Ten writers are presented in a new light They all had the same side-line: they lent their skills to capturing the folktales of the different black communities in southern Africa. None of these ten writers had planned to become a folklorist or a collector of fairy-tales. They all did their serious professional work: as scholars, like Alexander and Lestrade, as missionaries, like Callaway and Hoffmann. or in administration, like Bleek and Theal. The nature of their work brought them into close contact with black tribes. They were impressed by the rich fund of fascinating stories they found there. They all - and every one of the ten may be regarded as the first one in his area of the field - captured this oral literature with their pens, thereby preserving it in its original form. Thus these ten collectors of folklore were ethnological as well as literary pioneers in Southern Africa.
During the Anglo-Boer War some 1 100 Boers crossed the Mozambican border and were interned and transferred to Portugal by the Portuguese. It was in Caldas da Rainha that a particular friendship developed between the internees and a gifted young ceramic artist, Belo. This inspired him to create an exceptional commemorative jug and terra-cotta medals in their honour.
As was the case with so many other walks of life in the Orange Free State the medical profession had qualified as well as successful unqualified practitioners in its ranks. There were however also those who were a disgrace to the profession. Statements about excellent professional medical care on the one hand and third-rate medical and public health services on the other are equally false. Aspects such as disease, accidents and medicine are discussed to correct the abovementioned impression.
The death of the Afrikaans author C.J. Langenhoven on 15 July 1932 at a relatively early age shocked the whole South Africa. His unexpected death has been linked to his service to his people and his beloved National Party, as one commentator stated. Langenhoven was indeed rather active during his last weeks, and shortly before his death he appeared a few times in the election campaign in Colesberg which was described by one journalist as the 'sternest and most dramatic election in South African politics'. On his way back to his home in Oudtshoorn he fell ill on the train and died a week or so later. His activities during the last few weeks of his life are described in this article.
A number of handwritten, decorated Cape hymn books, dating from the last quarter of the 18th and the first quarter of the 19th century have been preserved in archives and museums in South Africa. These old hymn books are unique manifestations of a spontaneous cultural creativity based on tradition but arising from and adapted to specific circumstances. The reasons why they carne into existence are discussed. Biographical particulars about a few of the owners of hymn books are given and the origins of some of the words and melodies are explored. The Western folk art motifs used in the decoration of the hymn books, by artists like Hendrik Penninghof, are elucidated.
Although it is 77 years since 'Volkspele' was started in South Africa, the A.V.V.B. is only 50 years old. Dr S H Pellissier brought 'volkspele' to South Africa. It was first practiced at a Sunday School picnic at Boshof (O.F.S.). When Dr Pellissier was appointed director of education in the Orange Free State he promoted volkspele in the schools. It was only after the symbolic 'Ossewatrek' of 1938 that the association was officially founded, namely on 1 March 1941. From this date onwards volkspele was a main part of Afrikaner festivities. Contact with foreign folk dancers was also an important part of the Association's activities. National gatherings, e.g. on 2 March 1991 to commemorate the half-century are still a big attraction. Reform has also spread to volkspele. The costumes and dances had already changed through the years and even the name could not escape the spirit of change. In 1989 volkspele were renamed 'volksdanse' S H Pellissiers).