Commentary on The Native Races of South Africa
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
16. Shamanistic spiritual system
QUOTE 1: the Bushman mind, for, struck with their unexplainable smoothness, he has covered the space with mystic symbols
Figures of this kind were frequently represented in their paintings, which have led some to imagine that they were representations of supernatural personages who shadowed forth an ancient tribal myth.
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This is a location where the native-English writers are totally at sea. The mentioned item may or may not belong to what might currently be mentioned as Shamanistic spiritual system. This is something that has links worldwide, even in Europe. Even though not much information is there on what is therein or what is happening, the fact might be that these symbols might have definite code meaning or they might be akin to what can be mentioned for the time being as something similar to the QR Codes. A QR code is more or less a meaningless and incomprehensible picture. However, when scanned using the right scanner, it can do various things, including establishing connections between various things. I have noticed that neither Edgar Thurston nor SAMUEL MATEER had any profound information on the Shamanistic practise in vogue in the southern parts of South Asia. The same shallowness is there in this book also. However, that is quite understandable in the circumstance. This shallowness would not reflect on the overall quality of these persons’ writings.
QUOTE: As it is quite certain that the custom of representing various deities with the heads and coverings of birds and animals must date back to a very remote antiquity, such a misconception is suggestive that all elaborations of this description had their origin in the fact that among the primitive hunter tribes disguises of this kind were constantly used
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It might be true that GEORGE W. STOW has missed much. Even such profoundly observant researchers as Edgar Thurston as well as The REV. SAMUEL MATEER &c. have misrepresented the Shamanistic spiritual practises of South Asia as Devil worship. The fact was that the Hindus (Brahmins) did keep a distance with the spiritual practises of the lower castes and classes of those times. However, as of now, all these spiritual practises have been forcefully added into the Hindu religious antiquity.
QUOTE 1: 'Qing informed Mr. J. Orpen that there were certain dances which only certain men were allowed to dance : men who had been initiated, and understood the meaning of them.
QUOTE 2: The initiated who know secret things are 'Qogn'qe ;
QUOTE 3: Having stated that 'Kaang was the first being, and that his wife's name was Coti, he was asked where Coti came from, when he replied, " I don't know, perhaps from those who brought the sun ; but," he added, " you are now asking secrets that are not spoken of," secrets with which he asserted he was not acquainted, and which were only known to the initiated men of that particular dance.
QUOTE 4: that they preserved among their tribes certain mysteries and mystic rites which were revealed to none but a privileged class called the initiated, who alone were allowed to join in certain dances whose hidden meaning was jealously withheld from those who were uninitiated, or the profane vulgar among them.
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The above-mentioned words do point to some kind of Shamanistic spiritual practise in vogue among them in the hoary past. The common people of the society would not know much about these things. For, the practice is done and maintained by certain households, who would not divulge the secrets to others. For instance, in the northern parts of the erstwhile Malabar district of the erstwhile Madras Presidency of the English rule period, (currently Cannanore district in Kerala state of India), there is a shamanistic spiritualism connected to a deity called Muthappan locally. The social group which is traditionally connected to this is the Matriarchal Thiyyas of North Malabar. However, if any ordinary member of this population group is asked the intimate details of this spiritual practise, he or she will be able to mention only what is commonly known. The inner ecclesiastical secrets are held by those who conduct the practise, and it is not divulged to others.
QUOTE: Such individuals generally belonged to the ruling family or its branches, and thus a kind of caste or rank was recognised, among whose members all the secret mysteries of the tribe were jealously preserved.
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The above words can point to both Shamanistic cult and also to the presence of some verbal coding that created a class of individuals among the Bushmen who stood above the common mass.
QUOTE 1: This discovery was an important one with regard to our present subject, for it unmistakably proves that a certain amount of religious belief was connected with some of their dances ; and that, in the painting here described, we are furnished with a positive representation of their fancied deities ;
QUOTE 2: Some writers have suggested that a large number of Bushman paintings are merely, especially where the Bushmen are shown in their hunting disguises, the pictorial representations of some hidden myth.
