Animal use table – insects

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



Table 2


Beetles, cockroach, mantis, millipedes, spider


Animal Part Used Uses and Preparation
BeetleJewel beetle( hubida )

Blister beetle

( gubinab)

Body (entire) (D21) for ambea (?) pain “something that grows up the anus of people” [ piles?](D21) as for Jewel beetle
BeetleThe black stinky one ( gamabes ) Body (entire) (N9) for Stuib ( chest pain ), if the chest comes out, make cuts anterior and posterior, bilateral 4/5 rib space (or where the pain is) and rub in kudu skin, ostrich egg-shell and the beetle. Also give the mixture to drink
Beetle(Insect –((D) /hutubis)

((N) !nabas)

((H) !hutubis, /namirob)

Body (entire) (D16) to protect your child from other children, squeeze it on your baby’s head and chest. A child with ‘medicinal cuts’ or the /hutubis can !gau  (make fall over) another child(N33) for children’s sickness add it to the othe child medicines

(H54) if a child without the !hutubis plays with children with it, the top of the head goes soft, the child gets sick, has bloody diarrhoea and will die

(H2219) you can use either the eland or the /namirob in children to protect / make them strong. They are the same. If a child without the cuts plays with one with, a deep space develops in the anterior chest

Beetle( !huxuris ) Body (entire) (H52) in old time when top of a child’s skull goes soft ( anterior fontanel) and the chest goes in they used kudu horn and the !huxuris
Beetle( red ) Belief (H, Schatz) cannot touch the red beetle that comes out after the rain. If you do the rain may stay (?)
Cockroach( //hamda ) Body (entire) (D72) for a sick child squeeze it on top of the chest and on the head ( anterior fontanel ); for women itching (genital?), grind the //hamda with the !gûs and ≠gaes plants leaves. Applied by an old woman. You must not kill the insect you must just tie him in a cloth to die on its own
≠Harare (D) Belief a khaki coloured insect with many legs like a spider, hairy  body about 1.5 inches, sucks the testicles of men
Mantis Belief (J90) same name as the devil //awah(J94) called //Gawa //wa !ah “if the mantis knows you it is why it sits on you”(J2161) called //Gauwa //hooroo, means //Gauwa medicine, nothing special about it

(J2170) called //Gauwa //o’a !ah, nothing special

(H, Schatz) Haiseb is the mantis, like a ghost, very special. If he fell off his bike he said “Haiseb was in the tree over the path and flung me off”

(H2229) called Haiseb, if he sits on the neck of an animal the sticky bits on his limbs cut the animal, that is why they are frightened

(Kh2121) the Hottentot Hot, “it is with the dance”

(J2180) called Charagagga, if you hear a noise at night something evil will happen at that place, they will hear bad news. If there has been one you must throw a coal in the direction it has gone to and say //gawasi dwāh ooh “evil gods go away”

Millipede Body 






(D47 (Himba?) grind a dead one and put it in the eyes for eye sickness(J92) there is something like a snake called Goru , a worm ?? you dry it, grind it, put it on bite and then it takes back all the poison. In the old days the people would use the worm, grind it and keep it by themselves 

(Nh2188) don’t know if poisonous but it wounds you if it comes into contact with you when sleeping

(Nh2198) if it licks you a wound forms that does not get well quickly

(Kh2120) when lots of  the rain worms come out we know big rain is on its way

Spider Body (Kh2120) to make yourself immune to snake and scorpion bites take the head of the yellow snake and the monkey spider and the noba snake and the scorpion then you dry them and you grind them, then you cut yourself in with that. It can’t kill you because it is not one poison but lots of poisons and they argue against each other, so they fight each other



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