The Digital Bleek & Lloyd


Story: The Sun pierces the full Moon with his knife


The Sun pierces the full Moon with his knife


Lucy Lloyd |xam notebooks


Whilst in the preceding myths of the Mantis, the Moon, according to its origin, is only a piece of leather (a shoe of the Mantis), in Bushman astrological mythology the Moon is looked upon as a man who incurs the wrath of the Sun, and is consequently pierced by the knife (i. rays) of the latter. This process is repeated until almost the whole of the Moon is cut away, and only one little piece left; which the Moon piteously implores the Sun to spare for his (the Moon’s) children. (As mentioned above, the Moon is in Bushman mythology a male being.) From this little piece, the Moon gradually grows again until it becomes a full Moon, when the Sun’s stabbing and cutting processes recommence. This explanation of the Moon’s changes is given in four versions; the longest of which (although as yet unfinished) is in a speech made by the Mantis, when he had created the Moon. (BIII. 434-437, 432a-437a, 438-460, 501-514, IV. 515-526, 528-584, V.585-590, XVL.1497-1590, XVII.1591-1683, XVIII.1698-1711, 1725-1758.) The second version, written by L, is shorter (BI. 215b-215e, and re–written on 215bb-215ff), and so also is the third (L II.-1. 285-287, 2. 292, 4. 478-481). A fourth version mainly gives a description of the changes of the Moon, as observed, and shortly to be observed, at the time of narration, with an explanation of their causes. (LII.-6. 654-663.) The Moon is full and mounts the sky at sunset. The Moon stands waiting and at daybreak the Sun comes and pierces the Moon's stomach with his knife. The Moon asks the Sun not to kill him so that his children may still see him. The Sun consents to let him go and returns the knife to his bag.


1) Note on the inside of the back cover of this notebook: 'Finished correcting Sept 15/71 from Jantje Toorm himself', 2) The story is continued for a few lines on p.292 (in Book II-2) and then taken up again some months later on p.478 (in Book II-4) – see Sun and Moon story, 3) p.286v: a note on the Moon's 'cord', which goes above the bone in the spine, 4) p.291v: a note on the gender of the Moon in the story (it is male), 5) p.477v: a note on a translation made on 6 March 1874, 6) p.478v: additional notes by 'DH' (or Dia!kwain) on the names of sinews (|kuirri) and bone marrow (!kunn), 7) p.480v: a note by Dia!kwain on the 'Devil' or |kaggen (the Mantis) and his belongings which can speak; a note made on 22 September regarding the 'Devil' who cannot shoot straight (according to the contributors); a note by ||kabbo on the 'Old Bushmen's' (First Bushmen's) name for the Sun, which is ≠kou |katten ttu (or 'sun's armpit'), which he heard from his mother; a note on the First Bushmen's name for the Moon, which is |kaggen ka |kuiten (or 'Devil's veldskoen'), 8) See also The Mantis and the Moon (version 1) and The origin of the Moon, 9) This story is found in Book II-1, Book II-2, and Book II-4


||kabbo (Jantje) (II)


20 July – 18 September (finished on or about) 1871


Celestial bodies and aeroscopy


Moon (his neck's flesh) , Moon (its movements) , Moon (his sinew) , Moon (lives and dies) , Moon (his wife) , Moon (origin of) , Moon (is pierced by Sun) , Moon (his children) , Moon (is a man) , Moon (his stomach) , Moon (his movements) , Sun (his knife) , Sun (his bag) , Sun (pierces Moon) , Sun (his armpit) , children (of the Moon) , children (the Sun pierces the full Moon with his knife) , armpit (of the Moon) , death (and the Moon) , death (the Sun pierces the full Moon with his knife) , sinew (of the Moon) , sinew (the Sun pierces the full Moon with his knife) , stomach (of the Moon) , stomach (the Sun pierces the full Moon with his knife)

Story Pages

285-287, 292, 478-481

Page Images

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