“On the way to Yokohama, the great place of the amaJapana I thought that surely
I would die. At first the ship went well enough but soon it began to slip in the water
and I saw no reason that it should not dive like the large fish, as big as five elephants
that swam beside us squirting water from their backs.  Going on the sea was hard for me,
but I said I will try, others have gone and come back, why should I be selected for a
different fate because I am black?  

After leaving D`urban I lost sight of my homeland and I thought ‘How can this ship find
it’s way without a path?’ Before, behind and on every side was only water.  The white
men laughed at me and said that they saw the way in the sky.  I hoped that this was true
as I could see no such path. I hoped that they were right for I thought - surely these
people will not die joking, for if I die then they must also.  After some time the Captain
predicted that we would see the land of the amaJapana.  The day we saw the land in the
distance and my fears ceased and my body melted into comfort.

As I have already said, the trustees of our great Kingdom had selected our little band to learn the ways of their Sangomas as well as the way of the spear that they had becvome famous for. This was not as easy as it first appeared. During our training, two of our party lost their honour and had to run through their own spears.
The food of the amaJapana was particularly bad and we longed for cooked meat and beer.  They prefer to eat Fish without cooking it. They take a small peice of the fish and wrap it in a little of their Phutu and what looks like an old cabbage leaf but tastes much worse.  They then dip these little cakes of raw fish in a black liquid that tastes like bile. Sometimes they add a little of a green paste which tastes like a bee sting.
For my part I sent the Sangoma Mthethwa’s twaza to go hunting and he came back with
a small antelope which tasted good.   For this he too had run through his spear as the deer
belonged to their Emporer and came from the sacred forest called Yokohama park.

Beer is another thing which they are yet to discover.  They make a hot liquid from a leaf like our insangu, it is green and froths like our Sangoma’s nthelezi. But it has no effect what-so-ever. Of course there are many things that make us think that they may be as wise as we are.  For instance their women, called amaGeisha, serve the hot insangu brew kneeling in the Hlonipa position that our women must assume while serving our daily beer.

One of the Sangomas,  Ntshangase, I think it was, managed to brew a little phutu into a beer that tasted similar to ours and we had a pleasant little gathering with our drums in the sacred forest. Our hosts gave us a clear liquid called iSake which is so powerful that it actually allows one to see the inkanyamba or amaDragan which they speak of and paint on their temples.

The amaJapana communicate with a language and signs that not even the King of England would understand.  For our part we could not understand much and therefore learned little from them.  Their women however, are exceedingly soft and have no need to speak to make themselves understood."




 

The Zulusushi prints in this series are super A3 329mm by 483mm printed on archival paper with epson ultrachrome ink and cost cost R6000.00 each excluding vat and postage, mailed in a tube to anywhere on earth. They are numbered signed and stamped in a series if fifteen. Some are nearly sold out. Copy the pic of your choice and mail info@zulusushi.co.za if you are interested and I will send you more details. On the next page are smaller prints and larger panoramic prints.