The Qu­e­na i­den­ti­ty

George Herald - - News -

10th ar­ti­cle

This is a­not­her de­li­very in a se­ries by Syd­ney Op­per­man in which he sheds lig­ht on the o­ri­g­ins and na­mes of the coun­try's in­di­ge­nous (first) na­ti­on. "Qu­e­na" was the re­li­gi­ous na­me of the O­ten­tot­tu. W­hen a Qu­e­na man was as­ked by the Da­nish mis­si­o­na­ry Zie­gen­balg in the e­ar­ly 1700s "w­het­her he be­lie­ved t­he­re was a

God" he re­spon­ded as fol­lows: "Let him who be­lie­ves t­he­re is no God, look up­wards and do­wn­wards and round a­bout him; and then let him con­ti­nue in his o­pi­ni­on if he da­res..."

The Qu­e­na ("Red Pe­op­le") be­lie­ved in the "Red God" and per­cei­ved God as occu­pying the en­ti­re sp­he­re of cre­a­ti­on; that God was not a sin­gle per­son re­si­ding so­mew­he­re in the sky; but that he was e­ver­y­w­he­re and ma­ni­fes­ted him­self in all the na­tu­ral phe­no­me­na.

The sun, the full moon and the new moon we­re the "vi­si­ble ap­pea­ran­ces of God" t­hey wors­hip­ped.

Their "sim­ple" but me­a­ning­ful s­to­ne struc­tu­res (ob­ser­va­to­ries / shri­nes) li­ke

Ma­gia (the dan­cing pla­ce) ne­ar Laings­burg in the Moor­de­naar­ska­roo, or the mo­re "so­phi­sti­ca­ted" struc­tu­res li­ke "The dying sun C­ha­ri­ot" ne­ar Ca­ro­li­na in M­pu­ma­lan­ga are po­si­ti­o­ned to view the­se phe­no­me­na, such as "the dying sun" (win­ter sol­sti­ce) and the "birth of the sun" a­round 21 Ju­ne e­very y­e­ar (in the Sout­hern He­mis­p­he­re).

In the Nort­hern He­mis­p­he­re win­ter sol­sti­ce falls on 21 De­cem­ber.

The sun then "sets" for 3 days on the sa­me spot till 24 De­cem­ber and then be­gins to "mo­ve" in the op­po­si­te di­recti­on on 25 De­cem­ber. (An­cient pe­op­le re­fer­red to this as the "birth of the sun", ce­le­bra­ting the birt­hday of the sun god, Sol In­vic­tus. Du­ring the fourth cen­tu­ry AD, the Ro­man Cat­ho­lic De­no­mi­na­ti­on de­ci­ded to al­so ce­le­bra­te the day as the "birth of the Son").

The Qu­e­na had a cos­mo­lo­gi­cal un­der­stan­ding of God. This un­der­stan­ding is re­flected in the forms of their wors­hip. At the new and full moon the Qu­e­na dan­ced, their fa­ces so­meti­mes to the west, so­meti­mes to the e­ast, and up and do­wn. T­hey ackno­w­led­ged a cer­tain or­der in

God's cre­a­ti­on, an or­der that rested on the quar­te­ring of the u­ni­ver­se by the car­di­nal di­recti­ons.

The hig­hest peak of the Ou­te­ni­qua "dik !A­reb" (di­recti­on Moun­tain) di­rect­ly north of the "Tree" on Sand­kop in Pa­calts­dorp is an ex­am­ple of their cos­mo­lo­gi­cal sen­si­ti­vi­ty.

This a­wa­re­ness - which is pre­sent in all cos­mo­lo­gi­cal­ly ba­sed re­li­gi­ons, es­pe­ci­al­ly tho­se of In­dia - finds its re­flecti­on in the ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal or­ga­ni­sa­ti­on and in the ar­chi­tec­tu­re of their tem­ples and shri­nes, as can be seen in the "dying sun c­ha­ri­ot" in Ko­ma­ti­land (Hrom­nik's Ex­plo­ra­ti­ons in In­do-A­fri­can and ot­her His­to­ry).

Syd­ney Op­per­man, syd­neyop­per­[email protected], 14 Lynx S­treet, Pa­calts­dorp, 083 378 4237

(Op­per­man's pre­vi­ous ar­ti­cles can be re­ad on­li­ne at­or­ge­he­

The win­ter sol­sti­ce sunset ob­ser­va­to­ry at Geel­bek, Moor­der­naar­ska­roo, w­he­re the Qu­e­na wel­co­med the New Y­e­ar. P­ho­to: Dr Cy­ril Hrom­nik

Syd­ney Op­per­man

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