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Who was "Xama" ?

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"XAMA" was the name of a young San woman who lived many years ago. The legend of "Xama" tells us how she lit up our Southern skies to guide her loved one home.

"Long ago there lived a young San woman, named Xama. At night she would dance round the camp fire with the other woman and wish for a new oryx skin skirt. One night while dancing she spoke aloud of her dream for this new skirt. Unaware to her, her loved one, Gnu, had overheard her. He decided that he would surprise her and get her a new soft oryx skin. Later that day he set out alone on a hunting expedition to find the perfect skin. The other hunters did not join him as they said that it was too late in the season to go hunting when the animals where so far away and they would also have to move their family camp soon. Despite this, Gnu left camp in search of his grand gift for Xama.

He travelled for three days until finally he found what he was looking for, the most beautiful oryx standing under an acacia tree. He slowly stalked his prey and in an instant shot his deadly little arrow. Immediately, the oryx started running but Gnu knew he had hit his target. He followed the wounded oryx, dune after dune, through the hot desert sands. Eventually the oryx came to a rest and he could claim his prize. Gnu was young and did not know all the signs of the desert as well as the older hunters and thus found himself lost. He wandered in all directions for a further two days until, almost dead, he was ready to give up ... when that night, in the distance he saw a faint light. Gnu got up and followed the pathway of lights in the sky. As he got closer he soon realized that he had been led directly back to his camp by his beloved Xama. She, in her desperation, had dug her hands into the burning coals and thrown them across the night sky to show him the way home."

Thus to this day we can still see the glowing coals light up our Southern nights sky where millions of stars form the majestic Milky Way remind us of her love and care.