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CHAPTER XI: THE TRICKSTERS HLAKANYANA AND HUVEANE

WE find two curious figures in the mythology of the South-eastern Bantu. Huveane belongs to the Bapedi[1] and Bavenda, in the Eastern Transvaal. We have met with him before, as the First Man (though, incongruously enough, we also hear about his father) and, in some sense, the creator; but, as was stated at the time, he also appears in a very different character. Hlakanyana plays a conspicuous part in Zulu folklore; he no longer belongs to mythology proper, being more on the level of Jack the Giant-killer and Tom Thumb in our own fairytales. But there seems to be some uncertainty about his real nature. One of his names is Ucakijana, which means the Little Weasel, and though the people who told his story to Bishop Callaway explained this by saying he was like a weasel for his small size and his cunning, it may well be that he had actually been an animal to begin with. Some of his adventures are exactly the same as those which by other Bantu tribes are ascribed to the hare, the really epic figure in their folklore, and the authentic ancestor of Uncle Remus's Brer Rabbit. It is quite possible, though I do not know of any direct evidence for this, that he was originally a totem animal, and, as such, a mysterious power, like the Algonkin hare, in North America, who made the world.

As for Huveane, his name is a diminutive of Huve (or Hove)-a name given in some accounts to his father. Some of the Bushman tribes have a divinity Huwe (or Uwe) who created and preserves all wild things, and to whom they pray to give them food. In Angola Huwe (represented, of course, by a masked man) is said to appear to the young Bushmen when they are being initiated into manhood.

It might be thought that the Bantu had borrowed the idea of Huve, if not of Huveane, from the Bushmen; but Miss Bleek, who knows more about the Bushmen than anyone

[1. A branch of the great Suto-Chuana group of tribes, between Pretoria and Pietersburg. They are perhaps better known as Sekukuni's people.]

else, is of opinion, for several reasons, that the reverse is more likely to be true.

The name of Huveane's father varies a good deal; some call him Hodi, others, again, Rivimbi or Levivi. The Thonga[1] clans in the Spelonken district of the Transvaal have heard of him in a very confused and fragmentary way, probably from the Bavenda, but it is the latter, along with the Bapedi, who really know the legend.

Huveane produces a Child

Of this legend there are various versions, none apparently complete, but they can be used to supplement each other. One, obtained from the Masemola section of the Bapedi, [2] begins in a way which recalls the story of Murile. Only whereas Murile cherished a Colocasia tuber, which magically developed into an infant, Huveane is quite baldly stated to have "had a baby." The narrator seems to see nothing improbable in this (though Huveane's parents and their neighbours did), and no explanation is given of this extraordinary proceeding; but the Basuto have a story resembling this in which the result is produced by the boy having swallowed some medicine intended for his mother. Another version has it that Huveane modelled a baby in clay and breathed life into it. This may possibly have some vague connexion with the idea of his having originated the human race; it may, on the other hand, be due to some echo of missionary teaching.

The creation idea had, no doubt, fallen more or less into the background by the time the story had taken shape as above; but in any case one must not be troubled by such incongruities as the existence of Huveane's parents. The impossibility of such a situation would never occur to the primitive mind.

Huveane kept his child in a hollow tree, and stole out

[1. The tribe of which the Delagoa Bay Baronga are a branch. They extend from St Lucia Bay, in the south, to the Sabi river, in the north. Some clans of the Bila section of the tribe, now known as Magwamba, are isolated in the Eastern Transvaal.

2. Hoffmann, in Zeitschrift für Kolonialsprachen, Vol vi, P. 238.]

early every morning to feed it with milk before it was time for him to begin herding the sheep and goats. His parents noticed that he used to take the milk, and could not make out what he did with it; so one day his father followed him stealthily, saw him feeding the child, hid till Huveane had gone away, and carried the baby to his wife. They then placed it among the firewood and other things stacked up under the eaves of the hut. When Huveane brought the flock home he went straight to his tree and found no baby there. He went into the courtyard, sat down by the fire, where his parents were seated, and did not speak, only looking miserable. His mother asked him what was the matter, and he said the smoke was hurting his eyes. "Then you had better go out and sit somewhere else." He did so, but remained gloomy. At last his mother told him to go and fetch a piece of wood from the pile, which he did, and found the baby wrapped in a sheepskin and quite safe. His parents, relieved to find that he had recovered his spirits, let him have his way, and he went on caring for the child, whom he called Sememerwane sa Matedi a Telele, "One who causes much trouble."

