African Scenery and Animals
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African Scenery and Animals
The Korah Village.
The village that-appears in this view is on the Gareep or Orange River, and inhabited by Hottentots of a tribe denominated Korahs, settled on the south bank of that river, and who are, perhaps, the best featured of all the different nations or hordes of this extraordinary race of human beings. Their huts are composed of rush mattings spread over bended sticks ; they are of an hemispherical form, about six feet high, and eighteen in diameter, with an aperture on the side for an entrance. The trees on each side of the river, in the vicinity of this village, are tall and spreading: among which a species of Mimosa was the most abundant. Their manner of swim- ming across the river with their sheep and goats, as introduced in this plate, ap- peared somewhat singular. A man lays himself on the trunk or branch of a large tree, about six or seven feet in length, into which at a few inches distance from one of its extremities, a pin is fixed, which the swimmer holds perpendicularly with one hand, while the other is employed in keeping the head of the animal he carries with him above water. By directing the point of the log obliquely against the cur- rent, and at the same time striking with his feet, he, in some degree, prevents his float from drifting with the stream. This place was the first from the boundary of the Cape Colony that presented the traces of human habitation, - a journey of up- wards of thirty days from Cape Town ; and it was the more interesting, from the circumstance of meeting with some members of the Christian mission, who had here commenced their generous labours. They had been lately deputed from that respectable body the Missionary Society in Europe ; a society which, though chiefly English, includes the pious and benevolent of different countries, and whose exertions to promulgate the truths of the Gospel in the South of Africa, already promise, by the zealous endeavours of Mr. Keikerer, and Dr. Van Der Kemp, to be rewarded with extraordinary success.
The Bosjesmen Hottentots.
The Bosjesmen or Bushmen Hottentots may be justly classed among the lowest and most miserable of human beings. They neither till the ground nor breed cattle, but live from day to day on the precarious spoils of the chace, the stolen cattle of the colonists, or on lizards, snakes, white ants, wild honey, caterpillars, and locusts; and when all these fail them, they have recourse to the roots of vegetables : yet some of them attain a great age, and, what is very remarkable, they seldom lose any of their teeth, though they are worn down by use and age to mere stumps. Numbers of these people were observed to be blind of an eye, which was said to be chiefly owing to sparks flying from fires when they were children. Many of them also had the first joint of the little finger wanting, which had purposely been taken off when young, either as a charm against misfortune, or a preventive against disease. So little notion have they of the value of property, that whenever they are so successful as to carry off a whole herd of cattle from the colonists, they kill them all at once, and without quitting the place of slaughter, feast together, till the whole is either consumed or turned into a mass of putrefaction. They then set out, equipped like the two figures here represented, in quest of some new prey, carrying with them their whole property, which consists of a bow and quiver of arrows, some of which, probably for convenience, they wear fantastically stuck round their heads. Their stature is very diminutive, seldom exceeding four feet and a half, and the women still shorter.
Naturalists having observed that the greater part, though not all, of the Antelope tribe, had a gland under the interior angle of the eye, which they call the sub- ocular sinus, agreed to consider it as a characteristic of the genus ; and the animal, of which the annexed is an accurate representation, being found to possess such gland, has accordingly been classed among the Antelopes. A common observer would consider it rather as belonging to the Bovine tribe. In fact it seems to be of a mixed nature, made up of the bull, the horse, and the antelope. The Gnoo is the Hottentot name. Of all the animals that scour the plains of southern Africa the Gnoo is the swiftest, and from its fierce and restless disposition, the Dutch colonists have given it the name of Wildebeest. In order to convey some idea of its extra- ordinary celerity, it may be noticed, that the .individual, from which the annexed drawing was made, had one of its fore legs completely broken above the knee joint by a musket ball, yet, although pursued on horseback in full speed, it was a considerable time before it could be overtaken, in which situation he turned, and be- came so furious, as to be dangerous to come near him. When a herd is disturbed, they invariably begin to sport and bound, and butt each other for some time before they gallop off. Their action on such occasions is so free, various, and elegant, that all the other wild animals, even the leaping Spring-Bok, may be called clumsy and awkward, when compared with the Gnoo. The usual height of this animal is three feet eight inches, and its length five feet eight inches. They are commonly seen in herds from fifty to an hundred, though not unfrequently found feeding with Hartebeests, Ostriches, Quachas, and Elands. They are seldom shot by the Colonists on account of their swiftness ; but the native Hottentots, with great patience and perseverance, creep among the low bushes till they get near enough to wound them with their poisoned arrows. A more particular description of this extraordinary creature may be found in Barrow's Travels in Southern Africa.
A Kaffer Village.
