Filed under: Goeters
Ek het ‘n tyd gelede ‘n artikel moes skryf oor Volksgeneeskunde binne die Afrikanerkultuur idioom. Ek het bietjie gefokus op boererate en op ‘n paar fassinerende elemente van hierdie gebruik afgekom (en spesiaal vir Johan, ‘n paar grafieke – alhoewel dit hierdie keer nie pastei óf argeologies van aard is nie 🙂 ).
So, hier is ‘n paar dinge wat jy dalk nie van Boererate geweet het nie (so bietjie ge-edit en verkort maar ongelukkig in Engels waarin ek dit moes skryf) :
– Boererate rely heavily on a larger body of so-called Afrikaner “volkswysheid” or “folk knowledge” where it forms part of “volksgeneeskunde”.
– According to Afrikaner “volksgeneeskundiges” illnesses can be attributed to 5 major causes; the wrath of God over sinful behavior, congenital factors, “koue vat”, witchcraft and old age.
– Boererate function on the following principles:
• It does not imply or require a “scientific” diagnosis.
• It does not require an implication of the indications of the substance.
• It relies heavily on experience of – and a universal trust in the efficiency of the substance.
– The use of Boererate originated during the time of the first Colonist in the Cape when farmers and settlers had to survive in pioneering conditions and devise treatments for all kinds of ailments.
– In order to heal the pioneers were willing to try basically anything, from “herbs and spices” and gunpowder to, as they called them “local healers” (e.g. inyanga’s). Through this process “new” boererate originated through a process of “borrowing” and “taking” of existing local knowledge and incorporating it into Afrikaner volkswysheid of medicine.
– Pioneers also observed healing agents at work in their natural surroundings and they would e.g. “test” substances that proved to have healing qualities for animals such as sheep, baboons and even antelope (e.g. springbok will consume Aloe to counter ticks and baboons will eat “Wilde-als” for constipation).
– Most Afrikaner families also had its own “geheime raat” or secret remedy, usually carried over from mother to daughter over many generations and these secret recipes were usually modified to incorporate local and available ingredients and thus the body of knowledge changed to represent the landscape in which the pioneers lived.
– An important attribute of Afrikaner volkskennis and volksgeneeskuns is knowledge of herbs and medicinal plants and a basic understanding of physiological health problems. Some local plants “borrowed” from local healers include “boegoe” (Buchu Barosoma), “ganna” (Lye-bush Salsola) and “koekamakranka” (Gethyllis spiralis).
– The use of herbs even resulted in the invention of medicine rhymes that would have been repeated when the substance was used, especially to draw children’s attention away from the sometimes foul taste of the medicine:
Goed vir die kranke
-In some cases unusual boererate was necessary to treat rare and serious illnesses. The most important of these is the general use of goat-products such as fat and goat manure. For example, goat manure prepared as a tea is an excellent remedy for any stomach disease and a freshly skinned goatskin wrapped around any sore, bruise or cut acts as an excellent healing agent. It is believed that this is because goats and cattle have an affinity for herbs and aromatic scrubs, making any goat / cattle products powerful medicine.
– In later years most families had their own “huis apotheek” which contained a variety of medicines. It consisted out of two compartments; the one held plasters, bandages and ointments and the other had 25 small medicine flasks which contained “witdulsies”, “bruindulsies”, “versterkdruppels”, “Hoffmansdruppels”, “groenamara”, balsam-copiva, balsam-sulphuris, balsam-vitae, red lavender, sweet oil and castor oil. The “kit” was not used according to any prescriptions and using the medicine was sometimes a “trial-and-error” process until success was achieved, e.g.one of the most famous remedies, a mixture of every single substance in the kit called “deurmekaargoed” or “geneesal”, was used to remedy serious illnesses.
– Although ignored by most “volksgeneeskundiges”, animistic beliefs in supernatural beings or organisms entering the body, had their own dedicated set of boererate. In order to heal illnesses caused by this Afrikaners rely on boererate based on, amongst others, expulsion, injection, sorcery, numbers and “snake stones” / “pig stones”. Snake stones and pig stones for example, were used to draw the poison from bites and stings and to relieve the effects of poisoning in the body. These extremely rare stones is said to come from the entrails of hedgehogs or porcupines and were placed on e.g. a snake bite to draw out the poison. It was then “cleansed” in milk to evoke its power.
– Another well known boereraat, which relies on a principle of expulsion, is for toothaches. Here a bunch of rotten apples are burnt and the fumes are blown into the mount of the sufferer. It is believed that these fumes lure small worms in the teeth that cause toothache to come out where after the condition is healed.
– A few examples:
Boereraat for snakebite: Take a razorblade and cut a cross on the bite. Suck the poison from the wound and wash mouth with petrol. Then rub the dried blood of a tortoise in the wound.
Boereraat for hypertension: Place a large piece of anthracite in a fruit flask; fill the bottle with water and use when thirsty. Refill the bottle when empty.
Boereraat for hemorrhoids: When you have finished washing in the morning, dry your hands before your face.
Boereraat for ear ache: Fry a fresh crab and pour a few drops in the aching ear twice a day.
Boereraat for insomnia: Slaughter a large chicken and collect the blood. Wait until the blood is almost dry, and then mix with petrol (it will turn whitish and become sticky). Mix with bone meal and fry in chicken fat. It tastes wonderful and will help anyone to sleep well.
Boereraat for malaria: Fill a bath with wet horse dung and boiling water. Put the person in the bath and completely cover him / her with the mixture for at least 20 minutes. Remove the person from the bath and wrap him / her with many blankets.
Boereraat for freckles: Milk a horse and wash the face with the milk twice daily.
Boereraat for cat bite: If a cat bites you, kill it and wrap the warm skin around the wound so that no harm further befalls you.
Baie interresant. Watter boererate ken julle…?
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