Huveane plays Tricks with the Stock

His parents continued, however, to be uneasy; they could not understand how the child had been produced, and the neighbours, when the story leaked out, began to talk of witchcraft. Huveane did not trouble himself, but went on herding his father's stock and devising practical jokes to play upon him. When a ewe or goat had twins, which not infrequently happened, he took one of the lambs or kids and shut it up in a hollow ant-heap. In this way he gradually collected a whole flock. Some one, who had noticed that the ewes, when driven out in the morning, always collected round the ant-heaps, told Huveane's father, and the latter followed his son to the pasture, heard the bleating of the lambs and kids inside the ant-heaps, took away the stones which blocked the entrance, and seized the lambs to take them to their mothers. But as he did not know to which mother each belonged the result was confusion worse confounded. Huveane, exasperated beyond endurance, struck his father with the switch he had in his hand. No doubt this helped to bring matters to a crisis, but for the moment the old man was too much impressed with the sudden increase of the flock to be very angry. In the evening, when the villagers saw the full number being driven home, they were filled with envy, and asked him where he had got all those animals. He told the whole story, which gave rise to endless discussions.

Plans for Huveane's Destruction

It was certain that Huveane could be up to no good; he must have produced those sheep and goats by magic-and how came he to have a child and no mother for it? He certainly ought to be got rid of. They put it to his father that the boy would end by bewitching the whole village. They handed him some poison, and in the evening, when Huveane was squatting by the fire, his mother brought him a bowl of milk. He took it, but, instead of drinking, poured it out on the ground. The neighbours took counsel, and suggested to the father that he should dig a pit close to the fireplace, where Huveane was in the habit of sitting, and cover it over. But Huveane, instead of sitting down in his usual place, forced himself in between his brothers, who were seated by the fire, and in the struggle for a place one of them fell into the pit. Next they dug another pit in the gateway of his father's enclosure, where he would have to pass when he came home with the flocks in the evening. He jumped over the pitfall, and all his sheep and goats did likewise.

This having failed, some one suggested that a man with a spear should be tied up in a bundle of grass, a device adopted, as we have seen, by Kachirambe's mother. This was done, and Huveane's father sent him to fetch the bundle. He took his spear with him-to his father's surprise-and, when near enough, threw it with unerring aim. The man inside jumped up and ran away. Huveane returned to his father, saying, "Father, I went to do as you told me, but the grass has run away."

Huveane's Practical Jokes

The villagers were driven to the conclusion that it was quite impossible to compass Huveane's destruction by any stratagem, however cunning, and they were fain to let him be. He knew- that he was a match for them, and thenceforth set himself to fool them by pretended stupidity. Whatever tricks he played on them he knew that he was safe.

One day he found a dead zebra, and sat down on it while watching his flock. In the evening, when he returned and was asked where he had been herding that day, he said, "By the striped hill." Three or four days running he gave the same answer, and, his relatives' curiosity being roused, some of them followed him and found the zebra-by this time badly decomposed. They told him, "Why, this is game; if you find an animal like this you should heap branches over it, to keep the hyenas away, and come and call the people from the village to fetch the meat." Next day Huveane found a very small bird lying dead; he heaped branches over it and ran home with the news. Half the village turned out, carrying large baskets; their feelings on beholding the 'game' may be imagined. One of the men informed him that this kind of game should be hung round one's neck; he did this next day, and was set down as a hopeless idiot. Several other tricks of the same kind are told of him; at last, one day, his father, thinking he should no longer be left to himself, went herding with him. When the sun was high he became very thirsty; Huveane showed him a high rock, on the top of which was a pool of water, and knocked in a number of pegs, so that he could climb up. They both went up and drank; then Huveane came down, took away the pegs, one by one, and ran home, where his mother had prepared the evening meal. Huveane ate all that was ready; then he took the empty pots, filled them with cow dung, and ran off to drive in the pegs and let his father come down. The old man came home and sat down to the supper, which, as his graceless son now informed him had been magically changed, so as to be entirely uneatable. After this the parents and neighbours alike seem to have felt that there was nothing to be done with Huveane, except to put up with him as best they could. We hear nothing more about the child in the hollow tree.

