The Digital Bleek & Lloyd


Story: The sending of the Crows, or, Crows sent out to look for husbands


The sending of the Crows, or, Crows sent out to look for husbands


Wilhelm Bleek notebooks


Bushmen women send out crows to ascertain what has become of their husbands who have not returned from hunting; they hang fat round the necks of the crows as food for their journey. Hence the crows have white patches on neck or breast. – This tragic legend (the husbands having been killed) is in the Katkop dialect, told by Dia!kwãin, as he heard it from his mother #kámme–an, and is written down by L. (BXXVI.2473–2486). The men go to hunt and sleep in the veld, but the women become worried when they do not return after three days. They decide to send |xuru (a crow) to search for the men, because the !gauru bird is too heavy and slow. They cut up sheep fat to put around |xuru's throat for it to eat. |xuru flies away and returns when it does not find the men. It tells the women the men have gone to a place unknown to it. The women take the fat off |xuru's neck because they think it useless and place it around !kagen's (another crow) neck instead and send him off to find the men. !kagen follows the mens' path and sees the vultures that are eating the men, who are dead. He sees that they were killed by Boers (the Dutch) and goes to tell the people about it. The women say that the fat must be left on !kagen's neck as he was the one who told them about their murdered husbands.


1) This story was told to Dia!kwain (David Hoesar) by his mother (≠kamme-an), 2) The crows in this story appear to represent three different kinds of crow (see p.2472v); the !kagen (crow) is the Witborst craai, the |xuru (crow) has white at the back of its neck and the Dutch name for it is the Dik nuis craai, the !gauru (crow) in this story is the Witcraai, 3) See also The Crow's story: the Crows are sent out to search for husbands or The !kagen ka Kkomm's story and the |hunn ta kkomm's story and Crows and secretary birds (in Lloyd's notebooks, 4) This story is found in Book XXVI


Dia!kwain (David Hoesar) (V)


10 March 1874 (started)


History (Early Race), Relations with others


birds (the sending of the Crows) , birds (names of) , birds (|xam names of crows) , birds (Cape Dutch names of) , birds ('Boer' names of) , birds (!kagen) , birds (|xuru) , birds (crows) , birds (vultures) , birds (!gauru) , birds (accounting for appearance of) , birds (markings of) , birds (sheep fat tied around throats of) , birds (why crows have white patches on neck or breast) , Boers (Dutch) , Boers (kill husbands) , Boers (and the sending of the Crows) , Boers (commando) , Boers (murder the |xam) , sheep fat (the sending of the Crows with) , sheep fat (tied on Crow's neck) , !kagen (Crow) , !kagen (and the sending of the Crows) , !kagen (fat tied on throat of) , crows (the sending of the Crows) , crows (sent out to look for husbands) , crows (|xam names of) , crows ('Boer' names of) , crows (Cape Dutch names of) , crows (different types of) , crows (fat tied on throats of) , crows (!kagen) , crows (|xuru) , crows (!gauru) , crows (accounting for appearance of) , crows (markings of) , crows (why crows have white patches on neck or breast) , husbands (killed by Boers) , husbands (|xam) , husbands (the sending of the Crows to look for) , husbands (dead) , husbands (murdered) , husbands (wives are worried about) , Cape Dutch (see Dutch or Boer)

Story Pages


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