African Poems

Oral Poetry from Africa

Tag: Moon

Hunters Prayers (San)

A prayer of the San bushmen, calling to the Moon to assist the hunter the following day. In the prayer the hunter describes how he will steal the yolk of an ostrich’s egg while the ostrich is actually sitting on the nest. To do this the hunter must creep up behind the ostrich without being noticed, crack the shell of an egg within the nest and scoop out the yolk without being detected. For this amazing piece of hunting, he will use a brush made of the tail hairs of a Gemsbok antelope.

Ho moon lying there,
Let me early tomorrow see an ostrich…

Prayer to the young moon

A hymn of the San Bushmen of southern Africa.

Young Moon!
Hail, Young Moon!..

Re-Birth

A San prayer, recorded in the mid-nineteenth century. The moon, which renews itself each month, becomes an image of re-birth.

Young moon, take my face up yonder,
Give back to me your face up there, take away this pain.

African Poems