It almost seems as if the trick played by Huveane on his father were a kind of inverted echo of one tradition about the High God, whom some call Huveane. "His abode is in the sky. He created the sky and the earth. He came down from the sky to make the earth and men. When he had finished he returned to the sky. They say he climbed up by pegs,[1] and after he had gone up one step he took away the peg below him, and so on, till he had drawn them all out and disappeared into the sky." [2]

Some say that all the incidents detailed above belong, not to Huveane (whom the narrators call the Great God, Modimo o Moholo), but to his son Hutswane, who, it is believed, will one day come again, bringing happiness and prosperity to mankind-a somewhat unexpected conclusion after all that we have heard about him.

Hlakanyana's Precocious Development and Mischievous Pranks

"Uhlakanyana is a very cunning man; he is also very small, of the size of a weasel"-icakide; hence his other name. He is "like the weasel; it is as though he really was of that genus; he resembles it in all respects." As already stated, it is probable that he really was a weasel, though the fact had been so far forgotten by the time the story was written down as we have it that the narrators thought the name needed explanation. Why the weasel was chosen does not seem clear: his exploits are credited by most of the Bantu to the hare, by a few to the jackal.[3]

Hlakanyana was a chief's son. Like Ryang'ombe, he spoke before he was born; in fact, he repeatedly declared

[1. No doubt driven into the solid vault of the sky, where it was believed to join the earth at the horizon.

2 Hoffmann, in Zeitschrifif für Eingeborenensprachen, vol. xix, p. 270

3 Callaway, Nursery Tales, p. 3]

his impatience to enter the world. No sooner had he made his appearance than he walked out to the cattle-kraal, where his father had just slaughtered some oxen, and the men were sitting round, ready for a feast of meat. Scared by this portent-for they had been waiting for the birth to be announced-they all ran away, and Hlakanyana sat down by the fire and began to eat a strip of meat which was roasting there. They came back, and asked the mother whether this was really the expected baby. She answered, "It is he"; whereupon they said, "Oh, we thank you, our queen. You have brought forth for us a child who is wise as soon as he is born. We never saw a child like this child. This child is fit to be the great one among all the king's children, for he has made us wonder by his wisdom." [1]

But Hlakanyana, thinking that his father did not take this view, but looked upon him as a mere infant, asked him to take a leg of beef and throw it downhill, over the kraal fence (the gateway being on the upper side). All the boys and men present were to race for it) and "he shall be the man who gets the leg." They all rushed to the higher opening, but Hlakanyana wormed his way between the stakes at the lower end of the kraal, picked up the leg, and carried it in triumph to meet the others, who were coming round from the farther side. He handed it over to his mother, and then returned to the kraal, where his father was distributing the rest of the meat. He offered to carry each man's share to his hut for him, which he did, smeared some blood on the mat (on which meat is laid to be cut up), and then carried the joint to his mother. He did this to each one in turn, so that by the evening no house had any meat except that of the chief's wife, which was overstocked. No wonder that the women cried out, "What is this that has been born to-day? He is a prodigy, a real prodigy!" His next feat was to take out all the birds which had been caught in the traps set by the boys, and bring them home, telling his mother to cook them and cover the pots, fastening down the lids. He then went off to sleep in the boys' house (ilau),

[1. Callaway, Nursery Tales, p. 8.]

