Friday 16 January 2015


Title: Water stories / Waterstories
Editor: Mary Lange
Published: Forthcoming 2015 UNISA Press
Binding: soft cover    
Format: A4, full-colour      
ISBN: 978-1- 86888-787-3
Rights available: World rights

ARROWSA is pleased to share their latest collaborative book project 'Water Stories' published by UNISA Press.  The book focuses on stories about the Water Snake by Upington women, Johanna de Wee, Martha van Rooi, Elizabeth Sixaxa, Maria Malo and Noxolo Girlie Saaiman. The foreword is written by Dr David Morris, McGregor Museum; Background by Mary Lange, Artwork by Betta Steyn, Specialist language by Pedro Dausab.
See attached and UNISA Press online

Please share with anyone who might be interested.

From UNISA Press:


`Water stories is a labour of love by seven South African women, a collection of personal histories, reminiscences and narratives about the Gariep river and the Watersnakes that dwell there. The wellspring of their testimonies lies in age old indigenous beliefs and practices. Traditionally, Khoe-San women associated themselves with the watersnake in order to be 'lucky' and ensure fecundity and good fortune for themselves and their communities.’

About the book   
When Mary Lange asked a group of Upington women: ‘What do you know about the Water Snake?’, this triggered a set of lyrical short stories, in an attempt to capture the myth of the Water snake.  The women’s response to her question formed the basis for the Water Stories, here published with a set of original drawings by regional artist Betta Steyn. Nana de Wee, Maria Malo, Martha van Rooi, Girlie Saaiman and Bessa Sixaxa became narrators – sharing with us their beliefs surrounding the Water Snake. Religion, myth or folklore, these Water Stories provide a glimpse into the beliefs, customs, traditions and everyday realities of these peoples (descendants of, amongst others, the !Xam and Nguni).

The original regional Afrikaans narrations have been supplemented by an English translation as explanation. Subject fields include cultural studies, linguistics, religion, archaeology and anthropology.

(This book offers Afrikaans and English text in one volume)

About the Editor:
Mary Lange chairs the ARROWSA (Art: A Resource for Reconciliation Over the World) NPO. Her research interests include oral narratives, visual anthropology, and theatre in development.  Her contribution to the book includes extracts from her Masters Degree supervised by Prof Ruth Teer-Tomaselli, the Centre for Communication,Media and Society (CCMS), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in 2011. She is presently a Phd Candidate at CCMS, UKZN.

Lange has facilitated the collection and translation from Afrikaans to English of the stories of six women from the Upington environment, all of whom work and live alongside the river and who know its stories. The result is a valuable and enduring contribution to southern African cultural studies, a resource to which educators, researchers and scholars will be able to refer.