The British colonials gave the aborigines of
Africa a name: Bushman.
Though struggling for their daily survival, they are excellent philosophers. Their attitude is reflected in their simple life and simple customs.
They are on the move each day of their lives for water and food. They have limited names, say about thirty-five for each gender (they think it fosters a “name kinship”). The women enjoy high importance and their opinions often take precedence. They hunt with a poisoned arrow which is neuro toxic, meaning that it affects the brain of the prey but does not contaminate the whole body. The portion where the arrow hit the prey is cut out and thrown away before consuming the hunted animal.
They take birth, wedding and death also very casually.
They are not big issues. A Bushman woman who is about to give a birth will simply go behind a bush (sorry, no pun is intended) and just ‘squeeze out’ the baby, have the baby and be back for her routine life in a short while, say an hour or so, unless there is some complication when an older woman could be called for help.
A wedding is a private affair between the bride and the groom and only in exceptional cases, a guest may be invited. Boys are not considered as men until they have killed a large, dangerous animal.
If some one dies, the clan will move away from that spot after burying the dead alongwith his or her possessions and never camp at that spot again. The dead person’s knees are folded and brought near the chin while burying, believing that this makes him ready for his new journey (a position resembling the foetus inside the mother?)
I did not start this post to write about the Bushmen but a beautiful piece of their wisdom:
“The day we die, a soft breeze will wipe our footprints in the sand.
When wind dies down, who will tell the timelessness that
Once we walked this way in the dawn of the time”
Or this similar thought, written differently:
“The day we die,
The wind comes down
To take away
The wind makes dust,
To cover up
The marks we left
The thing would seem
As if we were
Therefore, the wind
Is he who comes
To blow away