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Monday, August 24, 2015

Xhosa Folklore Story of the Long Snake

Xhosa (Koh-Suh) folklore tradition is very important to the people of the South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Xhosa people have a deeply rooted folklore history passed down through generations.


Xhosa Folklore

Story of Long Snake
A girl left her father's place, and went to the village of long snake. Having arrived she remained there, but the owner was absent. The only person present was the mother of the owner. That evening, the mother of long snake gave that girl some millet, and told her to grind it. After it was ground, she made bread. When it was ready the mother of long snake said: "Carry this bread into the house."

Xhosa Folklore Story of the Long Snake
Xhosa Folklore Story of the Long Snake
A short time after she went into the house, the owner arrived; she feed him bread and fermented milk. When they finished the food, they went to sleep. Then early in the morning, long snake went away, because in the daytime he lived in the open country.

The girl went to the house of the parents of the snake. The mother of the snake clothed her with a very beautiful robe. After she was dressed, she went to cut firewood. Having arrived in the open fields, she did not cut the firewood, but she threw away the axe and ran to her father's place.
When she arrived at her father's place, her sister asked for where she got her beautiful robe. She told her, and her sister said, "I am going to that village too."

The girl said: "Just listen and I will tell you the custom of that village."
However, her sister said in reply, "I do not want you to tell me anything, because you yourself were not warned before you went."
Then she set off at once, and arrived in the evening at the village of long snake. When she sat down the mother of the snake gave her millet, telling her to grind it and make bread. When it was ready, she took it into the house of long snake. Then in the evening, the owner arrived, and the girl gave him bread and fermented milk. When they had finished eating they went to sleep, and early in the morning, the snake went away.
Then the girl went to the house of long snake's parents. His mother clothed that girl also in the same manner as she had dressed the elder one. Then she borrowed an axe and went to cut wood. In doing so, she made an excuse to run away.

On this day, however, the long snake went after his wives, his mother gave the robes to, and he arrived at the two sister’s house as the sun was setting.


The sisters saw the long snake and ran out of the house and told the village the long snake was there to carry them away. The people of the village piled up bundles of grass, and the long snake was burned in the house and died.

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