Background history

From !khure

Background and history

Significance behind the project name: !Khure Africa - The Story is the African Wind *

The /xam San peoples believed that if you listen carefully to the wind, stories of the people and the land would reveal themselves: “the story is the wind, the wind is the story”. The /xam had no word for a large region such as southern Africa, our study area; we therefore add the word Africa to give the flavour of a more regional wind that must have embedded in it the story of the Earth.

* /xam San idea, adapted from P. Skotnes and M. Fleishman, A story is the wind. Llarec Series in Visual History, Cape Town, 2002.

!Khure Africa project logo:
“The porcupine story from the San (bushman) peoples of South Africa”

The story of the waiting for the porcupine is an old story told to the San children about how to feed themselves if they were ever orphaned. A San informant, Dia!kwain, related to ethnographers Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd in 1875 how his father and mother instructed their children to get food and to survive intruders; it was by way of sitting outside a porcupine hole; wait very patiently until it appears and then capture it , and so not starve. But waiting for the porcupine required infinite patience.