Hunting game

Mr. N Sibiya explained hunting as going out to look for wild game which is edible. Among these are buck, rabbits, male bush-buck and others.


1 The person consulted
2 Who performs this practice?
3 What is used to play the game?
4 When is the game played?
5 Where is the game played?
6 How is this game played?
7 Custom associated with this game
8 Source

The person consulted
The researcher spoke to Mr. N Sibiya about hunting game. Sibiya also explained some of the difficult terms associated with this practice. Mr. Sibiya resides at Umlazi J section. Mr. Sibiya says that after hunting, the hunters will bring back the game found. A hunter shares the game with other people. The game is slaughtered, and the other hunters who had gone out to hunt are given their share. This is sharing.

Who performs this practice?
This game is played by boys from the age of 10 upwards.

What is used to play the game?
Boys bring sticks, knob-kerries and hunting dogs from their homes if they have them.

When is the game played?
This game is played during the day throughout the year.

Where is the game played?
This game takes place in the forests or any other place where game can be found.

How is this game played?
Boys invite each other when going to hunt. Buck and other game are found in particular parts of the forest. The tracks that game leaves are usually visible for the boys to follow. Boys would strategise so as to encircle the game. In this way game would have difficulty escaping. If a buck approaches it would be attacked from all sides. If a boy hits spot on he would shout: “Ngadla!” (I hit!). This was done so that even if he doesn’t kill the animal but he will get a reward (share) because of his contribution in killing it.

Dogs were very helpful during hunting because they follow the trail of the game until they find its whereabouts. The buck would try to escape but will find that it is encircled and will be hit/stabbed from all sides. It is for this reason a saying was coined which goes, “Ayishaywa mvusi” (“It is not killed by the one who found it”). What was good about hunting is that if boys caught a big buck, all those who participated will get a share.

Custom associated with this game
Hunting is one of the traditions of the African people. If there was a cleansing ritual for a late head of the family, other men will start by going for hunting before the ritual is performed. Everybody loved hunting. If game was caught, everybody will rejoice and a feast be held. As a result a boy would beam with pride if a feast was as a result of his successful hunting.

From a Masters dissertation by Victoria Mkhize for the School of IsiZulu, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Supervised by Professors P.J. Zungu and V. Prabhakaran.

Leave a Comment