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My goat that produces white kids: narratives of the sea and seashore in Xhosaland.
1st March 2014

 

In February 2014 Inkcubeko Nendalo was asked to contribute a chapter on the cultural history of the Eastern Cape for a new book called South African Coasts – A Celebration of our Seas and Shores edited by Tony and Anthea Ribbink of the Sustainable Seas Trust.

 

 

The book is the culmination of a public photographic competition and an ongoing campaign to conserve marine environments http://www.sst.org.za/what-you-can-do/photo-contributions/book-promotion.

The Sustainable Seas Trust is dedicated to conservation and poverty alleviation through education and public participation. http://www.sst.org.za/

Our chapter provides a brief historical background to the use of marine resources and the cultural importance of the marine environment in the Eastern Cape.

One of the most commonly known sea-derived medicines is the cuttlefish bone that frequently washes up on the shore. It is called uthuvi benyanga, meaning “excrement of the moon”. Folklore tells us that when a shooting star falls into the sea a cuttlefish bone is produced and washes up on the beach, hence the descriptive name. The powdered bone, mixed with a little water, is applied as drops to treat eye infections, as a paste for skin rashes, and to protect breastfeeding infants against evil spirits.