These beautiful and timeless stories from the African Bush were gathered more than a century ago and have touched thousands of readers ever since. The South African-born author, Sir Laurens van der Post, revered them and helped to make them known throughout the world. For this special new edition, Gregory McNamee has adapted the original nineteenth-century English translations to create modern versions of the stories for readers without a prior knowledge of the Bushman ways of life. The stories in this book carry universal observations and truths and, with their historical and ethnographic roots in the African Bushman culture, they are fascinating and educational for readers and listeners of all ages. They bear powerful testimony to a desert people living at one with Nature.
Specimens of Bushman Folk-lore was published by Dr. W.H.I. Bleek only after he'd overcome many great difficulties (and great they were in late 1800s South Africa). So complete is this volume that Dr. Bleek even provides explanations on how to make the many click sounds that are endemic to the Bushman language. Good luck wrapping your tongue around them! This 260 page volume contains 84 stories about Bushman myths and legends, including interpretations of the natural world, animal fables, the story of the first man, and customs, superstitions, and more. There are stories about girls and frogs, hyenas that seek revenge, the wind, and the making of arrows. There are also stories about the origin of the stars Sirius and Canopus, the treatment of bones, prayers to the moon, and a man who mistakenly ordered his wife to cut off his ears. Of special interest is the story of one Bushman's first ride on the train from Mowbray to Cape Town, which describes his treatment at the hands of the local police and the imposition of the white man's laws upon him and his people. The old adage "Everything changes, everything stays the same," comes to mind. So curl up with this treasure of ancient Africa, this documentation of a changing world, and engross yourself in a culture that has no place for MP3 players, video games, or television. A percentage of every book sold will help fund the education of an underprivileged person in South Africa. SPECIAL NOTE: Rock art and archaeological evidence indicates that the San Bushmen once occupied countries as far north as Libya, Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, with some evidence of occupation in Kenya. Over time, environmental conditions and the negroid races pushed the Bushmen further and further south-today, they can now only be found in the countries of Southern Africa. Even now, the Bushmen's traditional way of life is further threatened by government regulations and policies that seek to restrict their nomadic tradition and "encourage" them to assume a more pastoral lifestyle.
Collected articles of the world's preeminent rock art researchers and cognitive archaeologists.
There are many collections of African oral traditions, but few as carefully organized as The Uncoiling Python. Harold Scheub, one of the world’s leading scholars of African oral traditions and folklore, explores the ways in which oral traditions have served to combat and subvert colonial domination in South Africa. From the time colonial forces first came to southern Africa in 1487, oral and written traditions have been a bulwark against what became 350 years of colonial rule, characterized by the racist policies of apartheid. The Uncoiling Python: South African Storytellers and Resistance is the first in-depth study of oral tradition as a means of survival. In open insurrections and other subversive activities Africans resisted the daily humiliations of colonial rule, but perhaps the most effective and least apparent expression of subversion was through indigenous storytelling and poetic traditions. Harold Scheub has collected the stories and poetry of the Xhosa, Zulu, Swati, and Ndebele peoples to present a fascinating analysis of how the apparently harmless tellers of tales and creators of poetry acted as front-line soldiers.
Wayward Shamans tells the story of an idea that humanity’s first expression of art, religion and creativity found form in the figure of a proto-priest known as a shaman. Tracing this classic category of the history of anthropology back to the emergence of the term in Siberia, the work follows the trajectory of European knowledge about the continent’s eastern frontier. The ethnographic record left by German natural historians engaged in the Russian colonial expansion project in the 18th century includes a range of shamanic practitioners, varied by gender and age. Later accounts by exiled Russian revolutionaries noted transgendered shamans. This variation vanished, however, in the translation of shamanism into archaeology theory, where a male sorcerer emerged as the key agent of prehistoric art. More recent efforts to provide a universal shamanic explanation for rock art via South Africa and neurobiology likewise gloss over historical evidence of diversity. By contrast this book argues for recognizing indeterminacy in the categories we use, and reopening them by recalling their complex history.
J.D. Lewis-Williams, one of the leading South African archaeologists and ethnographers, excavates meaning from the complex mythological stories of the San-Bushmen to create a larger theory of how myth is used in culture. He extracts their “nuggets,” the far-reaching but often unspoken words and concepts of language and understanding that are opaque to outsiders, to establish a more nuanced theory of the role of these myths in the thought-world and social circumstances of the San. The book -draws from the unique 19th century Bleek/Lloyd archives, more recent ethnographic work, and San rock art;-includes well-known San stories such as The Broken String, Mantis Dreams, and Creation of the Eland;-extrapolates from our understanding of San mythology into a larger model of how people create meaning from myth.
