g!nuing-tara sat, eating the !haken,

[1. !haken resembles "rice" (i.e. "Bushman rice"); its larvæ are like (those of) "Bushman rice". !haken is a thing to eat; there is nothing as nice as it is, when it is fresh.

2. A female hyena.

3. The hyenas (it) was, with the jackals, the blue cranes (and) the black crows.

4. It was !ko-g!nuing-tara's child. The Dawn's-Heart was the one who buried the child away from his wife, under the !huing (a plant with a handsome green top, and little bulbous roots at the end of fibres in the ground. The roots are eaten by the Bushmen raw, and also roasted and made into meal, which is said to be excellent, |hang#kass'o thinks that the flower is red; but has not seen the plant since he was a child).]

the ornaments[1] (i.e., earrings, bracelets, leglets, anklets) of themselves ) came off.[2] The kaross (skin cloak) also unloosened (itself), the kaross also sat down. The skin petticoat also unloosened (itself), the skin petticoat sat down. The shoes ilso unloosened (themselves). Therefore, she sprang up,[3] she in this manner trotted away. Her younger sister, shrieking, followed her.[4] She went; she went into the reeds. She went to sit in the reeds.

Her younger sister exclaimed: "O !ko-g!nuing-tara! wilt thou not first allow the child to suck?" And she (the elder sister) said: "Thou shalt bring it, that it may suck; I would altogether talk to thee, while my thinking-strings still stand." Therefore, she spoke., she said to her younger sister: "Thou must be quickly bringing the child, while I am still conscious; and thou shalt bring the child to-morrow morning."

Her younger sister returned home, also the hyena, when the hyena bad put on the ornaments; they returned home, while the Dawn's-Heart and the rest[5] were (still) out hunting. The Dawn's-Heart returned home, as the child cried there, while his younger sister-in-law was the one who had the child.

He came, he exclaimed: "Why is it, that !ko-g!nuing-tara is not attending to the child, while the child cries there?" The hyena did not speak.

[1. Bracelet, anklet, leglet.

2. (They) came off, they sat down upon the ground.

3. She felt that she became a beast of prey.

4. Because she wanted to run to catch hold of her elder sister.

5. I think that he was with other people. I think that they seem to have been the jackals' husbands, and the quaggas, and the wildebeests with the ostriches.]

|Xe-dde-Yoe[1] was soothing the child. She waited; her elder sister's husband went to hunt; and she took the child upon her back. She went to her elder sister; she walked, arriving at the reeds. She exclaimed: "O !ko-g!nuing-tara! let the child suck." And her elder sister sprang out of the reeds; her elder sister, in this manner, came running; her elder sister caught hold of her, she turning (her body on one side) gave her ) elder sister the child. She said: "I am here" And her elder sister allowed the child to suck. She said: "Thou must quickly bring the child (again), while I am still conscious; for, I feel as if my thinking-strings would fall down." And her younger sister took the child upon her back, she returned home; while her elder sister went into the reeds.

And, near sunset, she went to her elder sister; while she felt that her elder sister was the one who had thus spoken to her about it; her elder sister said: "Thou must quickly bring the child, for, I feel. as if I should forget you, while I feel that I do not know." And, her younger sister took the child near sunset, she went to her elder sister, she stood. She exclaimed: "O !ko-g!nuing-tara! let the child suck." Her elder sister sprang out of the reeds; she ran up to her younger sister. And she caught hold of her younger sister. Her younger sister said: "I am here! I am here!" She allowed the child to suck. She said: "Thou must quickly come (again); for, I feel as if I should forget you, (as if) I should not any longer think of you." Her

[1. The name of the younger sister of !ko-g!nuing-tara was |Xe-dde-Yoe. She was a (one of the early race).]

younger sister returned home, while she went into the reeds.

Her younger sister, on the morrow, she went to her elder sister; she walked, coming, coming, coming, coming, she stood. And she exclaimed: "O !ko-g!nuing-tara!" let the child suck." And her elder sister sprang out of the reeds, she ran up to her younger sister, she caught hold of her younger sister. Her younger sister, springing aside, gave her the child. Her younger sister said: "I am here!" Therefore, she (the elder sister) spoke, she said to her younger sister: "Thou must not continue to come to me; for, I do not any longer feel that I know." And her younger sister returned home.

And they went to make a !ku[1] there (at the house). They played. The men played with them, while the women were those who clapped their hands, while the men were those who nodded their heads, while the women were those who clapped their hands for them. Then, the Dawn's-Heart, nodding his head, went up to his younger sister-in-law, he laid his hand on his younger sister-in-law (on her shoulder). Then his younger sister-in-law swerved aside. She exclaimed: "Leave me alone! your wives, the old she-hyenas,[2] may clap their hands for you."

Then the Dawn's-Heart ran to the hyena; he took

[1. This is a dance or game of the Bushmen, which |hang#kass'o has not himself seen, but has heard of from Tuani-ang and #kammi, two of Tsatsi's wives. They used to say that their fathers made a !ku (and) played. Their mothers were those who clapped their hands, clapped their hands for the men; the men nodded their heads.

2. She said !gwai |e-tara, a from anger; anger was that on account of which she said !gwai |e-tara.]

aim (with his assegai),[1] he pierced the place where the hyena had been sitting,[2] while the hyena sprang out, she trod, burning herself in the fire, while she sprang away; while the ornaments remained at the place where she had been sitting, and where she had been wearing them. She sprang away, while they remained.

