Recognized HTML document

42   FIOTTENTOTS AND BUSHMEN.   [CHAP. Yet.

no profit. However, all things are relative, and what these Oerlams were to the Dutchmen, that the Namaqua Hottentots are to the Oerlams.

The Europeans that have visited the country between the latitudes of Angra Pequena and Barmen are some ten Missionaries, the same number of traders, five or six runaway sailors, who have acted as servants to these, and two travelling parties besides my own, The first was that of Sir James Alexander, who explored this country upwards from the Orange River-fifteen or twenty years ago, and whom the traders and Missionaries followed ; the other was that of Mr. Ruxton, the well-known American traveller who sailed to Walfisch Pay, but was prevented by the traders that were there from entering further into the land, and who had to return in the same ship that brought him. There is no difference whatever between the Hottentot and the Bushman, who lives wild about the hills in this part of Africa, whatever may have been said or written on the subject. The Namaqua Hottentot is simply the reclaimed and somewhat civilised Bushman, just as the Oerlams represent the same raw material under a slightly higher degree of polish. Not only are they identical in features and language, but the Hottentot tribes have been, and continue to be, recruited from the Bushmen. The largest tribe of these Namaqua Hottentots, those under Cornelius, and who muster now r,oeo guns, have almost all of them lived the life of Bushmen. In fact, a savage loses his name, " Saen," which is the Hottentot word, as soon as he leaves his Bushman's life and joins one of the larger tribes, as those at Walfisch Bay have done; and therefore when I say Oerlam, Hottentot or Bushman, the identically same yellow, flat-nosed, woolly-haired, clicking individual must be conjured up before the mind of my kind reader, but differing in dirt, squalor, and nakedness, according to the actual term employed ; the very highest point of the scale being a creature who has means of dressing himself respectably on Sundays and gala-days, and who knows something of reading and writing; the lowest point, a regular savage.

Of the very smallest tribe of Bushmen I met none in my travels.

The Oerlams, then, some thirty years since, were near the Orange River, and Jonker was a chief of secondary importance amongst them. He fought his way into notoriety, and with success his little tribe received fresh recruits. The Namaqua Hottentots asked his assistance in attacking their northern neighbours, the Damaras, the pretext being