Wednesday, March 11, 2009

some Xhosa history

from way back in the day:

- Females were prohibited from pronouncing the names of any of their husband's male relatives in the ascending line, or any words whatever in which the principal syllables of such names occur.
- The Xhosa could describe events only as happening before or after some remarkable occurrence, such as the death of the chief.
- Battles consisted of a series of individual encounters, in which the bravest combatants on each side challenge each other by name, and when one falls, another is called upon by the victor to take his place.
- They kept chickens, but made no use of either their flesh or their eggs.
- They had no idea of reward or punishment in a world to come for acts committed in this life, and each of the commonality denies the immortality of his own soul.
- When a common person died their body was dragged away and left to beasts of prey.
- Sometimes a person intimates that he has received revelations from the spirit world. He is really a monomaniac, but if his statements are believed his power at once becomes greater than that of the highest chief, and his commands are implicitly obeyed.
- No one pretends to know anything about a trade which does not belong to his own family.
- Stealing cattle is not a crime; when caught the thief must make ample restitution, but no disgrace attaches to it, and they have no religious scruples concerning it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

question of the day

What's more ornery, that I have a maid, or that the first thing she does when she comes in is makes herself a sandwich?