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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:40 am 
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Thanks again for all your comments.

The first morning after breakfast the guides take you down to the edge of the pan and a 15min walk to the re-created cultural village to visit the San crafters at work.

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Here you can join them demonstrating their traditional games and making traditional crafts. They also sell these crafters at the village as well as at the Lodge's curio shop.

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A little more background on the San and KTP:

In 1996, the South African San Institute (SASI) was asked by the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) and the Khomani San leadership to assist with a land claim in the southern Kalahari Desert.

Initially there were only 50 people who identified themselves as San from this remote corner of the South Africa. They were living and working at a tourist resort in the Western Cape Province, some 1000 km to the south of their place of origin.

The San of Gordonia District (now renamed Siyanda District) appear to have occupied the area north of the Orange River, near the town of Upington, for centuries and possibly for millennia. For various reasons, but notably as a result of the creation of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in 1931, the majority of San people were forced to give up their hunting and gathering lifestyle and become farm workers in the District. A few families were able to stay on in the Park, working as labourers and trackers until they were expelled in the 1970s.

As part of the land claim process the surviving claimants had to provide convincing evidence that they were indeed the aboriginal people of this particular territory. The oral history of the people was highly fractured and their ancestral language was thought to be extinct. Over the following years, SASI worked with the San community to collect up the oral history of its dispersed elders and to review archival information. SASI was ably assisted by two other Non-government organisations (NGOs): Open Channels, a media NGO from the United Kingdom, and Strata360, a mapping NGO from Canada.

During this process it emerged that their ancient language, N|u, was not in fact extinct, but was still spoke by about two dozen elderly people. The N|u speaking elders, and those from the original group, speakers of the Khoekhoeogowab language, were able to recollect important details of their past and together reconstructed their 20th century history. This valuable knowledge and the practical skills of the elders have been a valuable resource to the ‡Khomani community and influenced the success of their land claim.

The land claim was settled on 21 March 1999. SASI has continued since this time with helping the San community learn more about their history, language and culture, and to put into place strategies for helping them manage their endangered intangible and tangible heritage.

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If you want to know more about the San, visit this website:

http://www.san.org.za/history.php

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:42 am 
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Some of the crafters at work (and future crafters):

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:50 am 
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For those that are interested, a little more information (from the http://www.san.org.za/index.php website):

LANGUAGE:

When the land claim started, community leader, Dawid Kruiper, asked SASI to help him locate people who spoke their ancestral language. Dawid, like others in his community, speaks Khoekhoegowab and Afrikaans. According to the literature, the language spoken in this area would have been Khomani. In February 1997, Petrus Vaalbooi identified his mother Elsie as a speaker of the ‘bushman language’. Elsie Vaalbooi was tested by world specialist Professor Anthony Traill. Using audio material from 1936 Traill demonstrated that Mrs Vaalbooi was a fluent speaker of the Khomani language. Over the following years, community activists, supported by SASI, located over 25 fluent and partial speakers of the ancient language.

There were some surprises in this rediscovery. It turned out that the speakers of the language did not call themselves or their language Khomani. This name had come from another language group. They called their language N|u or N|uki. Their language and civilisation spread over a much larger territory than originally thought. A careful study of the early literature supports the oral history of the elders. The largest San group of this area, speakers of N|u, called themselves: N||n‡e, or ‘Home people’. Their territory spread from southern Namibia to Olifantshoek in the Postmasburg District, some 160 km east of Upington, South Africa.

SASI has worked with linguists Levi Namaseb and Nigel Crawhall to assist the ‡Khomani community in recording, writing down, and teaching the N|u language. A second wave of the project was started in 2002 to assist with Khoekhoegowab literacy in the Khomani community.

