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Ulric Roberts | The Gift


TITLE The Gift
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DIMENSIONS 80 x 70 cm
MADE IN Concordia, Namaqualand. 2015

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In /Xam mythology, Eland was the last animal that was created. Eland was seen as very sacred to the /Xam.  When an Eland were hunted, it was for very special events, initiation or marriage.

“/Kaggen (God) picked up a shoe thrown away by his son-in-law, Kwammang-a, a mythical person seen in the rainbow. He soaked it in the water where the reeds stand. An Eland grew out of it and /Kaggen saw the spoor and the Eland as it came to drink. He trilled to it, making his tongue quiver, calling ‘Kwa:mma-kai-ka-!kuken!khwirri’ and Eland walked up to his father, /Kaggen, who loved and caressed him and rubbed honeycomb from a bag onto his ribs. /Kaggen sang for joy about the Eland.

Kwammang-a’s son, the ichneumon or mongoose, saw Eland and told his father about it. While /Kaggen was not there, Kwammang-a knocked the Eland down and was cutting it up when /Kaggen returned. /Kaggen wept for Eland whom he alone had made. Although Kwammang-a and the ichneumon tried to stop him, /Kaggen pierced the Eland’s gall.

The gall covered his head and he groped for an Ostrich feather to brush it from his eyes. Then he threw the feather up and said.

“You must now lie up in the sky, you must henceforth be the Moon…and give light to all people.”


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