Travel Theme: Stone – Giving the Finger.

With Ailsa’s Travel Theme currently carved in stone, I was cursing I didn’t notice it when doing the Ginger William post below, featuring Mukurob – the Finger of God.  Too good to miss, though, and there is one picture in my 1975 series which I didn’t post and can put here specially. 

Mukurob full

Mukurob in January 1975. It collapsed in December, 1988,

The Finger Rock was rude to point
Straight up at Heaven’s bowl –
With Nature’s nose put out of joint,
She made it rock – and roll!

Wiki says:

‘Mukurob consisted mostly of sandstone. The structure was 12 m high and up to 4.5 m wide, and weighed some 450 tons. What made Mukorob so special, however, was its base. Just 3 m long and 1.5 m wide, it was narrower than the mass of rock which it supported.

‘Mukurob was once part of the Weissrand Plateau before 50,000 years of erosion slowly isolated the structure from the rest of the plateau.

‘Mukurob was known to the Nama people for generations and inspired many tales and legends; the following legend explains the structure’s name and was told in many versions: “The Herero people had been at odds with the Nama people since time immemorial. One day a large group of Herero and their well-fed cattle came from the grazing areas in central Namibia to the Nama region in the arid south. “Look here, how rich we are, with our nice fat cattle”, they boasted. “And what have you got? Nothing but rocks!” they mocked. The quick-witted Nama, however, replied: “We have this very special rock. You may own as many heads of cattle as you want – we are the lords of the country as long as this rock stands here.” This annoyed the Herero and they decided to topple the rock. They tied many thongs into a long rope, wound it around the rock and hitched up their cattle. But hard as they tried, they were not able to topple the rock. “Mû kho ro!” the Nama shouted – “There you see”!

Mukurob photo from Wiki

Wiki picture of Mukurob with less sandstormy skies.

‘Nama oral tradition also related that the power of the “white man” would end when this geological structure collapsed.  South Africa finally relinquished control of (then) South West Africa a few weeks later when South Africa, Angola and Cuba signed the “New York Treaty” (or “Tripartite Agreement”) at UN Headquarters, which finalised the agreements reached earlier in Geneva. Angola and Cuba also signed a bilateral agreement on the Cuban troop withdrawal from Angola, which paved the way for Security Council Resolution 435 to be implemented on 1 April 1989. On 21 March 1990, Namibia gained independence from South Africa. However, it is not known whether this “legend” was fabricated after Mukurob collapsed or not.’

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About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Challenge, History, Nature, Personal Journal, Photography, Roving, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Travel Theme: Stone – Giving the Finger.

  1. Tokeloshe says:

    Great post.
    I am sorry that when we lived in Swakopmund, we never visited the Finger of God.
    My in laws visited it just before it collapsed, so at least I can date their photos.


  2. bluebee says:

    It makes for a good story, whichever way you look at it.


  3. You must feel privileged to have gotten the pictures before the collapse. Such a shame, but noting is permanent, I suppose…


  4. Fascinating – both the pictures and the legend – the poem…I don’t really understand poetry!!!


  5. suzicate says:

    Cool legend.
    Your ditty is quite witty!


  6. So it collapsed just as the legend said it would? Was that engineered, I wonder?

    What an incredible formation. I would have given anything to see it standing.


  7. adinparadise says:

    Great pics and interesting info, Col. What a great pity that this great tourist attraction is no more. 😦


  8. 68ghia says:

    Hmmm. maybe the idiots did have something to do with the fall after all!!!
    Still, a worthy landmark in it’s day 😉


  9. linda says:

    What an interesting read Col.


  10. That is a very daring stone, Col.


  11. Pingback: The Tower | Through the Time Portal

  12. hahaha love the poem 🙂


  13. nrhatch says:

    Such an interesting formation.


  14. disperser says:

    . . . I’m out scouting for rocks associated with a number of governments, and see if I can work the same magic.

    SAY! . . . maybe that’s what those idiots in Utah were trying to do!


  15. bulldog says:

    A very interesting share Col…


  16. Colline says:

    Interesting to read this legend.


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