A necklace of springbok ears

SKU:   978-1-920689-89-6
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Where once there were twenty-nine San Bushman languages and/or dialects in Southern Africa, few now remain. The loss of these languages results in the loss of their stored oral culture and indigenous knowledge. All that remains are archaeological evidence and rock art, or slim archives recorded by individuals, such as Wilhelm Bleek, Lucy Lloyd and GR von Wielligh, who heard the encroaching language and cultural death knell before it was too late. The contents of this study hang together as in a “necklace of springbok ears”. The last dancing rattle and necklace has long since crumbled to dust. Yet the binding string serves as a useful metaphor for the literary texts discussed here and their relation to the culture of the First People. The cosmology embedded in the /Xam myths as recorded by Von Wielligh between the Cederberg and the Gariep (or Orange) River seems to share much with contemporary consciousness: in order to survive, humankind needs to recognise the interdependence of all life. [DOI:10.18820/9781920689902]

Publication Date: May 2016
Authors: Helize van Vuuren
Format: Soft cover
Pages: 300

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