The regular huts of a Kaffer village are built in the form of a bee-hive ; composed of wattling plaistered over with a composition of clay and cow dung, six or seven feet in diameter, with a square opening for an entrance. That of the Chief is larger than the rest, and stands at the head of the village on an eminence, where at the bottom of the slope the kraals or folds for their cattle are generally collected together. When driven from their village by an enemy, or moving about in search of fresh pasture for their cattle, they form temporary huts, rudely constructed with twigs, and covered with reeds or long grass. These temporary dwellings they fre- quently make along the edge of a thicket, by intertwining the living branches so closely together as to afford them a shelter from the sun, though none against the rain. The men are chiefly employed in hunting, or in milking and tending their cattle, of which they are extremely fond, and render so very docile as to be enabled to direct their motions by whistling either with the mouth, or an instru- ment which they make for that purpose of bone. To improve on the work of nature, and render them more beautiful, they cut the ears, the skin of the cheeks, and dewlaps, of their favorite cattle of both sexes, and when young twist their horns into a variety of shapes. The women are occupied in making bags of skins, skin cloaks and articles for household use, the principal of which consists of baskets made of strong grass that grows in the neighbourhood of springs. These baskets are so closely worked as to be water tight and to hold their milk.
Kaffers on a March.
The Kaffers who dwell upon the eastern coast of South Africa are a race of people very superior to what they.have usually been considered, both with regard to their physical and moral character. If taken in the mass, it may be questioned if any nation can produce so great a proportion of tall elegant figures as appear among the Kaffers. Though strong and active in a great degree, they eat very little animal food, but subsist chiefly on milk in a curdled state, and a few wild vegetables and roots. The shape of the head and the features of the countenance approach much nearer to inhabitants of the north than either the Hottentot or the Negro, and were it not for their colour, which is from black to bronze, even Europeans might pronounce them a very handsome race of men. Their weapons of war and for hunting are the Hassagai and the Kerie. The former is an iron spear fitted to a tapering shaft, which they hurl with effect to the distance of thirty or forty yards. In battle they usually break off the wooden shaft of the spear, and with the aid of a shield made of dried ox hides come to close quarters with the iron part only in their hand. The Kerie is nothing but a small stick with a round knob at the end, with which they frequently kill the pigmy antelope, hares, and the smaller animals. The men in summer go naked. Their usual ornaments consist of rings of ivory on the arm, a brush of hair attached to the head, and frequently a cow's tail tied to the knee : and when they go to war they bind on the head by a fillet of skin the two wings of the Numidian Crane. The women wear long cloaks of skin made soft and pliant with great pains, and gaily studded with metal buttons. The Kaffer Chiefs also wear cloaks made of the skins of animals, and generally prefer those of the Leopard and Tyger Cat. The children always go naked, and have no decorations except a tuft of hair from the Spring-Bok, with which their heads are frequently ornamented.
The Koodoo is the Hottentot name of the animal here represented, a name which Buffon has erroneously given to the Eland. Mr. Pennant has called it the Striped Antelope. The spiral horns of the male (for the female has none) of this noble species of Antelope, when full grown, are from three to four feet in length. It is generally seen with its head erect, a habit which it may probably have acquired, by its almost constant residence in thickets where they are accustomed to browse, being seldom seen in the open plains. In the well wooded country stretching between the Camtoos and the Sundays rivers, they are to be found in great abun- dance, and are not difficult to be shot by the patient Hottentot, who tracks them in the thickets, and lies in wait till they come within his reach ; when surprised they bound with astonishing velocity into cover, and once alarmed it is very dif- ficult to creep upon them a second time. They are seldom met with in larger herds than six or seven. The male is about seven feet in length and five feet in height, the female is of a less size. The sides and back are transversely marked with broad white stripes ; and two white stripes mark the face : on the neck is a black mane, and from the shoulders to the tail a crest or ridge of white hair. A crest of dark brown hair runs also from the chin to the chest. As the skeleton and horns of this animal are often found in the woods, it may be presumed that it falls a prey to the Lion, the Leopard, and the Hyena. The general character of the Antelope is that of timidity, but this species is perhaps the most timid of all the larger kind.
