Samuel Daniell (1775-1811)
Two sketches of Xhosa on the march
the first pencil, pen and sepia ink, and watercolour on paper
the second pencil, pen and sepia ink, and watercolour heightened with white on paper
the first 458 x 6916in. (11.8 x 16.7cm.)
the second 478 x 61516in. (12.4 x 17.6cm.)
Engraved S. Daniell, African Scenery and Animals at the Cape of Good Hope, London, 1804-5, pl.5 ('Kaffers on a March').

There is a watercolour sketch of Xhosa by a kraal with huntsmen and their dogs bringing in their kill on the reverse of the first drawing. The Cape porcupine seen here (Hystrix africaeaustralis, Peters 1852; incanda, Xhosa; Kaapse ystervark, Afrikaans) was killed for its meat and quills, and is used in the traditional medecine of the Xhosa and Sotho communities in the Western Cape.

The two drawings are preparatory sketches for the plate published in 1804. The accompanying text reads:

'The Kaffers who dwell upon the eastern coast of South Africa are a race of people very superior to what they have usually been considered, both with regard to their physical and moral character. If taken in the mass, it may be questioned if any nation can produce so great a proportion of tall elegant figures as appear among the Kaffers. Though strong and active in a great degree, they eat very little animal food, but subsist chiefly on milk in a curdled state, and a few wild vegetables and roots. The shape of the head and the features of the countenance approach much nearer to inhabitants of the north than either the Hottentot or the Negro, and were it not for their colour, which is from black to bronze, even Europeans might pronounce them a very handsome race of men. Their weapons of war and for hunting are the Hassagai and the Kerie. The former is an iron spear fitted to a tapering shaft, which they hurl with effect to the distance of thirty or forty yards. In battle they usually break off the wooden shaft of the spear, and with the aid of a shield made of dried ox hides come to close quarters with the iron part only in their hand. The Kerie is nothing but a small stick with a round knob at the end, with which they frequently kill the pigmy antelope, hares, and the smaller animals. The men in summer go naked. Their usual ornaments consist of rings of ivory on the arm, a brush of hair attached to the head, and frequently a cow's tail tied to the knee: and when they go to war they bind on the head by a fillet of skin the two wings of the Numidian Crane. The women wear long cloaks of skin made soft and pliant with great pains, and gaily studded with metal buttons. The Kaffer Chiefs also wear cloaks made of the skins of animals, and generally prefer those of the Leopard and Tyger Cat. The children always go naked, and have no decorations except a tuft of hair from the Spring-Bok, with which their heads are frequently ornamented.' (S. Daniell, ibid.)
two (2)
Private Collection, UK.
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