Commentary on The Native Races of South Africa
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
5. A most terrific observation
There are a number of observations that I have made from the contents of this book. I need to go through them in a systematic manner, as much as possible.
The most terrific observation is that human beings are actually another kind of animals. And also that human beings might not actually be one single kind of animals, but a variety of animals, who anatomically might seem quite close to each other. The wider point for elaboration might be that most of the peoples of the world currently seem to be alike only due to the influence of English. If there was no English, then it is quite possible that many human races would find it quite difficult to arrive at a similarity in thoughts and conventions, that might give a feel that they are all actually of the same type of living beings. This is a very tall claim and the reader might not be quite amused by this. However, I do not intend to pursue this line of thoughts here. If after reading the full commentary, the reader gets to acknowledge the veracity of this claim, well and good. Otherwise also, it does not matter. May be I should mention that animals also have many thoughts and emotions quite similar to that of mankind.
I need to commence from the Bushmen. Actually when I read about them, I did find that they had an attribute which I had mentioned in my earlier writing in my book ‘Shrouded Satanism in feudal languages’. It about what would come about when human beings speak animal languages. Since most the animals do not seem to have a verbal communication as understood as with audible sounds, it is simply that they communicate with each other using other physical and mental features they have or might have.
If human beings can develop the physical capabilities of dogs, carnivorous animals, snakes, fishes etc. in themselves, what would be the change seen in them? Would they have superior attributes? Well, it is possible that in such an eventuality, the individual might seem to possess animal features. And when this is combined with human capacities of speech, writing, computer & Smartphone use, vehicle driving, speaking standing on a podium, videography etc., the individual would indeed be quite a superior individual or a superman.
However, the exact issue is that the individual will have animal features. If these features are of a living being that is considered to be dangerous, then that individual can very well be seen as a dangerous being.
This might be the exact situation in which the Bushmen might have arrived or lived in. They literally had capabilities which were way beyond that of an ordinary human being. However, they lived in the wild in close proximity with the wild animals. In the various locations of areas which later became South Africa, and beyond, they occupied the place in a manner in which their presence was not detected or acknowledged by the human being populations that entered the location or occupied it.
QUOTE 1: The Hottentots and Bushmen had two remarkable faculties in common : that of quickness of sight and power of endurance in withstanding the cravings of hunger. It was remarked that they could distinguish objects scarcely visible to other men. This faculty was well illustrated in their expertness in watching the flight of bees through the air, and by this means discovering their nest, although at a considerable distance ; the certainty also with which they followed the spoor or trail of animals through a difficult tract of country was another illustration of the same fact, they being frequently able to follow the pursuit at a full run, tiring out horse and rider who accompanied them.
QUOTE 2: Other tribal traditions, again, state that when their forefathers migrated to the south, they found the land without inhabitants, and that only the wild game and the Bushmen were living in it, evidently classing the Bushmen and the game in the same category as wild animals.
QUOTE 3: In such a country, and endowed with the activity which it is known they possessed, it is not at all likely that the Bushmen would be the starving miserable people which some have delighted to depict them, before the stronger races invaded their hunting-grounds. Their powers of vision were extraordinary. They were able not only to descry, but to describe, objects at a distance, which were almost invisible to Europeans except with the aid of a telescope.
QUOTE 4: The country was then stated to be uninhabited, that is, merely in the occupation of wild game and tribes of the Bushman race, whose sole means of subsistence was the chase. Hence their presence was always ignored, although there is overwhelming evidence that the country was then, and for a long period afterwards, thickly populated by them.
QUOTE 5: They run like a horse, and in broken rocky ground no horse has a chance of overtaking them. They bound along, and when once among the rocks are like the klipspringers or baboons ; they spring from rock to rock without fear of falling.
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QUOTE: He believes that to become an expert naturalist one ought to turn Bushman and conquer the language, when one would learn more about the natural history of many things than from books and years of study and experiment.
END OF QUOTE.
The above statement has a limited bit of merit. However, it cannot go beyond that. For, if the living being who has been living in the natural ambience as much as a wild animal can acquire a great expertise and information on Nature and such things, well then, animals would be great Naturalists.