Language projects have been guided by San field workers trained in cultural resource management. Magdalena Kassie, daughter of N|u speaker Aenki Kassie has played a major role in promoting the language to San youth, on radio and through courses. Components have included:

Developing an alphabet for N|u.
Teaching N|u to young people in workshops.
Recording myths and teaching these to young people, including creating plays.
Talks in local schools by San elders and youth about their language heritage.
Recording of relevant traditional terminology, e.g. plants, animals, medicine, traditional customs.
Learning values from the elders and promoting awareness of these.


TRACKER TRAINING

The Khomani San leadership identified tracker training and bush knowledge as the most important elements of their indigenous knowledge system. Tracking in the bush brings together many different skills, including: spoor identification, animal behaviour analysis, plant identification, medicinal and food knowledge, environmental and conservation knowledge, place names, heritage knowledge, stories and myths.

SASI supports a tracker-training programme run by retired San elder, Karel VetPiet Kleinman. He trains beginner trackers and advanced trackers and trainers.

An Ethnobotanist, Eleanor McGregor, worked with elders and youth to record their botanical knowledge and help sensitise young people to both conservation and management of indigenous knowledge systems.

SASI has worked with Open Channels and Strata360 to put this intangible heritage onto maps to help with the land claim and to educate young San people. Examples of these maps include the history of certain trees in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and a map of place names (see maps).

GENEALOGY & HISTORY

When the land claim was started it appeared that there were only about 50 people who still identified as San. Research in the Kalahari rapidly indicated that there were hundreds. The discovery of the N|u speaking elders showed that many San were ‘hidden’ in urban townships and squatter settlements.

The law on land claims requires that a claimant community produce a list of its members and manages this database. SASI started to help create an electronic database and train San people in registration.

The early registration relied on word of mouth spreading from village to village. The Khomani San needed a more systematic way of tracing lost relatives. At a later date, non-San people tried to become registered and for the first time there was need for a mechanism to exclude false claimants.

SASI worked with the San leaders and field workers to develop certain skills, each drawing on the knowledge of the elders:
San field workers were trained in anthropological genealogies
Each major family grouping identified a knowledgeable elder who would review the claimant list and vouch for the authenticity of the claimants they knew personally
Anyone who claimed to be San but could not find an elder to vouch for them has to be interviewed by a San genealogist who then uses that information to double check with elders who may know other parts of the family tree

All of this material is captured on a simple Microsoft Access database.

Genealogies have also been powerful tools in identifying family histories, inter-relationships of families and clans, systems of naming, and locating speakers of the almost extinct language.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING

With the support of Open Channels and the British funding agency, Comic Relief, San field-workers, youth and leaders are receiving training in computer technology.

Management of cultural resources requires capturing important information that would otherwise die out with the elders, and being able to use this information in training, materials and exhibitions.

Information Technology has focussed on several themes:
Creating a database for the community membership list;
Recording myths and interviews with elders and youth;
Storing images and sound, creating an archive for CRAM;
Producing educational materials for the community.

New ventures including helping San youth to set up their own websites and work with related technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Internet based marketing, and databases.

KHOMANI SîISEN CRAFT PROJECT

Khomani Sîsen means ‘the Khomani are working’. It is the name given to the craft co-operative that has been set up in the Kalahari Desert. The project is independent but receives some technical and organisational support from SASI. San elders and young people produce traditional and innovative crafts for sale to the tourist market. The production and sale of handwork is an important example of how old cultural knowledge is recycled to create new types of livelihoods.

_________________
Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:05 am 
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I hope no one minds all the information, but I think it is important to understand the heritage of the Kalahari. It is all to easy to just visit KTP without considering the people who used to live in this beautiful environment.

Here is a selection of San / bushman lore:

1. Creation of the first Bushmen:


As the Bushmen lived in a very dry area, water to them have a very magical power that could revive them. In the legend of creation Mantis appears and the entire world is still covered by water. A bee (a symbol of wisdom) carries Mantis over the turbulent waters of the ocean. The bee however, became very tired and flew lower and lower. He searched for solid land to make his decent to but he only grew more and more tired. But then he saw a flower drifting on the water. He laid Mantis down in the flower and within in
him the seed of the first human. The bee drowned but when the sun came up Mantis awoke and from the seed the bee had left the first human was born.

