Traditions, beliefs, legends and folklore about Nature.

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TheunsH
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by TheunsH »

I have found something interesting about persistence hunting by the Kalahari Bushmen. Apparently this was also done by the Tarahumara or Raramuri people of Northern Mexico.

The persistence hunt may well have been the first form of hunting practiced by hominids. It is likely that this method of hunting evolved before humans invented projectile weapons, such as darts, spears, or slings. Since they could not kill their prey from a distance and were not fast enough to catch the animal, one reliable way to kill it would have been to run it down over a long distance.
In this regard one has to bear in mind that, as hominids adapted to bipedalism they would have lost some speed, becoming less able to catch prey with short, fast charges. They would, however, have gained endurance and become better adapted to persistence hunting.[2] Although many mammals sweat, only humans have evolved to use sweating for effective thermoregulation. This coupled with relative hairlessness would have given human hunters an additional advantage by keeping their bodies cool in the midday heat.

Procedure:

During the persistence hunt an antelope, such as a kudu, is not shot or speared from a distance, but simply run down in the midday heat. Depending on the specific conditions, hunters of the central Kalahari will chase a kudu for about two to five hours over 25 to 35 km (16 to 22 mi) in temperatures of about 40 to 42 °C (104 to 108 °F). The hunter chases the kudu, which then runs away out of sight. By tracking it down at a fast running pace the hunter catches up with it before it has had enough time to rest in the shade. The animal is repeatedly chased and tracked down until it is too exhausted to continue running. The hunter then kills it at close range with a spear.


(Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting )

I think this was/is a very sustainable way of hunting. One animal is run down and not a whole herd. It was/is all about endurance and furthermore impossible for a few hunters to hunt down/butcher a whole herd of antelope.
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by JenB »

TheunsH :thumbs_up: :D

I once watched a program on T.V. about the Kalahari Bushmen. Interesting thing is that if the poison arrow was not fatal, they would follow the animal, sometimes for days, until it collapsed from exhaustion. They had some ritual thanking the animal and honouring it before putting it to death. Leaving a wounded animal was a big :naughty: .
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by lion queen »

THE ZEBRA'S APPAREL A Bushman story from Northern Namibia, by M. Elliot


These were the early days when the Earth was young. The land was very hot and dry. In this shimmering new world, water could be found only in a few small pans scattered around the desert.
At one such pan the Baboon stood guard, claiming that he was the owner. "No one may drink here, for this water is mine alone!" he declared, chasing away all who came to drink.

He had built a fire close to the pool so that he could protect his water during the bitterly cold desert nights.

One day the Zebra came to quench his thirst after a very long and tiring journey. In these early days the Zebra had no stripes. He wore a dazzling coat of pure white fur.

The Baboon jumped up angrily. "Who are you? Go away!" he screamed, "Iam Lord of this water. It is mine!"

The Zebra was in no mood to listen to this selfishBaboon. "This is not your water, you ugly monkey! It belongs to everyone!" shouted the Zebra.

The Baboon was furious and said that if he wanted the water he must fight for it.

The two were soon engaged in a fierce stuggle. Locked in combat, they rolled back and forth around the pan. Finally the Zebra gave one mighty kick and the Baboon was sent flying high up into the rocks behind the pool.

The Zebra had kicked so hard that he lost the balance. Staggering back into the Baboon's fire, he sent the burning sticks flying up in the air. These left black scorch marks all over his fine white coat.
Hurt and frightened he galloped in to the plains where he has remained ever since. Eventually he came to like his new apparel wich maid him stand out, distinguished amongst the other animals
However, the Baboon had landed on his buttocks, with a mighty thud, amongst the hard rocks. He has remained in the koppies ever since, nursing his bald red bottom and still as angry as ever.
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by Grantmissy »

Thanks for sharing the stories/folklore/legends – it makes for :thumbs_up: reading! I think all these stories are wonderful no matter from which part of the world they come from. I think that they are part of us as human beings and they will hopefully forever be part of us and the world that we live in. I like the core message regarding the importance and value of nature.
“Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got.”
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by lion queen »

THE GEMSBOK'S RAIMENTA Bushman story from the Okwa Valley, Botswana, by M. Elliot

The Gemsbok was a dowdy drab animal, grey in color and without horns. It lived alongside the Ostrich which was a magnificent beast, having a striking black and white coat, a long neck and a pair of beautiful slender horns.

