The courage of ||kabbo and a century of Specimens - Bleek and Lloyd conference, 2011

A conference to celebrate 100 years of the publication of Specimens of Bushman folklore by WHI Bleek and LC Lloyd 17-20 August 2011 University of Cape Town, Hiddingh Hall Campus.

The conference was organised by Professor Pippa Skotnes of the Centre for Curating the Archive at the University of Cape Town and Janette Deacon, Honorary Research Associate of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, assisted by Thomas Cartwright.

In 1911, an extraordinary book was published by George Allen and Company, London. It was edited by Lucy Lloyd and contained a small selection of the many thousands of pages of |xam and !kun texts that she and Wilhelm Bleek recorded in the 1870s and 1880s in Cape Town, South Africa. The book was titled Specimens of Bushman folklore and was dedicated to 'all faithful workers'. In many ways it owes its existence to the courage of ||kabbo, a prisoner released from the Breakwater Convict Station, who sacrificed the freedom of his final years to teach Bleek and Lloyd his language. To commemorate the publication of this remarkable work we an invitation waas circulated to those who have been inspired by the book and the|xam and !kun texts it contains, to those who have researched and made use of the Lloyd and Bleek archive and to those whose work, cognate though not directly related to this book, reflects the same spirit of research that has given a voice to ideas that would otherwise have remained unknown.

We are currently planning a publication for late 2012 that will reflect both the diversity and spirit of the conference, with some full-length papers and some shorter papers.

Listen to Derek Gripper's guitar performance - Spore by die bek van 'n ystervarkgat, performed during the conference's spectacular sit-down supper in Hiddingh Hall.
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