Gallery - living-language-land



2022   12x12" shadow box

Yii: Tree, wood, medicinal plant

  • Language: Khwedam
  • Region: Northeastern Namibia
We say:
"Yii means trees, wood and medicinal plants. Yii as trees are crucial for finding the way in the bush and are our main food sources, yii as wood is essential for making most of our tools and instruments, and yii is also the name of our medicinal plants.

Until recently, children from an early age accompanied their parents on hunting and collecting parties in the bush. During these trips, they were taught to observe and remember the trees in order to be able to find their way back home.

Yii is also the wood from which we make our tools, such as the handle of the axes and hoes, the clapping wood instruments, the mortars and pestles; we also build our houses with yii.

Medicinal plants are also yii and because of that we call our healers yii khoe ‘yii people’ or yii kx’ao ‘powerful yii people’."

With this design I placed Yii, the Tree, front and centre. She brings nourishment up from the soil. She is the compass. She provides shelter with her shade and her wood. She offers medicine. Yii is the Tree of Life for her people.

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