The dwellings of this tribe are invariably surrounded by a high thick hedge, or paling of dry brushwood, forming a spacious court, which, in fine weather, serves all the purposes of an outward apartment, where, after the labours of the day, the family prepare and partake of their evening's repast. In the choice of situation, the shade of a tree is always preferred, and its boughs are preserved with religious care, although fuel is often brought from a considerable distance. The tree thus selected is generally the umbrella-like Mimosa. Their huts are constructed of well worked clay, with intervening pillars of wood for strengthening the walls, as well as supporting the roofs, which are closely thatched with strong grass, and bound together with leathern thongs. A hut generally consists of three concentric circles, the two interior ones being wall, and the outward one a range of wooden pillars, the whole forming three separate parts ; that in the centre is chiefly used as a magazine wherein their property, such as skins, ornaments, etc. are deposited; on the outside of this is an enclosed gallery resorted to when the rains have rendered the outward court untenable ; and beyond this part, and looking immediately into the court, is a kind of narrow Viranda, which is at once convenient and ornamental ; but the, most curious of this kind of manufacture is their granaries, or repositories of/pSfe, millet, and kidney-beans. These are composed of fine clay baked in the sun, shaped like oil-jars, from five to six feet high, and capable of containing from a hundred and eighty to two hundred and twenty gallons ; they are raised from the ground by three feet, and are covered with a roof of thatch. These, and most of their implements and utensils, are made by the women : for here, as in other parts, the men are chiefly employed in the chace, and in tending their cattle.
The Boosh-wannahs, commonly called Briequas, are a tribe of KafFers but little known to the Colonists of the Cape ; the country they inhabit lies to the northward, and extends from the twenty-seventh degree south to the tropic of Capricorn. Rude as they still are, they far surpass all the tribes of Hottentots, and even the Kaffers on the eastern coast in agriculture and useful arts. Having less of that disposition to wander, so prevalent among the natives of Southern Africa, their dwellings are more substantially built than those of their neighbours; from which they differ both in their form and materials. They are evidently a mixed race of people, and distinguished under no general physical character. In habit and disposition they strongly resemble the other Kaffer tribes; though a difference is observable in some of their customs : for instance in cultivating their ground, instead of the Kerie, they make use of a kind of iron hoe, which serves also for an axe; and in place of the reed basket, in use among the Kaffers for holding their milk, it is kept by them in leathern bags ; both of which utensils are borne by the female figure, with the child tied on her back. The rude instrument held by the middle figure, is a kind of Hooker made of horn, through which they draw the smoke of tobacco. They wear feathers in their hair, and decorate their neck, arms, legs, and waist, with beads.
In war they make use of shields formed of dried hides. Their Hassagai, or spear, unlike that of the KafFers, resembles the common harpoon. Besides several other implements not found among the other tribes, they have parasols made of Ostrich feathers, double edged knives, and vessels made of earth, in which they boil their milk and millet.
The animal here represented is a species of Antelope, which it does not appear has hitherto been described. It is a native of the Boosh-wannah district, where it is met with in great numbers, but seldom in more than two or three together. It is three feet high, and its length from the root of the horns to the rump is four feet two inches. Its general distinguishing characters are, horns lyre-shaped, annulated ; ears long, particularly in the female, edged and tipped with black ; a tuft of black hair above the hinder fetlock joint; feet white, legs remarkably long in proportion to the body. In swiftness it is little, if at all, inferior to the Spring-bok, but its gait is different. It is an animal easily tamed, and when taken young is extremely docile.
In the Boosh-wannah country, and in many places near the Orange river, the trees are frequently loaded with the nests of a small bird of the Finch kind, which being aggregated under one general roof exhibits a very singular appearance, of which some examples are introduced in this plate, covering sometimes a space from twelve to twenty feet in width. They are constructed of a dry, harsh, rigid, grass, and the openings into the separate nests on the underside, are so contrived as to render difficult any passage into them, and protect the eggs and young ones within from birds of prey, snakes and other reptiles. These nests have been mentioned by Patterson and Barrow; and the former has given a drawing of the bird.
The New Theatre In Hottentot Square.
The plate to which this refers is a view of part of the Table Mountain taken from Hottentot Square in Cape Town, at the time of an incipient South-easter. These strong gales of wind are first indicated by a small fleecy cloud stretching along the summit of the mountain which, gradually falling over the edge, in the course of a few hours envelopes half the mountain, rising also to a considerable height above it, whilst every other part of the hemisphere is perfectly cloudless. This irregular appearance is well known to seamen by the name of the Devil's Table Cloth. The principal building in the Square is a new Theatre, which was erected during the government of Sir George Young for the amusement of the inhabitants, there be- ing hitherto no place of public entertainment where the English and the Dutch inhabitants had any opportunity of associating together ; and although it may not possess any extraordinary degree of architectural beauty, it is nevertheless superior to most, if not to all, of the buildings of Cape Town in solidity as well as in design. This Square is the common resort of all the waggons that arrive in Cape Town with the different products of the interior parts of the Country, and seldom a day elapses without waggons arriving here, containing whole families, attended by groupes of Hottentots and Kaffers, in their native dresses of sheep skins, and sometimes almost wholly naked. From this circumstance it derived its name, which, however, was only applied to it by the English, the Dutch invariably calling it the Boor's Plain.
