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135 when they feel that the sun is warm, in summer, so that they may await the rain, that the rain may fall; that they may fly, going out of the rice’s ears. They go into the rain’s wet ground that they may henceforward be in the earth. The rice waits for new fats; those which are white; those which come back, while they come with the rice’s star. (L II.-35:3150-3236; listed in W.H.I. Bleek 1875: 9, #15, version 2). //Kabbo explicitly shows the subtlety of /Xam knowledge on termites’ behaviour and how this was conceived metaphorically. Nuptial flights are timed variously among different termite species, but generally they occur in summer after rain showers (Miller 1964: 15-16; Howse 1970: 48-56; Nonaka 1996: 30). The nuptials (i.e., “fats” with, or which get, feathers in //Kabbo’s words) excavate and ‘enter’ the ground after courtship to start new nests and colonies. Precisely, ‘entering’ the ground ensures reproduction of new colonies, hence nymphs and fat. There is an oblique reference to the symbolism of fat and potency here tied to the concept of replenishment. The fat of termites was clearly a highly regarded substance. Writing on the Nharo, D.F. Bleek (1928: 16-17, my emphasis) also noted that, After good rains the whole village decamps to the antheaps, in hope that the male white termites may fly out…They are considered a great dainty on account of their fat, in which Bushman menu is often lacking, as only a few nuts of all the vegetable food contain fat, and most smaller bucks have little. Hence, there is great rejoicing over a fat eland or a successful haul of termites.

Continuity and change in San belief and ritual  

A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand,Johannesburg, for the degree of Master of Arts. 2002, by Siyakha...