CHAP. Vu.] IMPROVISED CHAUNTS. 123
beyond doubt, and the whole eighty-six females sang songs about us one matron improvised, and all the others joined in a shrill chorus, like " tirri-tirri-tirri." The self-esteem of the Ovampo had certainly been wounded. Chik at first ridiculed guns. He had seen guns in Benguela, but they must have been worthless affairs, and badly handled, for he laughed at any comparison between them and arrows ; however, by degrees he became frightened at seeing what they really could do. There was a duck swimming about the water, not more than sixty yards off, but it looked very much further, as things below one always do, and I shot him very neatly with my little rifle; and again, the next day, Andersson was shooting some birds on the wing for specimens, and Chik became so frightened that he would not pick them up. We had great fun at Otchikoto ; there was a cave there full of bats and owls, which we swam to and explored. The place swarmed with doves, and every now and then a white hawk swooped in amongst them. The Bushman captain fraternised with me, and we interchanged smiles and small presents.
May 27th.-We travelled through the everlasting thorns and stones for nine hours, and offpacked at wells-wretched affairs, that we had to sit up half the night to clean and dig out.
May 29th.-We came on ox spoors. Old Netjo, who is a family man, was beside himself with joy, and kept by my side pointing out all the indications of the neighbouring Ovampo. Passing a reedy, boggy fountain, we came an hour after to Omutchamatunda, which then was thronged with the Ovampo and their cattle. We were received very hospitably, and had a tree assigned us to camp under. The Ovampo gave us butter to grease ourselves with ; but as it was clean, and as they also brought corn, I preferred eating it. There was a little game about, and we had some shooting, and also a bathe, and a battue of ducks and partridges. No corn was grown here, neither were there any women; it was simply a cattle-post, and far from the corn country of the Ovampo.
May 30th.-We passed the grave of the god, Omakuru ; the Damaras all threw stones on the cairn that covered it, singing out Tati-kuru l Tati-kuru l (Father Omakuru). Came to Etosha, a great salt-pan
It is very remarkable in many ways. The borders are defined and wooded ; its surface is flat and effloresced, and the mirage excessive over it; it was about nine miles in breadth, but the mirage prevented