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Editor's Preface

The author of this volume died before it was ready for the press. The illustrations had, most fortunately, been carefully prepared, and they are reproduced by chromolithography, so that they are indistinguishable from the originals, except that most of them have been reduced in size. The manuscript was purchased by Miss Lucy C. Lloyd from Mr. Stow's widow, with the intention of having it published, but other work has prevented that lady from bestowing upon it the time and care needed for its arrangement.

In 1904 Miss Lloyd, feeling that a work of such importance ought to be placed before the public without further delay, did me the honour of submitting the manuscript for my inspection and advice as to what should be done in the matter. It needed only a hasty look through the packets to impress me with the conviction that no production of such value upon the native races of South Africa had yet appeared, and I was therefore most anxious that it should be published. I may add that the draft of Mr. Stow's intended dedication of the result of his researches to that highly gifted and justly esteemed governor, Sir Bartle Frere, whose aid and encouragement were also extended to me in a special manner, had no little influence in stimulating me to undertake the task of seeing the work through the press.

Miss Lloyd, who is the greatest living authority upon the Bushmen, attested the accuracy of much in Mr. Stow's description of the customs and mode of life of those people, though she doubted whether his division of that race into the two branches of painters and sculptors could be maintained, thinking it probable that this matter was determined by locality and convenience. The accuracy of his accounts of the Barolong and Bakuena tribes I can myself confirm, as, independent of researches in books and manuscript records, I was on several occasions directed by the high commissioner. Lord Loch, to investigate territorial claims between rival chiefs of those branches of the Bantu family, and have been for weeks together engaged in taking evidence from the disputants, their counsellors, and antiquaries, upon their history as far back as tradition reached, which I find correctly given in these pages. It appears also, from Mr. Stow's manuscript, that he had the assistance of the late Charles Sirr Orpen, Esquire, a gentleman whose researches into the history of various native tribes extended over a very long period, and were carried on with diligence and carefulness never surpassed.

On the other hand, it is only right to mention that Mr. Stow never had an opportunity of research in the colonial archives, and was dependent entirely upon other authors, chiefly Lieutenant-Colonel Sutherland, for information concerning the Hottentot tribes at the time of the settlement of the Dutch in South Africa. Those tribes certainly extended farther along the coast to the eastward than he describes them to have done. For the same reason his account of the early career of Jager Africaander is not quite accurate. But these are very small blemishes, and detract only in a slight degree from the value of his work.

The manuscript when it came into my hands was in an unfinished state. It was not divided into chapters and the paragraphs were often of great length. It was clogged with a vast number of extracts from almost every English book previously published upon South Africa some of which were given to corroborate the author's statements, others that their inaccuracies might be shown To have retained these would have swelled the book to such a size that no publisher would have undertaken to issue it, and they really added very little to its value. With Miss Lloyd's consent, I therefore struck nearly all of them out. The remainder of the manuscript I divided into chapters of convenient length for readers, and I broke up the long paragraphs into short ones. I added nothing whatever to the text, and, except in a very few instances, I retained the author's spelling of proper names, though often differing from that in my own history. The date on the draft of Mr. Stow's preface is the latest given by him, but would probably have been altered had he lived to complete the work himself.

The photographs of Bushmen were supplied by Miss Lloyd from her large collection. They show the striking features of the people of this race : the hollow back, the lobeless ear, the receding chin, the sunken eye, the lowness of the root of the nose, the scanty covering of the head with little knots of wiry wool, and the low angle of prognathism as compared with negroes.

Having, jointly with Miss Lloyd, corrected the proofs and revises, I added an index, which is indispensable for a work of reference, and with this completed what was no more than the duty of one holding the appointment of colonial historiographer with respect to a work of such importance for both ethnological and historical study as this of Mr. Stow, who has been long in his grave, and whom I never had the pleasure of meeting, though my researches in the same field were well advanced in one part of South Africa before his ended in another.


London, May, 1905.

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