This animal, the Hippopotamus of the ancients, the Hippopotamus Amphibius of Linnaeus, and the Sea Cow of the Dutch, and probably the Behemoth of the scriptures, was formerly met with in all the larger rivers of southern Africa, but since the Cape has been colonized by the Dutch, and the introduction of fire-arms, they gradually retired into the interior of the country, and are now not to be found within the limits of the Colony, except a few in the Berg river, which have been protected by the government. In the Orange river, not yet much frequented by the Dutch, they are most abundant, appearing sometimes in herds, consisting of fifteen or twenty. On the first appearance of men they rise with the head above the surface, and seem to eye them with attention ; but after the first discharge of a musquet, though they must, at intervals, peep out of the water for the purpose of respiration, they sink instantaneously on seeing the flash ; but when severely wounded they are more frequently upon the surface : yet so very sly are they in this respect that, when disturbed in holes of the river that are bounded by shallows, they will creep into the tall reeds near the margin, and lie in them with the nose just above the water for two or three days together without moving, if the cause of their disturbance should not be removed. The usual way of taking them by the Bosjesmans is by digging deep pits in their track; but the K ora Hottentots on the banks of the Orange river generally use the following method: the animal by night quits the river to seek its food, which consists of bushes, reeds, and coarse grass, and the noise it makes in cutting and masticating these substances with its grinders first gives notice to the hunters of its situation; but the dread of the animal thus out of its element, or its natural instinct, induces it to stop and listen at the interval of every four or five minutes; the Hottentots take advantage of this ; while the animal pauses they stop, and when he eats they push forward till within a few yards distant, when they dart their Hassagais into him; after which, although he may get to the river, he generally becomes their prey. The one from which the annexed Portrait was taken, being alarmed by the hunters, concealed itself among the reeds in a deep morass for two days; compelled at last by hunger to make towards the land, it was perceived by one of the party, who fired a shot which entered the head, and twenty or thirty more shots quickly following, the animal appeared io be much wounded ; but darkness coming on prevented any further pursuit that evening: in the night, however, the poor creature eluded the vigilance of the men who had been set on the watch to prevent its escaping, and got more than two miles from the morass, and was at last killed by the Hottentots, who found it lying under a tree almost exhausted by the wounds it had before received. It is somewhat remarkable that this animal, in his course from the morass in the night, was discovered by the track in the sand to have gone between a waggon and a tent, which were not above three yards apart, and very fortunately for the hunters who were sleeping in them, without running against the one, or entangling himself in the ground lines of the other. The largest of the species that we killed, and from whence the annexed Drawing was taken, measured from the snout to the root of the tail eleven feet, and height six feet six inches ; but it was a female. Its skin is of a dirty brown colour, approaching to black, reticulated, and entirely divested of hair, except on the thick tumefied lips which are coveted with pencils of bristly hair. The flesh, and especially the lard, with which it is covered, and the head and hoofs, are esteemed as great delicacies both by the Hottentots and the Dutch, and the flavour is not unlike pork.
Boors Returning From Hunting.
The Boors, who inhabit the interior districts of the Colony, have scarcely any other source of amusement than that of hunting, which is attended with profit as well as pleasure. An excursion of this kind requires a very considerable equipage, and continues for several days on such occasions. The Boor is attended by his waggons, his horses, his oxen, and his Hottentots, beside a numerous train of doo-s and is seldom so unsuccessful as to return home without a full freight. In his waggons he takes out with him some empty casks and a supply of salt, in order to preserve the flesh of the larger animals, such as Buffalos, Gnoos, Elands, and Hartebeests ; the smaller kind, as the different species of deer, the Spring-bok, the Steen-bok, the Ilee-bok, (one of which in the print is slung behind the Boor,) hares, &c. are brought home whole. The animal carried by the Hottentot is the Cape Jerboa, usually called in the Colony the Spring-haas, or leaping hare, and sometimes the Berg-haas, or Mountain hare. Although in general a Dutch Boor is inclined to be extremely indolent, yet on the slightest hint from a stranger or visitor he enters warmly into any plan for ajagtpartij, or hunting party. In chasing the different kinds of game, he rides in full gallop till within gunshot, when, throw- ing the bridle upon the mane, the horse at once stops short, stands firm, and he fires from his back. The horses are small and generally poor, and a tall Boor, sit- ting almost upright on the saddle, just upon its shoulders, has a very whimsical appearance. Their musquets are large, aukward, and unwieldy ; but, though they generally fire with ball, they seldom miss their object. Indeed, to fire at a mark, to drive an ox waggon, and crack and manage an enormous whip, are the principal and essential parts of their education. They are extremely hospitable to strangers ; but all their good qualities are obscured by their cruel and inhuman treatment of the poor Hottentots, who are forced into their employ.
