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Specimens of Bushman Folklore

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Specimens of Bushman Folklore

Wilhelm Bleek, author

Specimens of Bushman Folklore is a book by the linguist Wilhelm H. I. Bleek and Lucy C. Lloyd which was published in 1911.

The book records eighty-seven Xam Bushman legends, myths and other traditional stories. The stories were collected through interviews with various |Xam narrators, chief among them |A!kunta, ||Kabbo, Diä!kwain, !Kweiten ta ||ken and |Han≠kasso (the punctuation and other marks represent various clicks), which were transcribed by Bleek and his sister-in-law Lucy Lloyd. Bleek died in 1875, but Lloyd continued transcribing Xam narratives after his death and it is thanks to her efforts that some of the narratives were eventually published, in Specimens of Bushman Folklore. The book also includes sketches of rock art attributed to the Bushmen people and some |Xun narratives.

Specimens of Bushman Folklore has been considered the cornerstone of study of the Bushmen and their religious beliefs.

This book, as well as the situation of the Bushmen during their disappearance in South Africa and the lives of Bleek and Lloyd have been covered in a Dutch documentary series called The Broken String.

See also

Banks, Andrew. Bushmen in a Victorian World. Cape Town: Double Storey, 2006.

External links

  • Specimens of Bushman Folklore. (entire text)
  • Specimens of Bushman Folklore. (scanned pages, with search)
  • Diä!kwain, the 'soft-hearted' prisoner (an informant)
  • /Xam (Bushmen and Bushwomen) Intellectuals (1845-1879) including the five informants of Bleek
  • Timeline of Southern African Art (entry under 1911)
  • University of Cape Town, Michaelis School of Fine Art: The Digital Bleek and Lloyd
  • documentary information (in Dutch)


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