Sources returnpage

Bosher, Adrian

Category: Ill or disabled

Adrian Bosher moved to the Transvaal at age 16, and walked out into the African bush with only a penknife and a bag of salt. With incredible courage and persistence he learned the ancient ways of living off the land as the Africans themselves did. Gradually, because he lived and ate as they did, the native population took him to their heart.

He became a well known figure in the bush not only because he adapted to native life but also because he collected and sold the venom of snakes. The Africans named him Rradinoga – father of snakes – in recognition of his power.  Adrian was able to deal with tree snakes, pythons, cobras and black mambas.

But then he did much more than learn their language or sing their songs. He became initiated into the secret traditions of the warriors - of those who walk with the spirits. In doing so he discovered things about African culture and history that are a wonderful unveiling of early human roots, beliefs and spiritual life. He discovered the oldest mine in the world, almost doubling the known existence of modern man. He helped excavate evidence of the first recorded use of personal adornment, demonstrating the early origin of an interest in ceremony and symbolism, and making it necessary to revise the entire Stone Age chronology for Africa.

He explored the symbolism in prehistoric art, recording a number of important sites with cave art and its meaning, showing that many of these retain their message to those who still live in the land. He was involved in work which suggests that one of the earliest known written scripts was used in, and may even have evolved in, Africa.

As such from a purely archaeological point of view the work he did was invaluable and he has contributed much to our understanding of this area and its history.

But Adrian was not just a researcher he was gifted and he also had epilepsy, epilepsy that eventually killed him.  To his African friends he was ‘Lightning Bird’ to his friends he had been blessed by the spirits and marked for a spiritual life.  His African friends initiated him as a ‘shaman’ or ‘witch doctor’ and a ngaka.

His story is magnificently told in Lyall Watson’s Lightning Bird  .

Observations

For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.