Military Station At Algoa Bat.
This bay being situated at the distance of five hundred miles from the Cape of Good Hope, and not far from the Kaffer frontier, and possessing, moreover, tolerably good anchorage and a landing place ; may be considered as one of the most important points on the eastern coast of Africa. Under this view Lieutenant-General Francis Dundas, whose exertions were unremitting for the benefit of his Majesty's service during his government of the colony, went down in person and caused a block- house and a small fort to be erected at the landing place, and near a small stream of fresh water which fell into the bay. The establishment of a small military force in this distant part of the settlement, not only added to the security of the colony, but was of great use to the boors who inhabited the district, affording them a market for such commodities as they could not conveniently carry to the Cape. The face of the country, surrounding the bay, was soon completely changed, by the labours of the soldiers, from a barren waste to a suite of fertile gardens. It still continues to be occupied as a military post by the present government of the Cape.
Four Portraits From Nature.
The Hottentot and Kaffer countenances are so justly described in Barrow's Travels in Southern Africa, a work of such acknowledged Merit and unquestionable authority, that little more is required to be said on the subject of this print. " The face " of the Hottentot," he observes, (e is in general extremely ugly; but this differs " very materially in different families, particularly in the nose, in some of which it te is remarkably flat, and in others considerably raised. The colour of the eye is a " deep chesnut; these are very long and narrow; removed to a great distance from " each other; and the eyelids at the extremity next the nose, instead of forming an " angle as in Europeans, are rounded into each other exactly like those of the " Chinese. The cheek bones are high and prominent, and with the narrow pointed " chin form nearly a triangle. Their teeth are beautifully white. The colour of the " skin is that of a yellowish brown or a faded leaf. The hair is of a very singular <c nature ; it does not cover the whole surface of the scalp, but grows in small tufts " at certain distances from each other, and, when kept short, has the appearance " and feel of a hard shoebrush, with this difference that it is curled and twisted " into small round lumps about the size of a marrow-fat pea. When suffered to " grow, it hangs in the neck in hard twisted tassels like fringe."
With regard to the Kaffers, Mr. Barrow observes, " There is, perhaps, no nation " on earth, taken collectively, that can produce so fine a race of men. Their contenances are lively and pleasing; their eyes vivid and active, their teeth white " as the purest ivory, and the noses of many of them not in the least flattened, but " like those of Europeans." Here it may be observed, that the portrait of the Kaffer in the print being taken on the skirts of their country may differ a little from this description, the original having, probably, some mixture of the Hottentot; but the woman is a pure Kaffer, and few will refuse to pronounce her face as not wanting in lines of beauty, or void of harmony. This race of men is certainly very different from that of the African negroes, not only in their features, but in the shape of the skull and every part of the body, and may justly be compared with the finest formed Europeans. Mr. Barrow thinks it is probable, from their countenance and habits, that they derive their origin from that particular tribe of Arabs which are called Beduins, and which dwell about the same degree of latitude on the northern part of Africa that the Kaffers do on the south. Be this as it may, it is very remarkable to find so fine a race of men hemmed in by the negroes on one side, and the Hottentots on the other.
This species of Wild Horse which the Hottentots call Quahkah, is one of the most common and abundant of the larger animals that are met with on the barren plains of southern Africa. It is generally found in numerous herds that are mostly accom- panied by a few harte-beests and ostriches. They are tolerably swift; but the boors sometimes succeed by stratagem to take them alive, by throwing the noose of a rope over their heads. By domestication it soon becomes mild and tractable, and might be rendered extremely useful by patient training; yet abundant as they are in the country, there are few instances of their being put in harness. They are stronger than the mule; live hardily, and are never out of flesh. They are variously marked; some with waved stripes on the neck only, others with bands across the shoulder, and others marked on the haunches, somewhat like the Zebra, which gave rise to an idea that was long entertained of its being the female of that ani- mal; from which, however, it differs in almost every particular, except in the stripes, being in its shape infinitely more beautiful. The large head, the long ears, and the slender legs of the Zebra, partake very much of the character of the com- mon ass. The mane of the Quahkah is curious, appearing as if trimmed by art. This animal is found on all the plains behind the first range of mountains beyond the Cape Peninsula,
A Farm House.