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I feel that in Shamanistic spiritualism and also in various other kinds of rituals wherein the mind is being made to connect to some other sphere of reality, such as in Tantra, Witchcraft, Voodoo &c., dance is a very important ingredient. In fact, I have heard that in Tantra, which is a sort of mystical spiritual art traditionally mentioned as connected to the geographical regions near Tibet, Central Asia &c., in historical times, there are five essential ‘m’ factors: Matysam (fish), Mamsam (meat), Maidunam (sexual intercourse), Madyam (liquor) and Mudra (dance & symbols).
QUOTE: The cross singly, or in groups of three, was one of the most ancient of the Bushman symbols
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This is a very curious bit of information. I cannot say more than simply mention that there are many unknown items in the various religions. A cross when seen as a mere placing of two sticks might not have much extra meaning physically. However, when pondered upon this item from the world of the Codes of reality, it might have powers that are currently unknown. It might be in the same manner in which I had mentioned the QR code.
Beyond that there is the historical fact that Christianity is not an England or Continental European religion. It is practically an Asian / Middle-East religion.
QUOTE: Hence it seems as if through the despised Bushman we obtain a knowledge of the true germ whence the more elaborate, yet fabulous and symbolic animal-headed deities of the more polished nations of antiquity were developed.
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I do feel that GEORGE W. STOW did not get to obtain any knowledge in the above mentioned things. The problem would be that he would not be able to know what to look for. For one thing, the concept of language and words having powerful codes encrypted within them, which can interact not only with the social and physical realities of an individual as well as the population, but also with the codes of reality and that of life and living body would be a concept, he would not have been able to imagine. Another thing that he would not know about would be about the concept of Software. This is an entity which is not physical or within the realm of any physical sciences.
QUOTE 1: some Bushman of the present day, deeply learned in the folklore of his tribe, may upon examining them imagine that he can detect a similarity between some myth with which he is acquainted and the pictorial representation before him, and he forthwith may cleverly join the one with the other.
QUOTE 2: Unfortunately whole tribes have been annihilated by the stronger races which seized their hunting grounds, and the wise men of their race perished with them,
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I do not think that any ordinary member of the Bushmen populations would be able to decode or decipher the hidden mystical symbols of the hoary past. In fact, even among the current-day Hindus (Brahmins) of South Asia, I do not think that there is anyone who has any information on how the Vedic literature and Mantras were created, or anything about the machinery which could activate the Matras or work them from behind the physical reality, if at all they do work.
QUOTE: a place memorable to their race, where thousands of square feet of the highly polished rock surface are covered with innumerable mystic devices, intermingled with comparatively few animal figures. This must have been a palace residence of the most highly mystic of their race, of men who held something more than the mere chieftainship of a tribe.
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Possibly something to do with Shamanistic worship. Bushmen antiquity.
QUOTE 1: Sometimes several musicians would perform on the 'Goura together, raising an unmelodious and unearthly din which however delightful it might prove to a native audience, would certainly be more suggestive of a dance of witches round an infernal cauldron, to ears more refined and cultivated, than anything else.
QUOTE 2: On these occasions the 'Gariep Bushmen made great outcries, accompanied with dancing and playing upon their drums
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In the above two quotes, the boisterous activities connected to some kind of ritualistic festivity is being described. However, Mr. GEORGE W. STOW seems to note only the sound, and the din and bustle that is being heard and seen. There is no mention that some kind of a spiritual ritual is also being enacted. However, I am not able to say anything more about this. For, I do not have any information in this regard. But then, in many of the Shamanistic rituals that get enacted in the north Malabar area of South Asia, very many similar things can be seen. In fact, the clatter that the chenda (native drums) create as part of the Shamanistic rituals could very well be described as an ‘unearthly din’.
QUOTE: the Master of all things, who according to their expression one does not see with the eyes but knows him with the heart, and who is to be propitiated in times of famine and before going to war, and that throughout the whole night by performing a certain dance. From this we seem to learn something of the primitive ideas, which became more and more elaborated until dancing was looked upon as a religious ceremony, which, however licentious we may deem the greater portion of these ancient religious performances to have been, were nevertheless at the time earnestly entered into with a view of propitiating some fancied deity.
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The above words are not deep. They are just shallow information and based on flimsy information on what is actually going in the Bushmen head. It is like my experience many years ago of asking some spiritual information from a lower class woman in a remote village in South Asia. Her ideas and explanations were based on her own level of spiritual enlightenment. Though interesting, they were not deep enough. If I were to write a book on the spirituality of the location based on her words, it would not amount to much.
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