Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 2).djvu/31

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17
THE HOTTENTOTS.

nomad cattle and sheep farmers, are on a much higher level of culture than the Bushmen, who are hunters.[1] The language of the two peoples leave "no mere doubt as to their primitive relationship" (p. 7). The wealth of the Khoi-Khoi was considerable and unequally distributed, a respectable proof of nascent civilisation. The rich man was called gou aob, that is, "fat." In the same way the early Greeks called the wealthy ἄνδρες τῶν παχέων."[2] As the rich man could afford many wives (which gives him a kind of "commendation" over men to whom he allots his daughters), he "gradually rose to the station of a chief."[3] In domestic relations, Khoi-Khoi society is "matriarchal" (pp. 19–21).[4] All the sons are called after the mother, the daughters after the father. Among the arts, pottery and mat-making, metallurgy, and tool-making are of ancient date. A past stone age is indicated by the use of quartz knives in sacrifice and circumcision. In Khoi-Khoi society seers and prophets were "the greatest and most respected old men of the clan" (p. 24). The Khoi-Khoi of to-day have adopted a number of Indo-European beliefs and customs, and "the Christian ideas introduced by missionaries have amalgamated . . . with the national religious ideas and mythologies," for which reasons Dr. Hahn omits many legends which, though possibly genuine, might seem imported (pp. 30-31).

A brief historical abstract of what was known to

  1. Op. cit., p. 5.
  2. Herodotus, v. 30.
  3. Op. cit., p. 16.
  4. But speaking of the wife, Kolb calls "the poor wretch" a "drudge, exposed to the insults of her children."—English transl., p. 162.