The farms in the extensive colony of the Cape of Good Hope are held on annual leases from the government, and are each three miles in diameter; but from a scarcity of water, the houses are sometimes twice and frequently three times that distance asunder. In so great a range of country, and at a considerable distance from any market, there is little inducement to cultivate more ground than is absolutely necessary to produce enough for family consumption. The chief occupation of the farmer is therefore to rear sheep and horned cattle. To guard and protect these, among the mountains, or on the vast plains, they engage a number of Hot- tentots, who in the evenings drive them home in flocks from different quarters, where they are pent up for the night in an enclosure of mud walls, but more frequently of the withered branches of the thorny mimosa. Such enclosures are called Kraals. The Farm Houses are, in general, built of rough stones, laid and plaistered with clay, and whitened sometimes with lime if not too distant from the sea coast, and sometimes with pipe clay. Around the better sort, where the situation is favourable, are planted clumps of trees, and tolerably good gardens. Sometimes a bell is hung between two pillars, and very frequently, as an appendage to the house, is erected a large pole with a flat piece of wood at the top, the residence of a favourite monkey or baboon.
Halt In The Desert.
Those Boors who live at the distance of five or six hundred miles from Cape Town generally make one journey thither every year. On such occasions their covered waggons answer all the purposes of a house, and they carry with them the greater part of the family, goats, sheep, dogs, cocks and hens, monkies, or any other favourite animal. These waggons aTe drawn by oxen, whose usual pace is from two and a half to three miles an hour. To each waggon there is usually a Hottentot driver, and a Hottentot leader of the oxen, besides a number of these people to take care of the draught cattle when turned out to graze. A musket or two and ammunition are indispensably necessary, not only for their protection but also to procure game for their subsistence on the long journey. By the help of a few mats or sail cloths, they usually contrive to skreen themselves from the scorching rays of the sun.
Among the great variety of Antelopes that range the extensive karroo plains of southern Africa, the Spring-Bok is by far the most common and the most numerous ; but it is never seen on the Cape side of the great chain of mountains. I cannot better describe it, than in the words of Mr. Barrow, in his Travels in southern Africa, vol. i. p. 104. " The Spring-Bok is a gregarious animal, never met with " but in large herds, some of which, according to the accounts of the peasantry, " will amount to the number of ten thousand. The Dutch have given a name to " this beautiful creature indicative of its gait. The strength and the elasticity of " the muscles are so great that, when closely pursued, he will spring at a single " leap from fifteen to five and twenty feet. Its usual pace is that of a constant " jumping or springing, with all the four legs stretched out and off the ground at " the same time; and at every spring the hair on the rump divides, or sheds, and " falling back on each side, displays a surface of snowy whiteness. No dog can " attempt to approach the old ones." The Spring-Bok is a migratory animal, and when they assemble together in immense herds, amounting sometimes to 40 or 50,000, for the purpose of moving to a different tract of country, the whole surface, over which their passage extends, is bared of every shrub and blade of grass, in the same manner as when a swarm of locusts lays waste the country.
Scene In Sitsikamma.
This wild and uninhabited part of southern Africa is situated between Plettenberg's Bay and Algoa Bay, about five hundred miles from the Cape of Good Hope. It is intersected by rivers running through deep ravines, whose slanting sides are finely clothed with forest trees, some of uncommon growth and luxuriance. In these im- penetrable forests are buffaloes without number, rhinoceroses, and elephants, the last of which, at present, are scarcely to be found in any other part of the colony. Here they are sometimes shot by the boors, who usually take their station in the thickets near some still part of a river, where it is easily accessible, and where the traces of the animal shew that it frequents. Laying thus in ambuscade, they take aim at the head near the ear, which is considered to be the most mortal part. These forests abound with a variety of birds, whose nests are frequently suspended in a curious manner from the extremities of the branches of trees.
Korah Hottentots Preparing To Remove.
Among the various tribes of the Hottentot race the Korahs, who dwell along the banks of the Orange River, have attained the highest degree of civilization. Their circular huts are constructed with more care and regularity, and the mats with which they are covered are more firmly and neatly made, than what are found among other tribes. They possess also a greater number and variety of utensils for domestic use; their vessels are sometimes made of clay baked in the sun, of wood hollowed out, and of gourds. Their clothing is not much different from the others, but their persons are more cleanly, owing probably to the abundance of water with which the Orange River is at all seasons, and more especially in summer, supplied, and which in almost every other part of the southern angle of Africa is a scarce article. Their animals consist of horned cattle, sheep, goats, and dogs. They have no kind of carriages, but, on their removal from place to place, their mats, their household furniture and utensils, are packed on oxen, as in the annexed print, which, in addition, usually carry the women and children.
