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Culna Articles

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The depiction of buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in San rock art is extremely rare throughout southern Africa and as a result its role in San cosmology has not previously been considered in publication. However, the mere appearance of buffalo in San rock art suggests that there must be a motive for its portrayal since animals assume symbolic associations in human thought. San artists depicted animals because they have meaning. An example of this is the eland, which is a multifaceted symbol in San culture as it is associated with girls’ puberty rituals, boys’ first kill ceremonies, marriage rituals, rain-making and the practices of the religious specialist.

Friday 3 July marked the commemoration of one of the key moments in the history of South African rugby. On this day 49 years ago, the South African Rugby Union (SARU), formerly known as the South African Coloured Rugby Football Board (SACRFB), hosted its first final of the South Africa Cup Inter-Provincial rugby competition. Taking the field on this auspicious occasion was the Western Province and Eastern Province. The right to the final was only achieved after a gruelling week-long competition which involved a total of 12 provinces.

Image: Deputy President David Mabuza delivering the eulogy at the special provincial official funeral of Mr Masana Sam Nzima, Lillydale, Mpumalanga Province

No other South African photographer is more closely associated with the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 than Masana Sam Nzima. Sam, who passed away in 2018, became world- famous for the powerful and moving image he took of the dead body of Hector Pieterson being carried by another learner. The house in the small village of Lillydale in Bushbuck Ridge, Limpopo Province, where Sam grew up and had lived at the time of his death, was recently turned into a museum.

Figure 1. Beetle (family: Passalidae) with three different species of mites (indicated by A, B, C) attached. (See Ermilov & Frolov 2019b.)

Mites may be found worldwide in almost any habitat imagined, from arctic tundra to hot deserts, from marine habitats to forests. Collectively, they also eat an extraordinarily wide variety of food.  However, when the habitat becomes too crowded, or the specific food source has run out, they have to disperse to the next optimal space. Sometimes it is as easy as walking to the next spot, but sometimes the next food source is quite a distance away, and being so small and wingless, walking is just impractical.

On Sunday, 14 June 2020, a group of South Africans gathered at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg to add their voices to the global #BlackLivesMatter movement. The gathering, which took the form of a vigil, was not only meant to show solidarity with black people in the USA and their anger at the violent deaths of black people at the hands of police officers, but also to raise awareness of issues that matter to South Africans.