The Gemsbok was very jealous and challenged the Ostrich to a race. "I can run much faster than you" said the Gemsbok, "but I will give you a fair chance by carrying your heavy horns for you. Not that it make any difference. I will still beat you."

Unable to resist this arrogant challenge from the feeble Gemsbok, the Ostrich readily agreed. "This will be an easy victory," he thought. He gave the Gemsbok his heavy horns and black and white coat.

Sprinting ahead, the Gemsbok took an early lead in the race. He chose all the rock and stony places to run over and with his hard hooves he sailed across this rough terrain. Behind him the Ostrich was limping badly. His soft feet were not accustomed to such a terrible pounding on this hard and uneven surface.

Furious, the Ostrich eventually stopped, unable to run any more on the rocky ground. In frustration, he started throwing stones at the Gemsbok who kept on running until he reached the other side of the hard terrain. When the Ostrich looked down for more stones to throw, the Gemsbok laughed and ran away with the horns and magnificent cloak of black and white. For a long time they did not meet. The Gemsbok was proud of his new cloak and horns and learned to fight well with them.

In the meantime the Ostrich was beginning to feel the benefits of not having to carry those heavy horns. However, when they did meet again, the Ostrich, out of pride, fought to regain his stolen possessions, but found the Gemsbok far too skillful.

Dejected, the Ostrich had to admit defeat, while being secretly relieved that he did not have to carry the heavy burden again. "Maybe we should be friends and the Gemsbok can protect me with those horns of mine" he thought.

The Gemsbok and Ostrich are often found together for this very reason.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by bert »

The Cuckoo and the Sparrowhawk
In the middle ages most people in europe believed that the sparrowhawk transformed in a european
cuckoo during summer.
Nobody ever heard about migrating birds and in flight they both look alike.
Size and stripped body.
One of my favourtie stories to tell when i used to be a nature guide (years ago :lol: )
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by JenB »

Bert! :lol:

:dance: :dance: This thread is coming of age! Thank you everyone!!
These are great stories I can save up for my grandkids...... one day! :twisted:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by lion queen »

Swallow

Inkonjany - the one who points the way to summer.

The swallow,and other birds like it, is regarded by our people as a symbol of effort and hard work as well as of unity, because you will see these birds gather together in large groups as they come and go.

The name Inkonjany means the little pointer, and it comes from the verb komba, which means to point out something.

It was said that if you saw a lot of swallows in the sky, it meant that the summer and the harvest would be very good. The same applies to the swallow’s sister, Themsoslana, the one who has got a white breast with black spots.

It is also something that points to the coming summer.
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by lion queen »

Where the Afrikaans name of Troupand comes from


The reason the Roller is called a Troupant in Afrikaans is that it's a corruption of the word: Trouband, or in English: Wedding Ring.

The story goes that young men wanting to get married will harvest the sticky gum from the Leadwood tree (Combretum imberbe), for example. They will find an appropriate dead branch, where Roller's often sit, and will place a "bolletjie" or wad of this gum on the branch. When next a Roller sits on the branch his feet get stuck and he is effectively trapped. The man then catches the Roller. He will remove a stunning blue feather from the bird. This feather is then offered to the bride-to-be and is wrapped around her finger. The blue from the feather will stain her finger.

So, apparently, according to game ranger legend and tale, this is how the Lilac-Breasted Roller came to be called the Gewone Troupant in Afrikaans.
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by lion queen »

The Troupand story is one of my favorites!!! I tell it to all who wants to listen!!! :D

But I need to have a look I recall a story of making a wedding ring from the long tail feathers....... :doh: rather than the colour staining the finger................ :doh:
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by BrendaK »

Aahhhhhhhh JenB this is right up my ally - I am also a great fan of Credo Mutwa and I just love his praise songs to the animals. You should also read the book on the Mystery of the White Lions: Children of the Sun God that was written by Linda Tucker.