The African Hog.
There is not perhaps a more disgusting or a more savage animal than the wild Hog of Africa. This beast, as well as the elephant, the buffalo, and the rhi- noceros, abounds in the woods of Sitsikamma, and is generally hunted by dogs, which, with its long sharp fangs growing out of the lower jaw, it sometimes lace- rates in a dreadful manner, and frequently tears them to death. Its eyes are small and placed high in the forehead ; two remarkable excrescences grow like two ears out of its cheeks, and the lower part of its head appears as if inclosed in a sack. The neck, the shoulders, and the breast, are covered with long hair. It differs very considerably from the Barbaroussa, or Ethiopian Hog, which is also a native of the Cape.
Town of Leetakoo.
This print represents the town or city of Leetakoo, the capital of the Booshuanas. In a country, whose general features are so rude and barren, so great an assemblage of huts, constructed on a regular plan, was a sight as novel as unexpected; and a society of men so numerous, collected together on the same spot, implied a superior degree of civilization to what any part of this continent to the southward of the line is supposed to afford. " We walked through the town," says Mr. Triiter, " and cc observed that both within it, and on every side, were plantations of that species " of Mimosa which constitutes the principal food of the Camelopardalis. We " estimated the city to be, in its circumference, as large as Cape Town, with all the " gardens of Table Valley; but it was impossible to ascertain the number of houses, <c on account of the irregularity of the streets, and lowness of the buildings, but we " concluded they must amount to somewhere between two and three thousand, of " the same kind, but not quite so large, as that of the chief. The whole population, " including men, women, and children, we considered to be from ten to fifteen " thousand souls. Tracing our route from the last place on the Roggeveld, upon "Mr. Barrow's map, and continuing the same scale, we calculated the city of " Leetakoo to be in latitude 26° 30' south, and longitude 27° 00' east from " Greenwich."
Ariver of very considerable magnitude in the rainy season runs through the middle of the town, but for nine months out of the twelve it contains little more water than is necessary for the use of the inhabitants and their cattle. On the banks of the river, on the tops of the hills, and among the habitations of the natives, no other species of tree appears but the Mimosa Giraffe, which, like an umbrella, affords a protection against the scorching rays of a vertical sun.
Booshuana Woman Manufacturing Earthen Ware.
Although these people have made some progress in civilization, yet they retain that common feature of a savage state which condemns the weaker sex to perform the severest labour and the greatest drudgery. The woman in the print is employed in the construction of one of the large earthen vessels in which they deposit their grain. They are made of tempered clay, dried in the sun, and washed over with a solution of red ochre, so as to appear to have been baked with fire. These vessels are six or seven feet high, and hold from two to three hundred gallons. They stand on feet to prevent the moisture of the ground from striking through the clay and injuring the grain. While the clay is soft, short sticks are fixed in the side by way of a ladder to ascend the top in order to take out the grain or to fill the vessel. The different pots, of a smaller description, are intended for holding water and milk, and also for boiling their meat. In their choice of animal food they are not very nice. They eat even the flesh of the wolf and the hysena, but prefer that of the different kinds of antelopes.
Their huts and their granaries are always constructed on a platform of clay raised a few inches above the general level of the inclosure, in order that the water may easily run off, and the elevated part speedily become dry. Upon the whole the Booshuanas have made greater steps towards civilization than any of the tribes of southern Africa that have hitherto been discovered.
This extraordinary animal, which has never before been drawn nor described, is equally unknown to the colonists of the Cape, being first met with in the parallel of latitude under which Leetakoo is situated. In the neighbourhood of this place we had the good fortune to fall in with a couple of them. They are exceedingly shy, and, when wounded, dangerous to come near; nor do the Booshuanas consider it safe to approach them in the rutting season. They rarely kill them, as they do most other antelopes, with the spear or hassagai, but entrap them in deep pits covered with sticks and earth, in the same manner as the Bosjesmans take the Hippopotamus. The flesh is esteemed a great delicacy. This animal is, in general, from four and a half to five feet high, of a bluish colour like that of the ~Nyl-gau of India, to which indeed its general shape approaches, but it is sometimes seen of a fallow brown. Both male and female have horns, pointing backwards in a regular curve, and annulated to within less than one third of their length from the point. They are usually found grazing on the edge of the Karroo plains near the feet of hills that are covered with the common Karrooo mimosa and other shrubby plants ; mostly in pairs, but sometimes in small herds of five or six together.
In the back ground of the print is a Giraffe or Camelopardalis, browsing among the branches of the mimosa, on which they are particularly fond of feeding.
Cascade on Sneuwberg.
