Imvubu Newsletter

Khoi prayer

When the Pleiades appeared on the eastern horizon in spring, the Khoi held an important communal ritual. It involved slaughtering and a dance at which a song, very much like a hymn, was sung in honour of Tsuni-||Goam. Tsuni-||Goam, a founding hero or sky god identified with the Supreme Being, was believed to control rain, which had religious significance in a land sometimes prone to drought.

Tsui-||goatse!Thou, oh Tsui||goa!
Abo-itse!Thou Father of the Fathers – i.e. All Father!
Sida itse!Thou our Father!
|Nanuba \avire!Let stream – i.e. let rain – the thunder cloud!
En xuna uire!Let please live (our) flocks!
Eda Sida uire!Let us (also) live please!
Khabuta gum goroö!I am so very weak indeed!
||Gas xao!From thirst!
|As Xao!From hunger!
Eta xurina amre!That I may eat field fruits!
Sats gum xave sida itsao!Art thou then not our Father!
Abo itsao!The Father of the fathers!
Tsui-||goatse!Thou Tsui\\goa!
Eda sida gangantsire!That we may praise thee!
Eda sida ||khava |khaitsire!That we may give thee in return (i.e. that we may bless thee)
Abo itsao!Thou Father of the fathers!
Sida! Khutse!Thou our Lord
Tusi-||goatse!Thou, oh Tsui-|goa!

Theophilus Hahn, Tsuni-||Goam: The Supreme Being of the Khoi-Khoi, Trübner & Co., London, 1881.