Sotho-Tswana mythic animals: Stratagem for environmental conservation.
Kgari-Masondo, Maserole Christina
MetadataShow full item record
This article argues that pre-colonial indigenous knowledge placed restrictions on the use of certain animals and perceived them as sacred. This policy was often successful as several species of wildlife are to be found “in many black African areas” today. Communities with chiefs worked together to ensure preservation of sacred animals. Such sacred animals had mythological connotations attached to them – with the purpose of preservation of such fauna. The article deals with the mythic animals among the indigenous Sotho- Tswana group of South Africa and expounds their roles and how they were perceived by the community under study throughout history in a dynamic manner. The article proposes the defiance of some colonial-time interpretations of mythic animals as “superstitious” and “a belief in magic”. It contends that journeying back to the colonial and apartheid era by retelling, reinterpreting and redefining mythic animals showing the history in a changing historical manner will be a step towards a dynamic study of socio-environmental history of sacred animals. The approach of the article is multi-disciplinary drawing from religion, environment, history, linguistics, philosophy, psychology and Africanist genre to show that, mythic animalistic history is not a closed official document as received in the frontier but is dynamic.