Dorothea Bleek

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Dorothea Bleek was the fifth daughter of Dr Wilhelm Bleek, the noted philologist, who, with his sister-in-law, Lucy Lloyd, did an enormous and pioneering job of recording the language and folklore of the /Xam and the !Kung in the late 19th century. Dorothea Bleek continued the work of her father and aunt, recording and documenting the San languages of Southern Africa and publishing books and articles based both on her own work and theirs. Her most important work, published after her death, was A Bushman Dictionary. She undertook many expeditions in the course of her research on the different San groups, their languages and rock art. In 1910 she visited the area near Prieska in the northern Cape, from where some of the San informants interviewed by her father and aunt had originated. Subsequent travels included trips to other parts of the northern Cape, the eastern Transvaal, South West Africa (present Namibia), Bechuanaland (Botswana), Angola and Tanganyika.


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