Gallery - living-language-land



2022   12x12" shadow box with gallery glass

Ixau: to shoot with a magical arrow or go on a magical expedition

  • Language: ǀXam
  • Region: Southern Africa

Says Sylvia Vollenhoven, indigenous South African author, playwright and filmmaker: "The word concept |Xau, unearthed in an ancient dictionary, is a powerful example of what we have lost. The newer languages, inept by comparison, that have come to replace the rich indigenous lexicons do not have a word that comes close in meaning to “shoot with a magical arrow”. 

Tumbling around in the maelstrom of the modern world, in search of what we have lost, we need to find those magical arrows. We need to find the |Xau of now to restore our relationship with the land and the divine within. Only then can we return to valuing the earth once more. Only then will we begin to heal what has been destroyed without and within."

In this piece is the bow, about to release an arrow that may lead to any of a number of magical possibilities.

For the full description, along with pronunciation, map and short video, click HERE.