Thixo Creates Three Nations

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(Khoi, Xhosa/South Africa)

Thixo, the supreme being, is the creator.

Thixo is derived from Tsui‖Goab (Tsuni-‖Goam), the great hero of the Khoi from whom they are said to have taken their origin. The meaning of the name is usually given as “sore or wounded knee.” Tsui‖Goab was a great chief and warrior who went to war with another chief, ‖Gaunab, because the latter was always killing great numbers of his people. They had numerous battles until Tsui‖Goab became strong enough to kill ‖Gaunab. However, his enemy managed to give him a blow on the knee before expiring, and henceforth he was lame. As the conqueror, he became deified by later generations.

He was reputed to have had considerable powers during his lifetime; besides being a renowned warrior of great strength, he was said to be a powerful magician and a seer. Legend credits him with coming to life several times after dying. He came to be regarded as the personification of the natural forces producing rain.

Three nations were created: the whites, the Xhosa, and the Khoi. A day was appointed for them to appear before Thixo to receive whatever he might apportion to each group. While they were assembling, a honey bird came flying by, and the Khoi ran after it, whistling. Thixo remonstrated with them about their behavior, but they ignored him. He thereupon denounced them as a people who would have to exist on wild roots and honey beer, and possess no stock whatever. When the fine herds of cattle were brought, the Xhosa became very excited, one of them exclaiming, “That black and white cow is mine!” and another, “That red cow and black bull are mine!” and so on, until at last Thixo, whose patience had been severely taxed by their shouts and unruly behavior, denounced them as a restless people who would only possess cattle. The whites patiently waited until they received cattle, horses, sheep, and all sorts of property. The whites have therefore got everything. The Xhosa have only cattle, while the Khoi have nothing. See also: Mdali, Qamatha, Tsui∥Goab.

Subjects: Religion.

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