2. Mantis and his family:

The bushmen don't regard the Mantis as god but rather a superbeing. They are not the
only civilization who has this belief and other African tribes do see it as a God. Even the Greeks believed it had divine and magical powers. Mantis is a Greek word meaning divine, or soothsayer. All over the world many legends is told about this magical creature.
To the Bushmen however he is a "dream Bushman". He is very human. Many paintings of the bushmen figure a Bushman with the head of a Mantis.
Mantis also has a big family. His wife is Dassie (rock hyrax). His son is also a Mantis and he also has an
adopted daughter, Porcupine. Her real father is the evil monster called the All-Devourer who she is too afraid of. Porcupine is married to a creature that is part of the rainbow, called Kwammanga. They have two sons, Mongoose or Ichneumon and then Kwammang
a, after his dad. Mantis also has a sister, Blue Crane that he loves very much.

3. The Baboons:

At a time long ago the baboons were little people like the Bushmen, but they were very mischievous. They loved making trouble. On a day Cagn sent his con Cogaz to go and look for sticks they could use in making bows. When the little people saw him they started dancing around the boy shouting: "Your father thinks he is clever and wants to make bows to kill us, now we will kill you!" They did as they said and Cogaz's body was hung in a tree. The little people danced again and sang: "Cagn thinks he is clever!"
Then Cagn awoke from his sleep. He had a feeling that something was wrong so he asked hi wife Coti to bring him his charms. He thought and thought. Then it came to him. He realized what the little people did to his son. He immediately went in search of his son. When the little people saw him coming they started singing an other song. A little girl sitting nearby told Cagn that they were singing something else before
he came. He ordered them to sing what the girl heard before. When he heard this he ordered them to stay where they are until he returns. He returned with a basket full of pegs. As they danced he drove a peg in each of their backsides. They fled to the mountains because they now had tails and they started living with animals. Cagn then climbed into the tree and used his magic to resurrect his son.

4. How Mantis stole fire from Ostrich:

Mantis also gave the Bushmen fire. Before this people ate their food like all the other predators, raw. They also had no light at night and were surrounded by darkness. Mantis noticed that Ostrich's food always smelt very good and decided to observe what he did to his food. As he crept close one day he saw Ostrich take some fire from beneath his wing and dip his food in it. After eating he would tuck back the fire under his wing.
Mantis knew Ostrich would not give him the fire so he planned a trick on Ostrich to steal the fire from him. One day he called Ostrich and showed him a tree carrying delicious plums. As Ostrich started to eat Mantis shouted at him that the best ones were at that top. Ostrich jumped higher and higher and as soon as he opened his wings Mantis stole the fire from him and ran off. Ostrich was very ashamed of t
his and since that day kept his wings pressed to his sides and will never fly.

5. The Rainbow:

Rain was once a beautiful woman who lived in the sky. She wore a rainbow around her waist and she was married to the creator of the earth. They had three daughters.
When the eldest daughter grew up she asked her mother to go down to earth. Her mother gave her permission but as soon as se went down she got married to a hunter. While she was gone Rain had another child. This time a boy which she called Son-eib. When he was old enough his sisters asked Rain if they could all go down to see the world. In fear of losing them all Rain didn't want them to go. But then a friend Wolf who liked the two daughters said he would accompany them down and look after them. The father believed this wicked beast and gave his permission.
As soon as they got to earth they went to a village. A woman in the village saw Son-eib and he looked very familiar to her. She offered them food and Wolf accepted this. They all ate of this food except Son-eib as Wolf told everybody that he is not a person but merely a thing. Son-eib turned away and went to sit in the grass, all by himself. While sitting there he caught a little red bird. He concealed it under his coat.
That night the woman offered them shelter in her house. But once again Wolf did not allow the boy to sleep inside thehouse and said that Son-eib should sleep in the small hut outside. While everybody was sleeping Wolf went and fetched all the bad people in the village. They set fire to thehut killing poor Son-eib. However, the little bird managed to escape. It flew up into the sky and went straight to Rain, the boy's mother.
As soon as it arrived it told Rain of what has happened. Rain told her husband and they were furious. A little while later the people of the village saw a great storm approaching them fast and around its waist was a rainbow. Lightning started to flash striking all around them. Only Wolf and his fellow bad people were hit and killed. Then a mighty voice came from the sky with the words: "Don't kill the children of the sky!"
Ever since this all Bushmen are afraid of the rainbow. When the bushmen see a rainbow they would hit on sticks and shout for it to go away.

