News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday February 16th 2019

‘Bushman TV’ burns bright in Darling

Steve Kretzmann

As conversation slows around a campfire, with everyone staring into the flames, you may have heard the quip: ‘watching bushman TV.’

It invariably raises a wry chuckle as we recognise the ancient lure of the ever-moving flames.

And for our ancestors, and the surviving San, the fire, like the television, was the nexus of storytelling.

But the simile ends there. Numerous studies show that the spoon feeding our imagination receives from TV deadens it, unlike oral storytelling, which enlivens it as we put images to words.

The opportunity to sit around a fire in the evening are severely limited by modern lifestyle, and most of us have lost the talent to tell stories, even if we had the inclination.

Which is why the Darling Storytelling Kuier happening in on farms around Darling this weekend is a rare gem of opportunity to indulge in a pastime which brought joy, knowledge and fellowship to all our ancestors since earliest man discovered how to control fire.

In its second year, the Storytelling Kuier is the brainchild of a few ever creative Darling residents who have organised a series of storytelling events on Cape Town’s picturesque backdoor over the course of this weekend. (Aug 21 – 23)

And the Storytelling Kuier not only promises good stories, but great food, wine, and locations too.

Held at the !Khwa-ttu San Educational and Cultural Centre – where you have arguably the best view of the sunset on the west coast – you can listen to stories told in the ancient San language as the sun drops below the Atlantic.

Of course there will be translators for us who don’t understand the San language, but just being able to hear one of the world’s oldest languages being spoken while sitting around a fire as the stars come out should be motivation enough to take the 40 minute drive up the west coast.

Starting at 4pm with a tractor ride to the traditional Bushman village, besides the tales, a steaming venison stew with pot bread from the fire is served to delight the prandial senses.

Should you wish to kindle the imaginative powers, a workshop at the !Khwa-ttu conference room using a combination of puppets and ‘sand play’ is being held today from 12.30 to 3pm. Facilitated by Gillan Barton, the workshop costs R90 per person.

Should you be wondering how to entertain the children on Sunday, renowned professional storyteller Gilly Southwood will be weaving a number of fun and interactive tales suited for children aged 4 – 12, and parents of all ages.

At Kilindini farm, where the children will no doubt be equally intrigued by the rugby playing pig, the event starts at 11.30am and costs only R25 per child.

If you’re looking for a unique way to spend your weekend, an excuse to see the west coast flowers, or simply want to experience Darling’s country hospitality, it’s just a skip up the coast.

Tickets are limited in order to keep the event small and cosy so bookings are essential. Phone Mary on 082 684 5575 to ensure a space around the fire. – West Cape News

Tags: darling

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