which he would not ordinarily have entered for several years to come, and overbore their objections, saying, " Since you say this I shall sleep here, just to show you!" He rose early in the morning, went to his mother's house, got in without waking her, opened the pots, and ate all the birds, leaving only the heads, which he put back, after filling the lower half of the pots with cow dung, and fastened down the lids. Then he went away for a time, and came back to play Huveane's trick on his mother. He pretended to have come in for the first time, and told her that the sun had risen, and that she had slept too long-for if the birds were not taken out of the pot before the sun was up they would turn into dung. So he washed himself and sat down to his breakfast, and when he opened the pots it was even as he had said, and his mother believed him. He finished up the heads, saying that, as she had spoilt his food, she should not have even these, and then announced that he did not consider himself her child at all, and that his father was "a mere man, one of the people and nothing more." He would not stay with them, but would go on his travels. So he picked up his stick and walked out, still grumbling about the loss of his birds.

He goes on his Travels

When he had gone some distance and was beginning to get hungry he came upon some traps with birds in them and, beginning to take them out, found himself stuck fast. The owner of the traps was a 'cannibal'-or, rather, an ogre who, finding that birds had more than once disappeared from his traps, had put sticks smeared with birdlime in front of them. Now he came along to look at them, and found Hlakanyana, who, quite undisturbed, addressed him thus: "Don't beat me, and I will tell you. Take me out and cleanse me from the birdlime and take me home with you. Have you a mother?" The ogre said he had. Hlakanyana, evidently assuming that he was to be eaten, said that he were beaten and killed at once his flesh would be ruined for the pot. "I shall not be nice; I shall be bitter. Cleanse me and take me home with you, that you may put me in your house, that I may be cooked by your mother. And do you go away and just leave me at your home. I cannot be cooked if you are there; I shall be bad; I cannot be nice." The hare, in some stories, uses the same stratagem to escape being eaten.

The ogre, a credulous person, like most of his kind, did as he was asked, and handed Hlakanyana over to his mother, to be cooked next morning.

When the ogre and his younger brother were safely out of the way Hlakanyana proposed to the old woman that they should "play at boiling each other." He got her to put on a large pot of water, made up the fire under it, and when it was beginning to get warm he said, "Let us begin with me." She put him in and covered the pot. Presently he asked to be taken out, and then, saying that the fire was not hot enough, made it up to a blaze and began, very rudely, to unfasten the old woman's skin petticoat. When she objected he said: "What does it matter if I have unfastened your dress, I who am mere game, which is about to be eaten by your sons and you?" He thrust her in and put on the lid. No sooner had he done so than she shrieked that she was being scalded; but he told her that could not be, or she would not be able to cry out. He kept the lid on till the poor creature's cries ceased, and then put on her clothes and lay down in her sleeping-place. When the sons came home he told them to take their 'game' and eat; he had already eaten, and did not mean to get up. While they were eating he slipped out at the door, threw off the clothes, and ran away as fast as he could. When he had reached a safe distance he called out to them, "You are eating your mother, you cannibals!" They pursued him hot-foot; he came to a swollen river and changed himself into a piece of wood. They came up, saw his footprints on the ground, and, as he was nowhere in sight, concluded he had crossed the river and flung the piece of wood after him. Safe on the other bank, he resumed his own shape and jeered at the ogres, who gave up the pursuit and turned back.

He kills a Hare, gets a Whistle, and is robbed of it

Hlakanyana went on his way, and before very long he spied a hare. Being hungry, he tried to entice it within reach by offering to tell a tale, but the hare would not be beguiled. At last, however (this part of the story is not very clear, and the hare must have been a different creature from the usual Bantu hare!), he caught it, killed it, and roasted it, and, after eating the flesh, made one of the bones into a whistle. He went on, playing his whistle and singing:

"Ngahlangana no Nohloya
Saptlapekana
Ngagwanya
Wapehwa wada wavutwa."

["I met Hloya's mother,
And we cooked each other.
I did not burn;
She was done to a turn."]

