Medicinal Animal Use ( Zootherapy ) amongst
KhoeSan of Namibia, South Africa and

D = Damara  
                          Nos. 1-108 recorded 2001
N = Nama                                Nos. 2109 - 2248 recorded  2006-2008
H = Hai//om
J = Ju/'hoansi
Khwe dam = Khwe dam
!K = !Kung (!Xu)
!Ko = !Ko (!Xo)
≠Kh = Khomani
Nh = Nharo

(H Schatz) = record supplemented by work of Ilsa Schatz, pers. com, 2001

For the context and interpretation of this list see page
Part Used
Uses and preparation
Egg yolk
(D40) Children’s sickness (/gôaron //os)
Rub on anterior fontanel, palm of hand, feet and chest
(D43) Insert finger into live hen anus for black, painful
finger nail (nail fungus?)
(H15)  insert finger for ≠gam-amhunab /gor/han (nail pain,
swelling, pus)
(D4) Rub onto garas, large circles with small sores on the
(N/D36) from white chicken, plus bat eared fox kidney,
jackal (/gire) liver, to “clean” stomach of child (follow with
marijuana if possible)
Dung and skin
(D 18) Smear on dung and cover a person with skin, steam
in a pit – any serious sickness
(D2) Wash for red eyes (D5, 7) also (maybe any urine? D4
human urine)
(D 7, 16 26 N24) Massage; sickness, menstruation
‘cleansing’, turning babies in womb
(J2186) Milk fat with ground ostrich eggshell for child flu or
other illness – rubbed on anterior fontanel
(D17, H51 H57, H68) For sucking out blood
Cut ear blood
(D18) Childrens’ sickness
(D4,18) Rub on head sores
(H68) Dog bite: grind and pore on sores
(D2249) biting a dog’s ear confers the rain /gais (spirit /
wind ‘≠oab’)
(H66) Child protection from ‘wind’. Grind and insert into cuts
!arab (aortic
(D2249) eat it to induce a birth stopped by strong feelings !
ho≠nui (eg by person or staring dog)
  Bone (rib)
(D29) for burns: put on fire until yellow and brown then rub
it on
(D/N32) for sores on the thigh: burn, when white, grind and
rub on
(D5) children’s sickness, wrap the person in goat dung and
the skin of the goat to get warm, massage, make cuts over
D4 vertebra, rub in ground kudu skin and ostrich egg-shell
(D7) mixed with blood to wash unlucky people
(D14) for ≠gurub (leg pain), use ostrich thread and
massage the leg with goat dung
(D18) if very sick, any problem, dig a grave like hole,
dampen it, make a fire in it, smear a person in goat (or
cow) dung, wrap them in the goat (cow) skin, put the fire
out, bury them in the hole with their wrapped up head
sticking  out. Take them out when they shout “take me out,
take me out”
(D20) for measles, cook and drink the water, it is bitter,
measles does not like the bitter things
(D2249, D73) chicken pox ( /horos) and children’s illness,
steam bath or rub whole body
(N32) Mixed with cow fat, applied at first menstruation
(Nh15) for a rash, boil, add ghoēē plant (shrub), wash the
child with it
(Nh) healers wash the sick with dung
(H 15) Cook in water and drink for small body sores;
Paralysed leg: tied in three knots and worn as necklace
(also see
(D30) Burn, grind, take out and drink the ‘yellow bits’   in
concoction for chest sickness and tuberculosis
(H59) roast, grind and put on sores
(D16) for whole body sickness or pain; dig a hole, make a
fire in it, put in elephant dung, mopane tree leaves (and
/hûnis ?). The person sits by the side of the hole wrapped
in the goat skin and they inhale the smoke.
Goat cont.
(D14) massage moved intestine; (N 26, 24) Massage;
turning babies in womb
(H56) mix goat fat with tongue and tail hairs of the
mongoose, give to a person to eat if bitten by a snake
(H2243) put in a polish tin with steenbok kidney and tail. If a
mamba (snake) bites you eat the mixture to vomit out the
(D4) for heart problems (people go quiet, want to run away)
apply the still beating heart of a goat to the sick person’s
heart area. Keep going until the heart stops
(D7) for a moved heart (shock or too many memories),
beat the person with the still beating goat heart
(D18) for liver problems: cut out goat liver, cut it open, put
