01 November 2008
He who cries for his own departure
When hunting eland, the San people of the Kgalagadi believe that the hunter should throw sand in the eyes of the animal when it eventually goes down after a struggle against the slow-acting but lethal poison on their arrow tips. This, they believe, is to cover the tears in the eyes of an eland as it cries before it dies.
Some of the San people simply look away when they approach the antelope to avoid seeing the sorrow in the animal’s eyes before it departs to the next life. Whatever they believe is testimony to a people that have lived all their lives in symbiosis with the wilderness and all its creatures.