Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/134

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ii8 Some Remarks on the Folklore

first hole, reached the second one and its little appendages, and filled the whole ; and in that way they obtained the present object. The small branches on the sides of the rounded protuberance of the liralcN^xy in shape and length, and each blacksmith had his special way of making them ; it amounted to a regular trade mark. Is it not curious at this time, when everybody complains about the natives not being willing to work in Johannesburg, to note that th« Ba- Suto had been going also themselves on their own account into mining enterprises?^ But they abandoned them long ago, twenty, thirty years perhaps ; and as Hugo says, " Ceci a tiie celaP The English pound sterling has killed the native one.

However, this Urate brings to the mind many questions, especially two : Who gave the natives the idea of melting the copper ore ? Did they find it out by themselves ? Did they rise by their own intellectual strength to the " Bronze Age," like the inhabitants of our Swiss lacustrine villages ? This idea cannot be entertained for an instant. The natives also used and manufa.ctured iron picks, hoes, and assagaies long ago. I don't doubc for a moment that they were taught the process of extracting the metal by other men, either by the Portuguese of Delagoa Bay, who had already a con- siderable settlement there at the end of the eighteenth cen- tury; or perhaps by those mysterious miners of Zimbabwe — Phoenicians or Arabians, or whatever they may be — in former times. I do not think that by himself the South African native could have discovered the way of melting the copper, and the proof is that this is the only object which he has been able to manufacture, as far as I know. If he had been a born metallurgist, he would have been able to make pins, knives, &c. The only other use which they made of the copper are bracelets, wrist-rings, often very heavy ; and I

' Let me add that those complaints are very much exaggerated as regards the natives of Northern Transvaal. In fact most of them arc working in Pretoria and Johannesburg.