For thousands of years people have looked heaven-ward and questioned their place in the cosmos. The stars, the moon and sun, and the immense dome of the Kalahari were all celestial signs that united people with nature. It is not surprising that the Naro of D’kar call this greatest of nature’s phenomena, “Nqarri Kgei kwe”... the Face of God.
The starlore of Botswana includes stories about stars and constellations, planets, the sun and moon, as well as bodies with apparent motion such as meteors and comets. These accounts are typically expressive rather than physical in understanding, with most descriptions having a metaphorical or narrative idiom. Many have whimsical associations, some have deeper intrinsic meaning in explaining cosmological origins whilst others erve practical purposes such as markers for direction in space and time.
These myths and traditional world-views are common across the cultural spread of Botswana. As well as the Naro’s “Face of God”, in the far northwest Ju/’hoansi explain solar eclipses with the magic of the sneaky lion, and most Batswana will have heard of Ntshune, the “kiss me” star, Pisces, that warns lovers of the pproaching winter dawn and the danger of being discovered by parents!