The story of Maria Khoza the Lion Queen of the Timbavati is mind blowing.

I will be attending the National Oral History Conference in Mahikeng in October and am so exited at a chance to possibly meet the great Sanusi, as we lined him up to be the keynote speaker for the event.

It is just so true that when you respect nature and all it offers it will give so much more back to you.

I was once in the privileged position to follow the traditional healers of the Vhembe district, while they were identifying and explaining the healing and other benefits of the plants in Mapungubwe - just to find out a little later (By reading Credo Mutwa) that in addition to the Timbavati area the Tuli block where the Shashi river meets the Limpopo, is some of the most sacred sites in Africa.
"I am doomed to be a wanderer, I am not an empire builder, I am not a missionary, I am not truly a scientist, I merely want to return to the bush to continue my wanderings" (Joseph Thompson - The bush for me and Africa for him)
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by JenB »

BrendaK, that sounds awesome!! :dance:

You will have to tell us the story of Lion Queen of the Timbavati and also more about Mapungubwe? :pray:
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by JenB »

The mighty Rhinoceros

In the olden days, Africans honoured the rhinoceros. They so respected it the rhinoceros and were so much in awe of it that very few tribes named themselves after it. Throughout Southern Africa, only one small tribe used this sacred beast as it's totem: the Bedla people of the land of the Xhosa (bhele being the Xhosa name for a rhinoceros). The Batswana people call a rhinoceros tsukudu, a name which means "the struggling animal" or "the animal of mighty effort".

African people regarded the rhinoceros with great reverence and they regarded it's horn not as an aphrodisiac, but as a weapon possessing great magical powers for annihilating and scattering enemies. If you wanted to cause confusion among your enemies and force them to scatter, and not unite against you, you took a small piece of rhinoceros horn from a rhinoceros who died from natural causes in the bush and burnt it next to the enemy village.

In olden days, it was believed that killing a rhinoceros would result in a curse on the killer or killers of this sacred animal. The curse would extend to their wives and children, grandchildren and great-grand children.

To this day, when people who are friends suddenly quarrel and separate, Swazi people especially, believe that an unknown enemy has burnt a piece of *** horn to bring about the dispute.

From the book: Isilwane, the animal (Tales and fables of Africa)
Credo Mutwa.
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~ Anatole France
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

For anyone interested in birds in myth, legend and superstition, a book worth buying is: Flights of fantasy by Peter Tate

A lovely little titbit from the book:

"Feathers feature widely in popular superstition, but their significance varies enourmously according to the species of bird involved. Since late Victorian times many people believed that peacock feathers were unlucky if worn or brought indoors, but treating kingfisher's feathers in a similar way is thought to heighten the wearer's beauty. Wren feathers are regarded as very lucky: sailors formaly used to carry a feather from a wren slain on new year's day to guard against shipwrecks.

Some superstitions apply specifically to the type of feather used to stuff pillows and mattresses. At one time, sewing a swanns feather into a husband's pillow was thought to be the best way to ensure he remained fathful. Pigeon, or game feathers in the pillow of an invalid, by contrast, were regarded with great trepidation and, if discovered, were removed for fear there would be a long drawn out death".
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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Re: Traditions, believes, legends and folklore about Nature.

Unread post by Meandering Mouse »

I have been reading a book on St Francis, "St Francis and the song of brotherhood", by Eric Doyle. In it he discusses the little saints message about the enviroment as being pertinant today.

St Francis had a particular love for the Lark. He loved the brown that reminded him of the earth. He said it was the colour of humility. His frair's habits were inspired by the Lark, possibly the rufus lark.

It is said that as St Francis lay dying hundreds of larks flew around singing.

One of his frairs commented, " Tearful rejoicing and joyful sorrow made up their song, either to bemoan the fact that they were orphaned children, or to announce the fact that their father was going to his eternal glory".
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.
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