Haeseba ||ō, !huba ǂha

Haiseb is dead, the land is free

Handrethe (Gaoxas) Guriras and Lisa Gorabes Masura with Suro Ganuses. At Kamanjab.


My grandmother told me that Haiseb put rocks under ǂhuis trees [Bechamia] and he made for himself death when still alive. The people said "no, we the people thought him dead and we buried him there". The people say we cannot eat the berries here [under this tree] because we buried Haiseb here, so the people moved to another side.

When the people moved Haiseb woke up and they heard the sound of him eating berries. "Who could be eating?" they said. When Haiseb heard the people talking he crept back in his hole.

Becuase Haiseb is death the people were pleased with his death. "Haiseb is death the land is now free for us" they sang.

Suro Ganuses:

People were under the pressure of Haiseb. He was a KIng and they were under him.

Handrethe:Haiseb told the people "I am sick. Don't touch me. I don't know if I live or die. Bury me under the tree. We cannot eat the berries close to Haiseb or we get sick". During the day Haiseb ate the berries and in the nights the people were singing and clapping hands:

Tita Haise da ||o tsî  ǂûna mû tsî go ||ō !nada

Haeseba ||ō !huba ǂha

Haiseb go ||ō freyba he ta go Haiseb go ||ō

We are pleased at Haiseb's death. The land is now free.

stories as performance

Many Haiseb stories have been collected but mainly in text and not using film and sound.

Stories carry more than words from the past.

Here we experience storytellers demonstrating how Haiseb moves and sings. 

It is impossible to know whether or  not young people will continue to keep  the spirit of Haiseb alive. When his signs are not recognised, his presence felt and his ways not known, Haiseb's movements and  sounds may well be forgotten.

Elsie Tjihahura, at Kamanjab

Note the bent arms and pointed fingers and the flick of the skirt at the end - all characteristics of Haiseb dances.