Culture Gallery

The Cave of the Ancestors

Thokozani! Dancing with the Ancestors

April 17, 1994


t had taken some time to return to the idea of visiting the cave of the ancestors, but we finally met with Stiga yesterday afternoon at his home in Atteridgeville, and he agreed to take me down inside. Returning from Atteridgeville to Bryanston in the evening along the rural road, Thabo and I had seen two serious accidents within a short distance of one another, and we surmised that they had been related. Police and ambulance personnel were gathered around a woman’s body in the middle of the road by the country market. She was obviously dead. I shuddered at the sight. Down the road apiece, by the freeway entrance, a collision had drawn police and ambulance as well. We supposed that the driver, having hit the woman, had lost control of his car, thus causing the second accident. The next day, I left Joburg at about 6:30 am, intending to arrive at Stiga’s at the appointed time of 7:00. The morning was bright and warm. At the spot where the accidents had occurred the evening before, I noticed a sneaker, a blouse, and a large red spot on the road. I shuddered again. On a little mound beside the road, I noticed a flock of guinea fowl standing stock still. This seemed odd, as guinea fowl were not a common sight along the road, and if you did see them, they were usually running helter-skelter in every direction.

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