I’aru Ikhuisi Piet Berendse, representing the Bushman or Khoisan rights and culture movement, Ikhuisi Bush Camp, just happened to be at AfrikaBurn this year, and I had the incredible honour of spending two hours interviewing him, chatting about Khoisan culture, customs, ceremonies, food, medicines, tracking, hunting, rock painting, and his opinion of the spectacle that is AfrikaBurn.
I’aru (Cheetah) Ikhuisi (Vulture) is a leader in his community in the Northern Cape, and actively fighting for the rights of the Khoisan peoples in South Africa. He also teaches the Khoisan youth the customs and secrets of their culture, especially tracking – an ancient skill whereby he told me they are able to tell not only the sex of the person/animal they are tracking, but even whether or not the person/animal they are tracking is ill or pregnant.
We attracted a small crowd in the scorching sun at one stage, and I ended up being a translator between them. What an incredible experience!
He shared with us the details of birthing ceremonies, their connection with the moon and the stars, and even demonstrated the ancient skill of making fire with sand and sticks. He told us that the Eland is a sacred animal and that Bushmen never hunt them, and how they ask permission of an animal before killing it. So much incredible wisdom was shared by this man, that I can never forget the experience and will always treasure it.