In time he came to a large tree on the bank of a river, overhanging a deep pool. On a branch of the tree lay an iguana, I who greeted him, and Hlakanyana responded politely. The iguana said, "Lend me your whistle, so that I can hear if it will sound." Hlakanyana refused, but the iguana insisted, promising to give it back. Hlakanyana said, "Come away from the pool, then, and come out here on to the open ground; I am afraid near a pool. I say you might run into the pool with my whistle, for you are a person that lives in deep water." The iguana came down from his tree, and when Hlakanyana thought that he was at a safe distance from the river he handed him the whistle. The iguana tried the whistle, approved the sound, and wanted to take it away with him. Hlakanyana would not hear of this, and laid hold of the iguana as he was trying to make off, but received such a blow from the powerful tail that he had to let go, and the iguana dived into the river, carrying the whistle with him.

[1. This is the word used by Callaway (probably unaware that there are no iguanas on the African continent) to translate uxamu, which is really the monitor lizard (Monitor niloticus).]

In a Xosa version it is Hlakanyana who steals the whistle from the iguana.

One of the Ronga stories about the hare describes him as challenging a poor gazelle to the game of "cooking each other." Having killed her, he made her horns into a kind of trumpet, which he used to sound an alarm of war.

In fact, this trick, in one form or other, and attributed to different actors, is found throughout the Bantu area. Compare the case of Jack and the Cornish giant.

Hlakanyana again went on till he came to a place where a certain old man had hidden some bread.[1] He ran off with it, but not before the owner had seen him; the old man evidently knew him, for he called out, "Put down my bread, Hlakanyana." Hlakanyana only ran the faster, the old man after him, till, finding that the latter was gaining on him, he crawled into a snake's hole. The old man put in his hand and caught him by the leg. Hlakanyana cried, laughing, "He! He! you've caught hold of a root!" [2] So the old man let go, and, feeling about for the leg, caught a root, at which Hlakanyana. yelled, "Oh! Oh! you're killing me!" The old man kept pulling at the root till he was tired out and went away. Hlakanyana ate the bread in comfort, and then crawled out and went on his way once more.

He nurses the Leopard's Cubs

In the course of his wanderings he came upon a leopard's den, where he found four cubs and sat down beside them till the mother leopard came home, carrying a buck with which to feed her little ones. She was very angry when she saw Hlakanyana, and was about to attack him, but he disarmed her by his flattering tongue, and finally persuaded her to let him stay and take care of the cubs, while she went out to hunt. "I will take care of them, and I will build a beautiful house, that you may lie here at the foot of the

[1. Isinkwa. Though now used for' bread' in our sense (which was unknown to the Bantu before they came in contact with Europeans), this word really means steamed dumplings of maize or amabele (millet).

2. So Brer Tarrypin says to Brer Fox, "Tu'n loose dat stump-root an' ketch hold o' me!" This incident occurs over and over again in Bantu folklore.]

rock with your children." He also told her he could cook a somewhat unnecessary accomplishment, one would think, in this case; but it would seem that he had his reasons. The leopard having agreed, Hlakanyana brought the cubs, one by one, for her to suckle. She objected, wanting them all brought at once, but the little cunning fellow persisted and got his way. When they had all been fed she called on him to make good his promise and skin the buck and cook it, which he did. So they both ate, and all went to sleep. In the morning, when the leopard had gone to hunt, Hlakanyana set to work building the house. He made the usual round Zulu hut, but with a very small doorway; then, inside, he dug a burrow, leading to the back of the hut, with an opening a long way off. Then he took four assagais which he had carried with him on his travels, broke them off short to rather less than the width of the doorway, and hid them in a convenient place. Having finished, he ate one of the cubs. When the mother came home he brought them out as before, one by one, taking the third twice, so that she never missed any of them. He did the same the next day, and the next. On the fourth day he brought out the last cub four times., and at length it refused to drink. The mother was naturally surprised at this, but Hlakanyana said he thought it was not well. She said, "Take care of it, then," and when he had carried it into the house called him to prepare supper. When she had eaten Hlakanyana went into the house, and the leopard called out that she was coming in to look after the child. Hlakanyana said, "Come in, then," knowing that she would take some time squeezing herself through the narrow entrance, and at once made his escape through the burrow. Meanwhile she had got in, found only one cub, concluded that he must have eaten the rest, and followed him into the burrow. By this time Hlakanyana was out at the other end; he ran round to the front of the house, took his assagais from the hiding-place, and fixed them in the ground at the doorway, the points sloping inward. The leopard found she could not get very far in the burrow, so she came back into the hut, and, squeezing through the doorway to pursue Hlakanyana into the open, was pierced by the assagais and killed.

