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Subtitle: A Story of the /Xam
An extract from the story of the Day-Heart Star, told to Lucy Lloyd in 1873 by //Kabbo and recorded in her notebooks including extracts from other /Xam narratives, photographs and drawings and text and images reproduced from water-colours by Pippa Skotness
This book celebrates a rare moment in South African colonial history in which two groups of individuals from vastly different backgrounds worked together with a sense of mutual respect and co-operation to produce one of the most extraordinary collections of oral literature ever constructed. The heroes of this enterprise are, ironically, still relatively unknown. No streets or buildings are named after them; no monuments exist in the landscape to commemorate their lives; they are not taught in schools and there are few books that include their stories. Yet it is because of this collaboration that we know anything about the ideas which motivated the people who were once the owners of almost all the land on which South Africans now live. It is also through their work that we have some real sense of the ideas and feelings that motivated the rock art which is one of the richest parts of South Africa's cultural heritage.
In particular I would like to acknowledge David Brown, Nigel Penn, David Lewis-Williams, Janette Deacon, John Parkington, Anne Solomon, Stephen Watson, Martin Hall, Jos Thorne, Sandy Prosalendis and Malcolm Payne. I would also like to thank June Hosford, Graham Avery, Lindsay Hooper and Patricia Davison of the South African Museum. I am grateful to the University of Cape Town for the support it offers, both intellectual and material, to Bill McAdam of the Bushmanskloof Wilderness Area and to the Royal Netherlands Embassy for their enabling contribution to this series of publications and related exhibits.
This is the first in a series of books that will explore the ways in which words and images interact with one another. Histories are often crowded out by words alone, and the rich, visual qualities of the past are lost. These books will claim back something of this more varied texture, whether rock art and the sweep of the landscape, contemporary photographs and paintings, or the collections of objects from archaeological excavations. They will also link such archives and the histories that come from them with the creative imagination - with what it is that the past means for us today.