An exhibition coinciding with the celebration of the centenary of Bleek and Lloyd’s Specimens of Bushman Folklore.

Curated by Pippa Skotnes with Richard Mason, including photographs by Stephen Inggs, Pippa Skotnes and José Manuel de Prada-Samper, the exhibition opened Thursday 18th August 2011.

“With all its shortcomings, after many and great difficulties, this volume of specimens of Bushman folk-lore is laid before the public. As will be seen from the lists given in Dr. Bleek’s “Brief Account of Bushman Folk-lore and other Texts”, Cape Town, 1875, and in my “Short Account of Further Bushman Material collected”, London, 1889, the selections which have been made for it form but a very small portion of the Bushman native literature collected. Whether future days will see the remainder of the manuscripts, as well as the fine collection of copies of Bushman pictures made by the late Mr. G. W. Stow, also published is a question that only time can answer.”

Thus began the book, Specimens of Bushman Folklore, dedicated “TO ALL FAITHFUL WORKERS”, published one hundred years ago this year, and offered for sale by George Allen and Company at one pound, one shilling. The preface to the book was dated May 1911, the first notice of the book’s publication was dated 7th July 1911 and the first reviews collected appeared in September 1911. Lucy Lloyd, its co-author and editor, was 76 years old.

The conference The Courage of ||kabbo honours her achievement along with the vision of Wilhelm Bleek and the courage of ||kabbo as their teacher of |xam who remained in Mowbray, far from home and family, to make his stories known by way of books. This small exhibition recognises the story of Dia!kwain, related as it is to a broader story of genocide reported on by Louis Anthing, and imagines something of the transition that was made from landscape to literature via the living room of Bleek and Lloyd’s Mowbray home.

Read more on the exhibition here.