Actually what could create an individual with super information across the living being fences is a combination of certain very specific attributes. I cannot divulge more about this here.
It is seen mentioned all along the writing that the Bushmen were not seen as human beings, but some kind of semi-humans. One of their special features that led to their total destruction was their unique capability to create poisoned arrows. Even though this was a very wonderful item of defence and offence for them, it more or less got them identified with the poisonous beings that live in the borrows.
Even if the arrow they send did not make much of a physical damage in a person, the poison would work and the person would die. This was so terrific an experience that they became a terror. However, the fact that they were initially not at all with any kind of hostile aims can be understood by the way they treated the others who came to occupy their traditional lands. Even the term ‘their traditional lands’ becomes an issue. For, it was like saying that the land traditionally belonged to the poisonous beings in the locality.
QUOTE: They had also a most useful ally and assistant in carrying out this work in the honey-bird — the " Bee-cuckoo " — (Cuculus indicator), of Sparrman, and called " honing wijzer," the honey- guide, by the Hottentots and Dutch. As soon as a Bushman heard its well-known and alluring cry of " cherr, cherr, cherr," he was immediately on the alert, as he knew by experience that the bird was desirous of attracting attention. Finding that it had been successful in doing this, it flew a short distance in front, repeating the cry. As the Bushman followed, it again went a little farther, slowly and by degrees towards the quarter where the swarm of bees had taken up their abode, all the while repeating its cry of " cherr, cherr." The Bushman answered it now and then with a low gentle whistle, to let the bird know that its call was attended to. Approaching the bees' nest, it flew shorter distances, and repeated its note with greater earnestness. On arriving at the cleft of the rock, the hollow tree, or cavity in the ground, it hovered over the spot for a few seconds, and then perched in silence on some neighbouring tree or bush, awaiting results. A small piece of comb containing young bees was generally left on the ground as a reward to the bird for its information. Bushmen searching for honey say that the bee-hunter must not be too generous at first, but merely give enough to stimulate the bird's appetite, when the shrewd little thing will show a second hive if there be another in the neighbourhood.
END OF QUOTE
The above might be a very clear illustration of the fact that animals are also individuals. It is only a matter of being able to communicate with them. Bushmen could comprehend a bit of the bird communication towards them. Even though they might not have had the capability to decode or understand the communication between or among the birds.
QUOTE 1: When we come to study the nature of some of their dances, their funeral rites, and some of their leading myths, we find that they possessed a traditionary belief that at some remote period the connexion between man and the lower animals was much closer and far more intimate than at present,...
QUOTE 2: " That they are," continues the doctor, " to some extent like baboons is true, just as these are in some points frightfully human.”
END OF QUOTEs
The above words are quite evocative of the fact that they were very close to the animals, in that they could sort of read or sense their intentions, track them, sort of communicative with some of them, and could even live in some kind of symbiotic relationship with a few of them. In fact, they were human beings who had the capability to exist as a sort of link between the animal world and that of the human world. After all, animals are apart from human beings only because of the communication problem. In fact, even in South Asia, many human populations had been treated or defined or considered as half animal or semi-human. These were the lower caste populations such as the Pulaya, Pariah and such others. However, with the advent of the English rule in the subcontinent, all of them were liberated from their semi-human state. However, it was an act for which the higher castes of the location still cannot forgive the English. In fact, there is one rascal member of these higher caste populations who has made a mark on the national psyche by demanding that Britain should pay adequate compensation for what it had done in the Subcontinent.
If the English rule had taken the effort to bring in communication ability in some of the shackled animals of the subcontinent, such as the elephant etc. they too would have entered into close proximity with the human races.
QUOTE: when, as they believed, men and animals consorted on more equal terms than they themselves, and used a kindred speech understood by all!
END OF QUOTE
One cannot say if these kinds of talk are insane talk. For, it is possible that some thousands of years back the ancestors of the Bushmen might have had better living standards. How they came to be entrapped in a forest region, and all such things would have very complicated history. The state of the animals also might have been different in a social system wherein technical skills were different. In fact, in days to come when software technology improves to such a level that it is possible to communicate with many kinds of animals, those animal stature will change. Many may even enter into the capability of using sophisticated gadgetry.
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