Excerpt from The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science, and Art, 1882, Vol. 53
After this prelude we may approach the Supreme Being of the Hottentots, as described by Dr. Hahn, custodian of the Grey Collection at Cape Town. Dr. Hahn's book, published by Messrs. Triibner, is that of a man who is both a philologist and believer in philological methods and a close student of savage manners and customs. He has long observed the Hottentots, or Khoi Khoi, a yellowish race of pastoral men, allied by blood, Dr. Hahn thinks, to the much less cultivated and probably degraded Se, or Bush men. Dr. Hahn gives abstracts of old accounts of the religion and mythology (a very different thing) of the Khoi Khois. It is agreed that cairns are still objects of worship, where they assemble to offer prayers to' the deceased or to the supreme being, Tsuigoa The question arises, Is Tsuigoab, the supreme being, himself no. More than the ghost of a dead man Kolb, a Dutch settler, says. (english translation, 17 38) that the Hottentots adore the moon, and. Likewise pay a Religious Veneration to their Saints and Men of Renown departed. They have also an evil deity, a little crabbed inferieure Captain and Kolb mentions their worship of the Mantis insect. Later travellers, quoted by Dr. Hahn, speak of the offerings made at cairns because a Hottentot was buried there. Dr. Hahn himself has known a man to worship at his father's grave; and it is, in fact, admitted that the Hottentots are an ancestor-worshipping people. The Namaquas, a branch of the race, aver that their great father, Heije Eibib, is below the cairn on which they throw bushes. And it seems to be the universal faith of the Hottentots that their chief god, Tsuigoab, was once a man, now dead and buried. But the very language of the hymns in which they address, with deep and pathetic religious feeling, the father of fathers, suggests to the European oh server that Tsuigoab is probably no real ancestor of recent times, but a being of the imagination, a fancied ancestor and protector, imaginatively endowed with human attributes.
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