The southern side of the range of mountains, called the Sneuwberg, or snowy mountains, being very abrupt, and in many places nearly perpendicular to the plains that stretch along the sea coast, abounds with grand cascades, or waterfalls, during the rainy months and the melting of the snow; but the water in the dry season en- tirely disappears. The Table Mountain at the Cape, sometimes after heavy rain, exhibits a number of similar waterfalls pouring over the edge of its high and per- pendicular front, but they are of short duration, and their grandeur considerably diminished by the total want of wood.
Bosjesmans Frying Locusts.
There is not perhaps any race of people, however savage, that gives itself less trouble in constructing habitations, or that is less encumbered with clothing or do- mestic utensils, than that particular tribe of Hottentots known to the Dutch by the name of Bosjesmans. Their huts consist of a mat of grass bent into a semicircle, and kept in that position by a few upright sticks, and one of the ends closed by an- other mat. Their clothing seldom extends beyond the skin of some wild animal tied round the loins. A gourd, or an ostrich egg, serves them for carrying a little water, and a sack of the skin of some of the smaller antelopes for holding their dried locusts, wild honey, or bulbous roots. In the annexed print a party is employed in frying locusts in a hole dug in the ground, which is heated with ashes, but in general they dry them in the sun. Their chief employment is the pursuit of game, which they are sometimes enabled to procure by wounding with poisoned arrows, and those on the confines of the colony commit depredations on the flocks and herds of the boors.
The Klip-springer, or Rock-leaper, is a species of Antelope which is never met with but on the summits of high naked mountains, and it seems to delight in perch- ing on the tops of pinnacles, and in bounding from rock to rock with amazing agility.
" Its cloven hoofs," says Mr. Barrow, " are each of them subdivided into " two segments, and jagged at the edges, which gives it the power of adhering to " the steep sides of the smooth rock without danger of slipping. The colour is cine- " reous grey, and its black horns are short, straight, erect, and annulated one third " of their length from the base. The hair is very singular, being so brittle that it " breaks instead of bending, adheres loosely to the skin, and is so very light that it " is used as the best article that can be procured for stuffing saddles." These ani- mals are entirely out of the reach of dogs, and are obtained only by shooting them when mounted on the pinnacles of the rocks. Their flesh is highly flavoured, but like that of all the game of southern Africa, it is entirely destitute of fat.
View of the Lion's Head.
This Mountain forms a detached part of the skreen which surrounds the town of the Cape of Good Hope, and of which the Table Mountain is the principal part. On its summit is erected the Flag Staff, from which the signals for shipping are made to the town. The upper part is a naked mass of stone, and the whole body of the hill is bare of verdure, except in the winter season when the rains prevail. The valley, from the edge of which the annexed view is taken, is, however, rich and picturesque. The house is delightfully situated, commanding a complete view of Cape Town and Table Bay. The trees on the right are the Strelitzia Alba, and the Agave Americana.
Four Portraits From Nature.
The Bosjesman is probably the pure unmixed Hottentot. They are a very diminutive race of men, but in general well formed and extremely active. They are thinly met with on the desert plains of Southern Africa, always prowling about for their prey. They neither keep cattle nor sheep, nor cultivate the ground, but exist on roots, on gums, and on cattle, which they steal from the Colonists who live on the borders of their country. They go, for the most part, entirely naked ; but both sexes ornament the head ; the men sticking tufts of the Spring-bok hair in their own, wearing rings in their ears, and porcupine quills through the cartilage of the nose and in the hair. The women wear caps of the deer's skin.
The Booshuanas are in every respect so like the Kaffers, that a description of the one will equally apply to the other. They are, however, more of a mixed race than the eastern Kaffers. The women comb their hair down over the forehead; and the men wear caps and plates of copper suspended from one ear.
The African Rhinosceros.
The two-horned Rhinosceros of Africa is very different from that with one horn, which is common to the countries of Asia. The hide of the former is smooth like that of the Hippopotamus ; out of both of which animals the boors cut their horse- whips, which they call Shambocs. The individual from which the annexed print was taken, is supposed to be a new species, or, at least, a variety of the species usually met with in South Africa, being of greater bulk, and having the upper horn at least three times the size of what it generally is. The eye is remarkably small, and placed at a great distance from the forehead. The body resembles that of the Buffalo's, and the legs are short and thick like those of the Hippopotamus, or Sea Cow. This animal is not by any means vicious. The Hottentots and the Kaffers pursue it in the thickets, and approach near enough to hurl their H assagais, or javelins, at it. The flesh is coarse, but not disagreeable. The Rhinosceros is very common in all the thickets on the eastern frontier of the Colony.