Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reed mats and know-how

Today we heard from a lively old Nama lady how, in Namaqualand, she and her grandfather built beehive huts, of reed mats and a few selected branches, with a roll-up reed mat door, and a "misvloer" (made of cowdung and mud.) She says you have to build with sensitivity and showed us, with her hands, exactly how ripe the reeds must be and how the wooden branches must feel when they come together at the apex of the building. You have to learn to build it as a child, and there's no way to write it down, she says...

And adds proudly that although her entire schooling was "through the grade 1 window", and she had to go to work when she was 13, all her 7 children are college or University educated.

1 comment:

Lachezar said...

That's a nice story and a nice portrait to go with it. Seeing the beehives in rela life, that's quite an experience. Cheers Shelagh!