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AnimalsǀKaggen_header_cell_0_1_0 Praying mantis, bull eland, a louse, a snake, and a caterpillarǀKaggen_cell_0_1_1
Ethnic groupǀKaggen_header_cell_0_2_0 ǀXamǀKaggen_cell_0_2_1
ConsortǀKaggen_header_cell_0_3_0 ǀHúnntuǃattǃatte̥n ("Coti")ǀKaggen_cell_0_3_1
OffspringǀKaggen_header_cell_0_4_0 Porcupine (adopted daughter)ǀKaggen_cell_0_4_1

ǀKaggen (more accurately ǀKágge̥n or ǀKaggən, sometimes spelled as Cagn [ǀaɡən]) is Mantis, a demi-urge and folk hero of the ǀXam people of southern Africa. ǀKaggen_sentence_0

He is a trickster god who can shape shift, usually taking the form of a praying mantis but also a bull eland, a louse, a snake, and a caterpillar. ǀKaggen_sentence_1

Shapeshifting ǀKaggen_section_0

ǀKaggen is a trickster who is able to shape shift into the form of any animal. ǀKaggen_sentence_2

He is most frequently represented as a praying mantis but also takes the form of a bull eland, a louse, a snake, and a caterpillar. ǀKaggen_sentence_3

His wife, Coti, is represented as a marmot or rather a Cape hyrax and is known as the mother of bees. ǀKaggen_sentence_4

Their adopted daughter is represented as a porcupine. ǀKaggen_sentence_5

Eland myth ǀKaggen_section_1

One of the first animals created by ǀKaggen, and his favourite, was the eland. ǀKaggen_sentence_6

ǀKaggen's wife Coti gave birth to the eland, and ǀKaggen hid it near a secluded cliff to let it grow. ǀKaggen_sentence_7

One day his sons, Cogaz and Gewi, were out hunting. ǀKaggen_sentence_8

Not knowing their father's love for the eland, they killed it. ǀKaggen_sentence_9

ǀKaggen was angry, and told Gewi to put the blood from the dead eland into a pot and churn it. ǀKaggen_sentence_10

Blood spattered from the pot onto the ground and turned into snakes. ǀKaggen_sentence_11

ǀKaggen was displeased. ǀKaggen_sentence_12

Next, Gewi scattered the blood, and it turned into hartebeests. ǀKaggen_sentence_13

Again, ǀKaggen was unhappy. ǀKaggen_sentence_14

He told Coti to clean the pot and add more blood from the eland, with fat from the heart. ǀKaggen_sentence_15

She churned it, and ǀKaggen sprinkled the mixture on the ground. ǀKaggen_sentence_16

It turned into a large herd of eland. ǀKaggen_sentence_17

This was how ǀKaggen gave meat to his people to hunt and eat. ǀKaggen_sentence_18

The Bushmen attribute the wildness of the eland to the fact that ǀKaggen's sons killed it before it was ready to be hunted, spoiling it. ǀKaggen_sentence_19

Mongoose (ichneumon) variation ǀKaggen_section_2

The scholar David Lewis-Williams recounts a variation of the eland myth involving the meerkats. ǀKaggen_sentence_20

ǀKaggen's daughter the porcupine married the meerkat, kwammang-a. ǀKaggen_sentence_21

They had the mongoose as a son. ǀKaggen_sentence_22

The mongoose was close to his grandfather ǀKaggen. ǀKaggen_sentence_23

ǀKaggen used to take honey to feed his favourite, the eland. ǀKaggen_sentence_24

The people were curious as to what ǀKaggen was doing with the honey, so they sent the mongoose to spy on him and find out. ǀKaggen_sentence_25

When the mongoose saw ǀKaggen giving honey to the eland, he reported his discovery to his brothers, the meerkats. ǀKaggen_sentence_26

While ǀKaggen was out gathering honey, the meerkats persuaded the mongoose to show them where the eland was. ǀKaggen_sentence_27

They called the eland out of its hiding place and killed it. ǀKaggen_sentence_28

See also ǀKaggen_section_3


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ǀKaggen.