it still warm over the person’s liver, wrap the person in a
blanket. When the liver has cooled take off the blanket,
make cuts, one in each corner of a rectangle around the
umbilicus or under the liver if it is swollen. Rub the top of a
match into the cuts.
(D21) for liver problems tie a goat liver over the sick person’
s liver. Leave it overnight. When they wake up the liver is
very dark and the people say it has taken out the
poisonous things from inside the person’s liver.
Goat cont.
(and astragalus)
(D1,2, 13) for ≠gurub, leg pain, knee with !nu (lumps in
distal hamstring tendons), tie on tendon from hind goat leg
(right for male, left for female) wrapped with ostrich tendon
at ankle, knee and waist. Hang goat metatarsals off threads.
(D16) Black goat – paralysis / stroke neck tendon (of
sternocleidomastod?) make three knots in it and wear as a
necklace – made cuts over C3 and C7 vertebrae and
upper bilateral sternum, put in goat blood taken from the
neck of the goat mixed with urihaeb ( white plant )
(D18) for leg pain: thread goat and ostrich tendon
together, hang on it goat horn and metatarsals from the
female goat, tie around the ankle. Tie just the thread at the
knee or waist
(D4) for menstrual problems make a knotted thread from
the /awa /hub plant, thread on four female goat
metatarsals, wear thread around waist, two bones at the
front and back. Also drink the plant.
(H15) some people tie on goat bones using a black thread
for leg pain
(≠Kh2112 ) use goat foot bones for divination
Goat cont.
Testicles, penis
(D1) for abdominal pain and urinating blood following
sleeping with a menstruating woman: a). mix blood from
each partner with the plant !garib and rub mixture into cuts
made on each person (near the groin?). Treatment called !
gao-!hao. b) take the Buffalo thorn plant ( aore daro !
nomab: male root), drink in water with cooked goat penis
and testicles. Beat the man’s testicles with the goat
(D18) for gonorrhoea: take blood from the inguinal artery
of male goat, mix it with blood from the monitor lizard  
(//nare, !nonab), rub the whole body with it
(D42) for erectile problems cook goat testicles with male
≠arab plant root, give to drink. Take blood from the inguinal
arteries of the goat, make bilateral cuts on the man and rub
in the goat blood
Goat cont.
Belief / blood (see
(D29) for bloody diarrhoea drink the blood of a goat
(D4) if you eat the rainman food of the goat stomach and
the spirits see you they will come into you and the lightning
will strike you; a rainman initiate must drink the blood of a
(D2249) contents of stomach or lungs, heart, stomach,
intestine, kidney in ‘rainman’s’ cooking pot imbues healing
(D5,16) if someone has a dead person’s spirit we say
Utehangahanga . We go to their grave, ask forgiveness,
return, slaughter a goat. Cook the goat blood and make a
vertical stripe on the midline of the abdomen
(D 13,18) drink the blood raw during arus healing dance
(D32) if a girl has her first menstruation in the house pound
the plant /ui !nau mix it with goat dung and cow fat. Rub it
on her in a special hut. Next day wash again with /ui !nau
(H72) old time people slaughtered a goat and made a big
fire to make it rain
(D18) for a woman who wants a baby, massage her (twice
a day for a month), tie a plant ≠ âub around her back (with
six knots - depends on her size). This ‘reim’ stops her
having a miscarriage. Slaughter a pregnant goat, take out
the foetus, give her a “shawl” to wear with the foetus in it.
She carries it on her back and sleeps with it like a baby
(D20)Ground and mixed with jackal liver and ostrich egg-
shell for children’s sicknesses
Hairs and Skin
(N 34) Skin put into cow fat mixed with other medicines,
hairs used to apply the fat during massage
Table 2        Domesticated Animals
© 2009 Chris Hewson Low, All Rights Reserved
Table 1 mammals, birds, snakes, scorpions
Table 1 cont.