Makanyana and the Ogre

Hlakanyana now sat down and ate the cub; then he skinned the leopard, and gradually-for he remained on the spot for some time-ate most of the flesh, keeping, however, one leg, with which he set out once more on his travels, "for he was a man who did not stay long in one place." Soon after he met a hungry ogre, with whom he easily made. friends by giving him some meat, and they went on together. They came across two cows, which the izimu said belonged to him. Hlakanyana suggested that they should build a hut, so that they could slaughter the cows and eat them in peace and comfort. The ogre agreed; they killed the cows and started to build. As rain was threatening Hlakanyana said they had better get on with the thatching.

This is done by two people, one inside the hut and the other on the roof, passing the string with which the grass is tied backward and forward between them, pushing it through by means of a pointed stick. Hlakanyana went inside, while the ogre climbed on the roof. The latter had very long hair (a distinguishing feature of the amazimu), and Hlakanyana managed to knit it, lock by lock, into the thatch, so firmly that he would not be able to get off. He then sat down and ate the beef which was boiling on the fire. A hailstorm came on, Hlakanyana went into the house with his joint, and the ogre (who seems to have been a harmless creature enough) was left to perish. "He was struck with the hailstones, and died there on the house"-as anyone who has seen an African hailstorm can readily believe.

Having caused the death of another izimu in a way which need not be related here, as the same thing occurs (with more excuse) in a different story, Hlakanyana took up his abode for a time with yet another, who seems to have had no reason to complain of him. As usual, when no ill fortune befell him he became restless, and took the road once more, directing his steps towards the place on the river where the iguana had robbed him of his whistle. He found the iguana on his tree, called him down, killed him, and recovered the whistle. Then he went back to the ogre's hut, but the owner had gone away, and the hut was burned down. So he said, "I will now go back to my mother, for, behold, I am in trouble."

He goes Home

But his return was by no means in the spirit of the Prodigal Son, for he professed to have come back purely out of affection for her., saying, "Oh, now I have returned, my mother, for I remembered you!" and calmly omitting all mention of his exploits during his absence. She believed this, being only too ready to welcome him back, and he seems to have behaved himself for a time. Nothing is said of his father's attitude, or of that of the clansmen.

The next episode is a curious one: it is told all over Africa in connexion with different characters-the hare, the jackal, a man, an old woman, a girl, a boy. The attraction evidently lies in the repeated enumeration of objects, adding one every time, after the fashion of The House that Jack Built.

The day after his return home Hlakanyana went to a wedding, and as he came over a hill on the way back he found some umdiandiane-a kind of edible tuber, of which he was very fond. He dug it up and took it home to his mother, asking her to cook it for him, as he was now going to milk the cow. She did so, and, tasting one to see if it was done, liked it so much that she ate the whole. When he asked for it she said, " I have eaten it, my child," and he answered, "Give me my umdiandiane, for I dug it up on a very little knoll, as I was coming from a wedding." His mother gave him a milk-pail by way of compensation, and he went off. Soon he came upon some boys herding sheep, who were milking the ewes into old, broken potsherds. He said, "Why are you milking into potsherds? You had better use my milk-pail, but you must give me a drink out of it." They used his milk-pail, but the last boy who had it broke it. Hlakanyana said, " Give me my milk-pail, my milk-pail my mother gave me, my mother having eaten my umdiandiane"-and so on, as before. The boys gave him an assagai, which he lent to some other boys, who were trying to cut slices of liver with splinters of sugar-cane. They broke his assagai, and gave him an axe instead. Then he met some old women gathering firewood, who had nothing to cut it with, so he offered them the use of his axe, which again got broken. They gave him a blanket, and he went on his way till nightfall, when he found two young men sleeping out on the hillside, with nothing to cover them. He said, "Ah, friends, do you sleep without covering? Have you no blanket?" They said, "No." He said, "Take this of mine," which they did, but it was rather small for two, and as each one kept dragging it from the other it soon got torn. Then he demanded it back. "Give me my blanket, my blanket which the women gave me," and so on. The young men gave him a shield. Then he came upon some men fighting with a leopard, who had no shields. He questioned them as he had done the other people, and lent one of them his shield. It must have been efficient as a protection, for they killed the leopard, but the hand-loop by which the man was holding it broke, and of course it was rendered useless. So Hlakanyana said:

Give me my shield, my shield the young men gave me,
The young men having torn my blanket,
My blanket the women gave me,
The women having broken my axe,
My axe the boys gave me,
The boys having broken my assagai,
My assagai the boys gave me,
The boys having broken my milk-pail,
My milk-pail my mother gave me,
My mother having eaten my umdiandiane,
My umdiandiane I dug up on a very little knoll,
As I was coming from a wedding."

They gave him a war-assagai (isinkemba).

Here the story as given by Bishop Callaway breaks off, the narrator saying, "What he did with that perhaps I may tell you on another occasion." But a Xosa version recorded by McCall Theal [1] which gives the series of exchanges rather differently, puts this episode before that of the ogre's traps (also quite different in detail) and that of the leopard's cubs, and follows it up with two more incidents. One (relating to the tree belonging to the chief of the animals, of which no one knows the name) is much better told elsewhere, as an adventure of the hare; the other recalls an exploit of the hare in providing food for the lion, which is told by the Pokomo on the Tana river, and by many other people besides. But in this case Hlakanyana made provision only for himself. He came to the house of a jackal and asked for food. Being told there was none, he said, "You must climb up on the house and cry out with a loud voice, 'We are going to be fat to-day, because Hlakanyana is dead I'" When the jackal did so all the animals came running to hear the news, and, finding the door open, went in. Hlakanyana, hidden inside, shut the door, killed them at his leisure, and ate. We hear no more about the jackal.

Then he returned home for the last time, and his story reaches its conclusion. He went out to herd his father's calves-no doubt seized by a sudden impulse to make himself useful-and found a tortoise, which he picked up and carried home on his back. His mother said, "What have you got there, my son?" And he answered, "just take it off my back, Mother." But that she could not do, however hard she tried, for the creature held fast. So she heated some fat and poured it on the tortoise, which let go only too quickly, "and the fat fell on Hlakanyana and burned him, and he died. That is the end of this cunning little fellow."

But I suspect that this is only a late version, and that the real Hlakanyana never came to an end in that sense, any more than Huveane. Has anyone ever heard the end of Jack the Giant-killer?

Though Hlakanyana is not, so far as one knows, associated with any such traditions, however dim, as those told of Huveane, it is by no means impossible that he may, in the far-off origins of myth, have played a similar part.

[1. Kaffir Folklore, p. 96.]

Huveane was really a benefactor, as well as a trickster, though in the popular tales the latter aspect has tended to predominate, and we may even discover traces of such a character in Hlakanyana, as when he supplies the herd-]ads with a milk-pail, the women with an axe, and so forth, though the emphasis is certainly laid on the way in which he invariably got back his own with interest.

This union of apparently incompatible characteristics does not seem to strike the primitive mind as impossible. Wundt, in his Völkerpsychologie,[l] points out that legendary heroes are of three kinds, the deliverer and benefactor, the malignant, hurtful demon, and the mischievous jester, who stands midway between the two. And in the imagination of very primitive people we not infrequently find "these qualities united in one and the same being. Thus Manabozho of the Algonkin is both demiurgus (creator) and deliverer, but at the same time he plays the part sometimes of a harmful demon, sometimes of a tricksy, humorous sprite," the hero of innumerable popular jests.

[1. Vol. V, Part II, P- 47]


Next: Chapter XII: The Amazimu