6. The sun, moon and the stars:

One of the stories of the sun sa
ys that he is a man from whose armpits shine the rays of light. He did not want to share his light with all the people so he stayed in his hut. The first Busman ordered hi children to throw him into the sky. They threw him up and this is where he still shines from today. In the night he is very cold so he draws his blanket over him. This blanket is very old and has lots of little holes in it. This is the stars we see at night.
Another tale tells of a young woman who waits for the hunters to return every night. When it grows dark she throws up a handful of white ash. This becomes the Milky-way that guide the hunters home.
The moon is believed to be the old shoe of Mantis. He placed it in the air to guide him at night. The sun is very jealous of the moon when it is at its full brightness. The sun uses its sharp rays to cut of pieces of the moon bit by bit until there is almost nothing left of the moon. The moon begs the sun to stop and then he always goes away. Soon after the moon starts growing again until it is full and the whole process repeats it.

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Back to KTP sometime in 2014
Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
!Xaus Lodge: A brief story.


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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:10 am 
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Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Glad you are enjoying my TR isinkwe, thanks.

One of the amazing things about waking up at !Xaus Lodge is the view from your bed over the saltpan below you. Sitting on the deck with an early morning tea ........... tranquillity all around:

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The waterhole and animal tracks across the pan:

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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:02 pm 
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The night skys are Spectacular:

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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:25 pm 
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Thanks for the kind words everyone.

The early morning walk with the guides is a must. Their knowledge is legendary.

As they say: We are taking a walk to read the 'newspaper' ...... signs on what the animals, birds and insects were up to the night before. We gather at reception and wait for the other guests to join us:

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It's a couple hours walk, but not really that far as we stop ever couple of meters to read the signs or listen to a story:

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Pattens made by a blad of grass in the wind:

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The root system of a Shepards Tree:

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A view of the lodge in the distance from the back:

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The carcass of an Eland some 100m from the Lodge. Killed by lions earlier this year:

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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:32 pm 
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Sorry inforgotnto mention the names of our guides who look after us during our stay - 'Ou sis' and 'gerikie'.
Our host was Gus.

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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:32 pm 
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That's right NO rifles. Ou Sis and Gerikie just have a walking stick. They have never encounter a problem apparently. This is also how you walk on the 3 night wildness trail.

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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:55 am 
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Thought I would add a few general images around the Lodge.

View of the pan from the walkway between units:

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The walkway to the units:

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Central gazebo:

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Curio shop and reception area:

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Pool and left hand side units as seen from the deck outside the dining area:

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Last edited by shane on Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:40 am 
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The 3rd day is a game drive (morning or afternoon) and then you have a choice a walk or another game drive. We decided to do a game drive (about 4 hours) and a walk (about3 hours). We wanted to walk around the pan:

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My mum didn't join us on the walk so she took a few images:

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We are right in the top right hand corner. Gives you an idea how big the pan is:

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Approaching the waterhole:

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Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:44 am 
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At the waterhole the salts and minerals are left on the surface after rain water has evaporated:

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Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:47 am 
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Some of the beautiful patterns on the pan floor:

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Travel Reports:
Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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 Post subject: Re: !XAUS Lodge: A brief story
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:50 am 
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The evenings sunset:

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Through the eyes of a couple: KTP won
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