What is the essence of story? How does the storyteller convey meaning? Leading scholar Harold Scheub tackles these questions and more, demonstrating that the power of story lies in emotion. While others have focused on the importance of structure in the art of story, Scheub emphasizes emotion. He shows how an expert storyteller uses structural elements—image, rhythm, and narrative—to shape a story's fundamental emotional content. The storyteller uses traditional images, repetition, and linear narrative to move the audience past the story’s surface of morals and ideas, and make connections to their past, present, and future. To guide the audience on this emotional journey is the storyteller’s art. The traditional stories from South African, Xhosa, and San cultures included in the book lend persuasive support to Scheub’s. These stories speak for themselves, demonstrating that a skilled performer can stir emotions despite the obstacles of space, time, and culture.
At the intersection between western culture and Africa, we find the San people of the Kalahari desert. Once called Bushmen, the San have survived many characterizations-from pre-human animals by the early European colonials, to aboriginal conservationists in perfect harmony with nature by recent New Age adherents. Neither caricature does justice to the complex world view of the San. Eminent anthropologists David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce present a instead balanced view of the spiritual life of this much-studied people, examining the interplay of their cosmology, myth, ritual, and art.
What role do objects play in realist narratives as they move between societies and their different systems of value as commodities, as charms, as gifts, as trophies, or as curses? This book explores how the struggle to represent objects in British colonial realism corresponded with historical struggles over the material world and its significance.
Anne Boleyn was not beautiful, but she was irresistible, capturing the hearts of kings and commoners alike. The daughter of an ambitious country lord, Anne was sent to the dazzling court of Henry VIII to marry well and raise the family’s fortunes. She soon surpassed even their greatest expectations: the king swore he would put his queen aside and make Anne his wife. But Anne was soon caught in the trap of her own ambition, surrounded by political rivals at court and at the mercy of Henry’s fatal insecurity and volatile temper.
The Routledge Language Family series is aimed at undergraduates and postgraduates of linguistics and language, and those with an interest in historical linguistics, linguistic anthropology and language development. According to a widely accepted hypothesis, the Khoesan languages represent the smallest of the four language phyla in Africa, geographically distributed mainly in Botswana and Namibia. Today, only 30 or so Khoesan languages may still exist, with about 300,000 native speakers. In other words, most Khoesan languages were already extinct before a sound scholarly interest in them could begin to develop. Drawing together a distinguished group of international experts, with much of the material taken from data collected by the authors’ own field work, this volume presents descriptive, typological, historical-comparative and sociolinguistic material on Khoesan. The Khoesan Languages contains eight sections: an introduction, an overview of genetic relationships, a typological survey and profile of Khoesan, four chapters covering core linguistic areas of Khoesan phonetics and phonology, tonology, morphology and syntax, and a final chapter tackling major issues in Khoesan sociolinguistics, as well as discussions of language contact. Comprehensive and scholarly, yet also lucid in its coverage of a broad range of languages, dialects and sub-groups, this unprecedented and original work represents the current state of Khoesan linguistics.
Based on an extensive range of sources, this impressive book analyses the principal institutions and features of British politics on the eve of reform: the monarchy, the prime ministership, the cabinet, the departments of State, parliamentary legislation, investigation, debate and parties, and the relationship between Parliament, the media, public opinion and popular politics. Designed to provide an accessible guide to how British politics was conducted in the early nineteenth century, this book leads to two main conclusions about pre-Reform politics: the unpredictability and openness of parliamentary affairs, and the centrality of Parliament to the politics of all social classes.
In this ground-breaking book, Beth Holmgren examines how—in turn-of-the-century Russia and its subject, the Kingdom of Poland—capitalism affected the elitist culture of literature, publishing, book markets, and readership. Rewriting Capitalism considers how both “serious” writers and producers of consumer culture coped with the drastic power shift from “serious” literature to market-driven literature.
Contains: The Darwinian Theory and the Science of language (1863) by August Schleicher, translated from the German by Alexander V. W. Bikkers. On the Significance of Language for the Natural History of Man (1865) by August Schleicher, translated from the German by J. Peter Maher. On the Origin of Language (1867) by Wilhelm H. I. Bleek, edited with a preface by Ernst Haeckel, translated from the German by Thomas Davidson.
This is the first scholarly collection of articles focused on the cultural astronomy of the African continent. It weaves together astronomy, anthropology, and Africa and it includes African myths and legends about the sky, alignments to celestial bodies found at archaeological sites and at places of worship, rock art with celestial imagery, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions including ethnomathematics and the creation of calendars.
‘As gripping as any spy thriller, Hastings’s achievement is especially impressive, for he has produced the best single volume yet written on the subject’ Sunday Times ‘Authoritative, exciting and notably well written’ Daily Telegraph ‘A serious work of rigourous and comprehensive history ... royally entertaining and readable’ Mail on Sunday