Dark Origins – African myths and legends: The San (previously Bushmen) Part 2

I am over at Writing to be Read with Part 2 of posts about the San (Bushmen) of southern Africa. Today, I am reading a poem from IXam mythology and sharing about the Bushman Heritage Centre in Nieu Bethesda, South Africa. Thank you for hosting me, Kaye Lynne Booth.

Writing to be Read

Last month, I introduced you to the San (previously Bushmen) of southern Africa and shared about their rock art. You can read the post here: https://writingtoberead.com/2022/01/26/dark-origins-african-myths-and-legends-the-san-previously-bushmen-part-1/.

Today, I am going to share a poem from the extinct IXam tribe and a little more about the San.

San hunting methods

The San are excellent hunters. They do some trapping of animals but hunting with a bow and arrows is their preferred method. The San arrows are smeared with a deadly poison that kills the animal slowly. As the animal takes a long time to die, the hunters have to track it sometimes for a few days.

The San make their poison from a caterpillar called ka or ngwa or from the larvae of a small beetle. Sometimes they use poison made from plants or snake venom. San poisons are highly toxic. In order to prevent accidental contamination, they reverse their…

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24 thoughts on “Dark Origins – African myths and legends: The San (previously Bushmen) Part 2

    1. Hi Wayne, this is the answer to your question which I should have included in my post as a few people have asked: “The poison is neuro toxic and does not contaminate the whole animal. The spot where the arrow strikes is cut out and thrown away, but the rest of the meat is fit to eat.” I am pleased this article interested you.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. They were/are hunter-gatherers I believe–no farming, no trading. I appreciate this. Their lives are the definition of ‘minimalist’. Do they preserve foods? I’ll click through, see if you talk about that, or salt, or something along those lines. Another interesting African tribe is the Bunyoros. I read a book on them, reviewed it on my blog, and one of the heads of their government sent me a nice thank you note. I’ve never had that happen before.

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    1. Hi Jacqui, it is lovely that your received that note from government. It is even lovelier that you read that book. I am reading the book on IXam myths from which I read the poem with great interest. I hope that more people will appreciate their culture and support their museum. They do not farm or hunt. I don’t share to much information in these posts as I don’t want to overload readers.

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  2. The wider the exposure to myths and legends the more similar they become. Joseph Campbell’s work in comparative myth makes you wonder if there wasn’t a central cosmic radio the shaman of the world had dialed in.

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