The Language Archive

TWa040612-03
Cricket wants to steel Eland's child and asks Ostrich to help her. Ostrich organizes a healing dance during which he grabs Eland's child and runs away. Eland's relatives try to follow him but cannot get hold of him. They organize another healing dance during which they take back Eland's child from Cricket. Lesson to be learned according to Translator: Even though your child or something you own might be ugly you should stay with it. For different versions of the same story see TWa040522-01 and TWa040605-22.
TWa050221-02
1) Dispute between Sun and Hare about Death. Sun argues that people should come back after dying like herself. Hare argues against it, saying dead people were stinking. 2) After being asked by her grandson (116-JK) to tell a story about gemsbok, old woman says that there are no stories about gemsbok which used to be the meat of the people but is no longer available. 3) Lament about hunger.
TWa040521-06
The children are playing far from home. Vulture comes and wants to eat them. The children climb on a tree with dense leaves. Vulture searches for them but cannot reach them. He goes to sit on another tree and waits for them to come out. But the children keep sitting on the tree because they suspect that the vulture is still around. Vulture goes to sit on another tree which is still further away but keeps watching the children. They think Vulture had gone and climb down from the tree. They look around and don't see him and start running home. At this moment they see him comng. They the climb on the tree again where he cannot reach them. In the end he leaves them and the children can go home. Lesson to be learned according to translator: The children must not play far from home. If they do so they will meet someone who wants to hurt them. The children should play close to their home.
TWa040528-03
Participant relates a story she heard from her father's brother who was beaten by an Afrikaaner farmer when it turned out that one of the sheep he was herding went missing (see pdf-file for full text translated into Afrikaans).
TWa040528-02
Participant compares life under South African government to life in independent Namibia (see pdf-file for full text translated into Afrikaans).
TWa040521-01
Jackal and Porcupine are hired by a Boer for working on his fields. The Boer pays them with maizemeal, tea and sugar. They work on the fields until the fruits are ripe. Then they steel the fruits. The Boer wonders who stole his fruit and makes a plan to find out. He builds a puppet from a limy substance and places it at the gate to his fields. Jackal comes and challenges the puppet by saying: "Go away. I want to enter in order to water the garden. If you don't do so I will beat you." When the puppet doesn't move, jackal beats him. But his hand gets stuck on the lime. He beats the puppet again and again until all his body parts got stuck: hands, head, penis, tail and both feet. Then he begs to be released. The porcupine stays with him until the morning. When the Boer arrives he sees the tracks of porcupine, follows them and beats porcupine. He also beats Jackal before releasing him from lime-man. Lesson to be learned according to translator: If you have got a work from which you live, you must not steel from your employer but do what he tells you to do.
TWa040612-04
Participant was asked to tell an animal story.
TWa040429-01
Participant describes how the girl's initiation ceremony was performed in the past.
TWa040521-07
Participant relates how she was proposed by a Baster man during a period of her life when she was working as a domestic worker in a Tswana household in Windhoek.
TWa040521-04
A woman gave birth to a sun baby. The mother does not take her to the breast or hug her because the child is too warm. They bring her food to where she is sitting in the sun until she is grown up and the men start saying: "To what kind of child did you give birth. She cannot get up herself and walk around. Even when she shits, it is the mother who has to throw away her shit." Then they make a plan. The move away and leave her behind. Jackal comes and greets her. He asks how the parents could leave such a nice girl. He teases her, brings her food and suggests that she comes and lives with him. When she agrees and mounts on his back to be carried to his house, he feels her heat. During a rest he grows a hole under the root of a tree. When they continue their way, he walks under the root and she gets off. And he says: "Now I see why the people left you behind." And he walks away forever. From this day on the back of Jackal is black because it was burnt by the sun.
TWa040528-01
Participant gives a short biographical note: born in Korridor 17, childhood in Korridor 18, stopped schooling because of illness, worked for a short period as domestic worker in Tswana household in Windhoek, later worked in craft project (see pdf-file for full text translated into Afrikaans).
TWa040521-03
Jackal tells Porcupine that he is going to lie on the road as if he were dead in order to make the Boer stop the lorry he uses to sell food to the farmers. The Boer stops. He wants to have the skin of the jackal. He shoots passed Jackal and beats him. Jackal doesn't move. The Boer throws him in the back of the car. Jackal loads off the food from the car and takes them home. When the Boer arrives at the next farm he sees that Jackal has stolen the food. After a month, the Boer comes back. Jackal tries the same trick again. But the Boer recognizes him. When he sends his workers to get the gun, Jackal runs away. Lesson to be learned according to translator: You must not steel other people's goods.
TWa040521-05
A surricate fell in love with a girl. He asked his relatives to go and ask the girl for him. At first the relatives of the girl refused to give the girl to him but in the end they agreed. They arrange a feast with dances and meat. When the people threw the bones away for the dogs, the surricates ran after them together with the dogs. Then the people realized: "Oh these are no people. They eat together with the dogs." Then they chased the surricates away. Lesson to be learned according to translator: You have to take care that you give your daugther to the right people. Don't give them to people who are after the food. You have to look for people with good hearts who are going to take care for you as well.
TWa040521-02
There were three children: two girls and the boy who is called ||Un||unte. Kxokxogoma comes to ask one of the sisters as his wife. The parents give her to him but send the siblings along to look after her. After they have stayed for a month, ||Un||unte is still suspicious. He doesn't sleep and watches how Kxokxogoma gets up to feel the flesh of the two girls. He makes a noise and Kxokxogoma goes to lie again. In the morning he tells his sisters what he observed during the night and says that they have to escape from the place. In the evening he paints the eyelids of his sisters with ash. When Kxokxogoma comes he thinks their eyes are open and goes to lie again. ||Un||unte builds a plane from the senews of wild chicken. The makes a successful test flight together with his sisters. He tells them that he wants to take them back home in his plane but the elder sisters refuses and stays. The time when the plane takes off ||Un||unte and his small sister see how Kxokxogoma and his people come running with an axe to their sister. They go home and tell their mother what they saw. Lesson to be learned according to translator: You have to know that you don't take the wrong man. You first have to watch his behavior. We have to give the right man to our daughters not just someone who comes and asks. When your brother tells you that a man is not good for you, you have to listen to him and follow his advice.