The First Bushman's Path: Stories, Songs and Testimonies of the Exam of the Northern Cape

The First Bushmen , or the First-there-sitting-People , established the path along which all dead people and animals would travel to get to their final holding place, a great hole in the ground. And it was these First Bushmen who had been the original occupants of the land in which the Xam lived, and about whom stories were told. So declared Kabbo, one of the last of the Xam San to narrate the stories and oral traditions which had helped to make the Xam who they were, and to construct their land and make it livable. In these poems, Alan James has produced considered versions of a selection of the Xam narrations transcribed in the late 19th century, including many which have thus far received little, if any, literary or critical attention. The poems are supplemented by explanatory notes, helpful in particular to those who are unfamiliar with Xam history and culture. This title is an accessible and informative re-presentation of a wide range of the oral testimonies of Xam culture, whose riches continue to claim the attention of those who have succeeded the Xam in their land.