Digital George Stow
Institution : Iziko (no number assigned)
Size : 681mmx514mm
Description : Animal of mixed description; markings. "Cave under the great precipice of Klein Aasvogel Kop O.F.S"
Verso : "113" [there's another 113]
Description in published source : “PLATE 34
LOCALITY.– Cave under the great precipice of Klein Aasvogelkop.
SITE.– Not found. The Kelin Aasvogelkop lies south of the Caledon River, west of Rouxville village, a small sugarloaf hill rising out of a plain. I had not time to visit it.
EXPLANATION BY A BUSHMAN. – ‘She-rain with the rainbow over her. (She-rains said to have rainbows over them.)’
Bushmen have given several accounts of rain or water-animals, which they called either rain bulls or rain cows. There is only one word for rain and water in their language. One account is as follows: ‘My mother told me that people pull out the water cow and lead her over their place, that the rain may fall at their place, in order that the wild-onion leaves may sprout there. If the rain does not fall they will die. Therefore the medicine men shall go and kill the water cow at the place to which they go to stay near the wild-onion leaves, so that they can dig out and eat the wild onions. If the rain did not fall, they would not see the wild onion leaves, for these are bulbs which they dig out and eat; they are the Bushman’s food. Therefore they beg the rain medicine men to make rain fall for them. This is the reason why the medicine man works magic for them. The water’s people walk about, they charm the water, they make it rain, so that the mothers may dig and feed their children, and that the children may dig and feed themselves. They sling a thong over the water cow’s horns, they lead her out and make her walk, they kill her on the way. They cut her up so that the rain may fall where they have killed her. The rain does fall; they bring the rain by means of the water cow’s flesh. The rain falls behind them as they go home, it follows them; the people who asked for the rain really see the rain clouds.’
Several pictures of rain animals have horns, see Plates 41 and 18. This is one of the few that have none. The Bushmen only describe two colours as belonging to the rainbow, yellow above and red below.
Dimensions: 17 x 24 1/2 inches.” (Bleek)
Published : "Rock Paintings in SA" plate 34