Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/324

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boughs, are packed on oxen. Their household utensils, such as calabashes, milk-pails, pots, &c., are suspended to the boughs, and in the midst of all this confusion is often seated the good dame of the house, surrounded by her promising offspring.

It has been asserted by travelers and others that the Namaquas have not the slightest idea of a Superior Being, or of a life hereafter. Yet they believe in Heitjeebib, or Heitjekobib, whom they consider to have the power to grant or withhold them success and prosperity. But whether Heitjeebib is a deity, a goblin, or merely a deified ancestor, I shall not presume to say. At all events, they affirm he exists in the graves of all deceased people; and whenever a Hottentot passes a burial-place, he invariably throws a stone, a bush, or other token of offering and affection on the tomb, pronouncing the name of Heitjeebib, and invoking his blessing and protection in his undertakings. From being thus constantly added to, these heaps often attain a great size. They are found throughout the country (I have observed them even in Damara-land), and frequently in situations perfectly "stoneless," from which may be inferred that the natives carry the materials a long distance. Captain Harris mentions having seen similar heaps among the Matabili, but was unable to account for their presence. The Hottentots have an indistinct notion that they came from an easterly direction, and it is possible that the stone tumuli found by the traveler may have something to do with this tradition.

The natives in these parts have a strange tale of a rock in which the tracks of all the different animals indigenous to the country are distinctly visible; moreover, that man and beast lived here together in great amity; but one day, from some unknown cause, their Deity appeared unexpectedly and dispersed them. I never had the good fortune to obtain a sight of this marvelous rock. Mr. Moffat, who makes mention of a similar story prevailing among the Bechuanas, was