And the Dawn's-Heart scolded his younger sister-in-law, why was it that his younger sister-in-law had not quickly told him about it; she had concealed from him about the hyena; as if this was not why he had seen that the woman had been sitting with her back towards him, she had not been sitting with her face towards him. She had been sitting with her back towards him; the (i.e. his) wife had been sitting with her face towards him. A different person, she must be the one who was here, she had sat with her back towards him.[3] And he said that his younger sister-in-law should quickly explain to him about the place where the (his) wife seemed to be. His younger sister-in-law said: "Thou shalt wait, that the place may become light[4]; for, thou dost seem to think that (thy) wife is still like that which she used to be. We will go to (thy) wife, when the sun has come out."

[1. (He) brought himself to a stand (in order to take aim).

2. She sat in the house, being afraid. Therefore, she took off the bracelets from her wrists, while she desired that she might sit quietly; while she felt that she left the things. She suspected that the people were making a !ku (on her account), therefore she did not go to the !ku, while she felt that she had been wearing !ko-g!nuing-tara things.

3. Because he had married the hyena, because he thought that it was !ko-g!nuing-tara.

4. Because it was night.]

Therefore, on the morrow, he said that his younger sister-in-law must quickly allow them to go. Then his younger sister-in-law said: "We ought to drive, taking goats, that we may take goats to (thy) wife." Therefore, they drove, taking goats. They drove along goats, drove along goats; they took the goats to the reeds. And they drove the goats to a stand.[1]

|Xe-dde-Yoe[1] directed her elder sister's husband, she said that her elder sister's husband should stand behind her back, the other people must stand behind her elder sister's husband's back, while she must be the one to stand beside the goats. Then she exclaimed: !ko-g!nuing-tara! let the child suck."

Then her elder sister sprang out of the reeds; she, in this manner, she running came. She, when she had run to her younger sister, she perceived the goats, she turned aside to the goats. She caught hold of a goat. The Dawn's-Heart caught hold of (his) wife, while the wife caught hold of the goat; while his younger sister-in-law, |Xe-dde-Yoe, also took hold of the wife. All the people altogether caught hold of her. Other people were catching hold of the goats; they out the goats open, they took out the contents of the stomach, they anointed !ko-g!nuing-tara with the contents of the stomachs. They, taking hold, rubbed off the hair[3] (from her skin). Therefore, when she sat down, she said: "Ye must, pulling, leave the hair on the tips of my ears; for, in that

[1. They left off (driving), in order that the goats might stand still.

2. |Xe is a young girl. What the whole of |Xe-dde-Yoe's name means, the narrator does not know.

3. The hair, with which she had become a lynx.]

manner I shall come to hear; for, I do not feel as if I should hear." Therefore, the man (her husband), pulling off, left the hair on the tips of her ears, that hair which is thus[2] on the tips of the ears, standing on the top of them.

Therefore, the Dawn's-Heart used, when he was returning home,[3] to put an arrow on the bow, he walked, sticking the end of his assegai into the ground, as he returning came. His eyes were large, as he came walking along; they resembled fires. The people were afraid of him as he came, on account of his eyes; while they felt that his eyes resembled fires, as he came walking along. The jackals were afraid of him, as he returning came.

In order to throw more light on that portion of the story of !ko-gnuing-tara which is contained in the version here given, the following extract is supplied from page 11 of Dr. Bleek's "Second Report concerning Bushman Researches", printed at Cape Town, in 1875:--

"The "Dawn's-Heart" (the star Jupiter) has a daughter, who is identified with some neighboring star preceding Jupiter (at the time when we asked, it was Regulus or Alpha Leonis). Her name is the "Dawn's-Heart-child," and her relation to her father is somewhat mysterious. He calls her "my heart," he swallows her, then walks alone as the only Dawn's-Heart Star, and, when she is grown up, he spits her out again. She then herself becomes another (female) Dawn's-Heart, and spits out another Dawn's-Heart-child, which follows the male and female Dawn's-Heart. The mother of the latter, the first-mentioned Dawn's-Heart's wife, was the Lynx, who was then a beautiful woman, with a younger sister who carried her digging-stick after her. The Dawn's-Heart hid his child under the leaves of an edible root (!kuissi), where he thought that his wife would come and find it. Other animals and birds arrived first, and each proposed herself to the Dawn's-Heart-child as its mother; but they

[1. She said that she should not hear, if all the hair were off her ears. Therefore, her husband should leave the other hair on her ears.

2. Holding up two fingers.

3. He always (henceforth) did thus, because the hyenas had made his heart angry, they had poisoned (his) wife.]

were mocked at by the child, until at last it recognized its own mother. Among the insulted animals were the Jackal and the Hyena, who, to revenge themselves, bewitched the mother (Lynx) with some poisoned "Bushman rice" (so-called "ants' eggs"), by which means she was transformed into a lioness. la the dark, the Hyena tried to take her (the Lynx's) place in the hut, on the return of the Dawn's-Heart; but the imposture was made known to him by his sister-in-law. The Dawn's-Heart tried to stab the Hyena with his assegai, but missed her. She fled, putting her foot into the fire, and burning it severely. The bewitched wife was enticed out of the reeds by her younger sister, and then caught by her brothers, who pulled off the lion skin, so that she became a fair woman again. But, in consequence of having been bewitched by "Bushman rice," she could no longer eat that, and was changed into a lynx who ate meat.--This myth, which contains many minor, and some beautiful incidents, is partly given in the form of a narrative, and partly in discourses addressed by the Dawn's-Heart to his daughter, as well as in speeches made by the Hyena and her parents, after her flight home."

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