Deel I en II

François Valentyn

François Valentyn (1666–1727) was sent out to the Dutch East Indies as a young man to work as a minister of religion. His interests extended to the natural world which he encountered in the Moluccas and the Cape. Valentyn visited the Cape several times over a period of almost 30 years and observed the changes occurring in the fledgling colony over this time. As a passionate observer of facts rather than a true scientist, his work is packed with information. This volume is the first complete English translation of part 5 of Valentyn’s account of the Cape to be published.

The second part of Valentyn’s travels continues with the account of his visit in 1702 and a later visit of 1714. It includes a lengthy account of the customs of the Khoi and their language, the fauna to be encountered and the early history of the settlement

Wild striped ass

schip, Stavenis genaamt, en uit Bengale den 18den December 1685 komende, den 16den Februari 1686 te verliezen. Dit quam door enkel verwaarloozing van den Stuurman, die de wagt had, en die tot twee-maal toe van de sterke branding voor uit door de man op den uitkyk, en door ‘t yolk op de bak, gewaarschouwt wiert, maar die dit volk nog dreigde voor hun gat te geven, alzoo men nog wel 200 mylen van de wal was. Deze bleven dus met hun schip op ‘t land van de Kaap; doch waren nog zeer verre van de Tafelbaai. Al ‘t volk was aan land gekomen, uitgenomen 13 man, die in de swaare branding gebleven of verdronken waren. De schipper, Willem Knyf, was zoo ras niet aan de wal, of eenige Hottentots quamen by hem, en waarschouwden den zelven, dat een weinig Noordelyker nog een schip met blanke menschen gebleven was, dat men bevont een Engelsman te zyn. Met deze besloot men een vaartuig van de stukken en stollen te maaken, en daar mede na de Kaap te zeilen. Dit nu klaar geraakt zynde, is de schipper Knyf met het zelve, nevens 10 matroozen, en eenige Engelschen, na de Kaap gezeild, en in ‘t begin van Maart daar aangeland; doch de overige van zyn yolk, ontrent 48 man sterk, die ‘t met dit vaartuig over zee niet dorsten waagen (onder welke deze zeilmaaker mede was) zyn landwaart in gegaan, om te zien, of zy zoo aan de Kaap konden geraaken.

Zoo ras zy wat dieper landwaart in gekomen waren, ontmoetten zy eenige veeryke Hottentots, die hen niet alleen zeer minnelyk en vriendelyk ontfingen, en 2 jaaren lang van hun vee met vleesch en melk gespysigt, maar ook alle bedenkelyke vriendschap en genegenthetd na hun vermogen bewezen, en hen eindelyk aan ‘t Kasteel behouden gebragt hebben.

Door hun lang verblyf onder deze Hottentots hadden zy meest hun taal al geleert, en daar waren ‘er ook eenige, die zich met eenige Hottentottinnen (by gebrek van beter) zoo verre vermengt hadden, dat zy ‘er eenige kinderen by hadden overgewonnen, ‘t welk zommigen, uit aanmerking van de liefde en trouw, hen 2 jaaren lang bewezen, bewogen had, om deze Hottentottinnen (gelyk hunne makkers deden) niet te verlaaten, maar liever altyd, om de kinderen, die zy reets by haar hadden, by de zelve te blyven, gelyk zy altyd daar by gebleven zyn.

Dus bragten de Hottentots in ‘t jaar 1714 den 26sten Februari ook een

them to the sail-maker in our ship, when in 1695 I journeyed homewards He as an old man had the misfortune to lose his ship, named Stavenis, on the 16th of February 1686, having sailed from Bengal on the 18th of De­cember i685. This was due to mere carelessness of the Mate, who was on watch and was twice warned of heavy breakers ahead by the look-out and by the people on the forecastle-head, but who threatened to kick their backsides since they were fully 200 miles from the coast. Thus they were wrecked on the mainland of the Cape, but still very far from the Table Bay. All the crew got ashore except for 13 who were lost or drowned in the heavy surf. The Master, Willem Knyf, was no sooner ashore than some Hottentots came to him, and informed him that somewhat further North a ship had been wrecked, with white men aboard, which they took to be English. With these they resolved to build a vessel from the pieces and scraps, and sail her to the Cape. This being done, the Master, Knyf, sailed with 10 sailors and some Englishmen, reaching the Cape at the beginning of March; but the rest of his crew, about 48 in number (among whom was this sail-maker) did not dare to sail in this vessel, and went inland, to see if they could thus reach the Cape.

As soon as they were come somewhat inland they met some cattle-owning Hottentots, who not only received them in a very amiable and friendly manner, and fed them for 2 years with the meat and milk of their beasts, but also showed them all imaginable friendship and affection to the best of their ability, and at last brought them safe to the Castle.

By their long stay among these Hottentots most of them had learnt their language, and there were also some, who (for lack of better) had so far become intimate with some Hottentot women, that they had fathered some children on them, and some of these, in acknowledgment of the love and trust shown them for 2 years, had been moved not to abandon these Hottentot women (as did their comrades) but rather to remain with them for the sake of the children they had already had by them, as also they indeed did thus remain.

Again, in 1714 February the 26th, the Hottentots brought a Malabar