This thesis was submitted through the Doctoral Program of Comparative Literatures of the Philology Department of the University of Alcalá de Henares, Spain.
The thesis is written in Spanish. The bulk of it, however, consists of carefully edited transcriptions of |xam texts and their English translations from the Bleek and Lloyd Collection, amounting to several hundred manuscript pages, mostly from the notebooks, although a few of the texts come from other documents in the collection that contain ethnographical data.
As explained in the abstract below, rather than being a study of the lion stories themselves, the thesis focuses the methodology for transcribing and editing the |xam material, and proposes a series of guidelines, centered around the basic principle of not taking the English translation as definitive, and paying close attention to the original |xam text, with the aid of the lexicographical and grammatical tools that Dorothea Bleek made available in the first half of the 20th century.
The Bleek and Lloyd Collection, held at the Department of Archives and Manuscripts of the University of Cape Town, the National Library of South Africa and the Iziko South African Museum, is an extensive ethnographical archive which documents the language, literature and history of the |xam, a hunting-gathering San (Bushman) people that lived in the Upper Karoo region of South Africa, south of the Orange River, until their complete extermination by white and colored farmers in the second half of the 19th century. The body of the BLC is formed by about 120 notebooks which total more than 12000 manuscript pages of text in the |xam language, with English translations.
Part 1 of the thesis provides a summary of the history of the Bleek-Lloyd collection and those that made it possible. It gives also an overview of the history of the |xam, with special emphasis on the accomplished genocide that led to their complete extinction as a people, followed by an ethnographic overview which pays special attention to their beliefs and traditions about lions. Most important of all, Part 1 offers a critique of the methods used for the transcription of unpublished materials from the BLC which have been published since the 1980s, and proposes a different approach to the transcription process. The author argues that the basic principles of textual criticism should be used when transcribing and editing the manuscripts in the BLC. He argues also that transcribers and editors of the manuscripts should pay closer attention to the original |xam text, using for this purpose the lexicographical and grammatical tools provided by the Bleek family.
Part 2 of the thesis is a transcription, following the principles explained in Part 1, of all the unpublished texts in the BLC (myths, legends, personal experiences and descriptions) concerning lions.
Part 3 is an annotated translation into Spanish of all the texts in the Collection, published or unpublished, about lions.
As originally submitted, the thesis includes a DVD with scanned images of all the texts about lions in the collection, as well as photographs and drawings of most of the animals and plants mentioned in them. It includes also an extensive series of photographs of the former |xam territory in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa, and the rock-engravings found there. These photographs have been selected among the several thousand taken by the author as part of the fieldwork he has been conducting in the area since 2005.