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Currently for sale on Amazon Kindle.

Child of the Dragon Mountains
This book is an adult historical adventure novel. It is for sale on Amazon Kindle.

Child of the Dragon Mountains

About the cover painting:
The author painted the cover illustration in oils. It illustrates a shaman from the main painting in Battle Cave in the Upper Injasuti area. The original ‘rock art’ painting is one of the most detailed paintings of any San (‘Bushman’) depicted in the Drakensberg Mountains of Natal.

About this book:
This book is an adult historical adventure novel. It is for sale on Amazon Kindle. The book deals with the twilight years of the Bushmen (San) living in the Natal Drakensberg mountains. They were a late stone age people. The book tells the life story of a San born in 1830 in the Ndedema Gorge of the Natal Drakensberg Mountains. The novel begins with the birth and childhood of the boy !Bo, and tells how his growing capabilities are honed, first by his mother and then his father and other noted artists and shamans of the Ndedema.
!Bo becomes an experienced hunter, artist, shaman, and rainmaker. Married and with children to raise, he becomes increasingly aware of the pressures placed on the San by outside communities engaged in wars, territorial conquest, and vengeance against cattle raiders in the San communities. His own family rejects the rustling of livestock from encroaching farms. He comes to understand that the clans and communities of the San are facing genocide.
Much of the book deals with the endeavours of the main character and his family to preserve and nourish the cultural heritage that is their lifeblood, while striving vainly to unite diverse San clans and groups into a unified political force they hope will engage constructively with the aggressors.
Loss of life amongst the Ndedema community leads !Bo on a fruitless quest to Bulihawu (Giants Castle). After the loss of their children in a misdirected, punitive raid mounted by stock-farmers, his family embarks on a lengthy and traumatic venture down the Senqu (Orange River) to engage with Soai, a noted leader amongst the cattle raiders; also Chief Moorosi and the cattle-raiding Amatola. The debilitating aftermath of the Langalibalele Rebellion also engages and almost overwhelms his family. Their mission to form a unified voice of protest fails and they face the genocide experienced by many others
The book ends in the Amphitheatre in 1885, with the deaths of arguably the last family of San recorded as living ‘freely’ in the Drakensberg.
Reading the book is a novel way of gaining insights into San life and behaviour during a critical time in their history, within the geographical confines covered by the book. The period is portrayed as a time of great political and cultural upheaval. Many San abandoned their past Stone Age culture as they experienced and sometimes attempted to imbibe the encroaching Western frontier culture. Some eventually shifted from using stone tools to barter for iron implements. Others entered the cash economy as employed trackers, hunters, labourers or herders, while a few purchased horses and guns. Increasingly, San traded with or married members of iron-working communities
Others resisted desperately and clashed with the colonial authorities as well as the agriculturalist-pastoralists who the authorities had settled as buffers between them and the white farmers. Many died as a result.

Although based on a study of a wide range of excellent research documents as well as personal experience of the various geographical areas covered, the book is written as a novel. It contains imagined dialogue written in everyday, current English for clarity, and does not encompass a vain attempt to acquire and translate the largely forgotten language of the Drakensberg San. The main characters are portrayed as intelligent people capable of complex, rational thought, problem-solving and empathy, and not as the Western, cartoon stereotype of inherently dim-witted Stone Age people.
Events are based on historical ‘certainty’, probability, or possibility. The author has designed the book, therefore, to provoke imaginative thought on the part of the reader by complementing, supplementing, and amplifying other authoritative texts and records. The text of the novel is a general guide to events, and not the ultimate source of information on any of the topics covered.
Interested readers should read as much other verified material as possible to gain a wider understanding from more academically focused research sources. Some brilliant books and articles of exceptional quality are available on the San. South African libraries house most of them. Wider exploration of sources will enable the reader to test and evaluate the present book, most accurately reconstruct and interpret the life of !Bo and others like him, and more confidently enter a world that is that of the characters themselves and not that of an author. Exploring this unique book invites the unconstrained use of personal imagination. It provides a challenging yet palatable way of learning about the Drakensberg San.



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