Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs

Monday, April 12, 2010

Eve and Mrs Ples in South Africa

Creation: Spring & Easter
You need to take care of the root in order to heal the tree. (Gullah)

A South African Eve and her son seem to have been searching for water when they fell through a hole in a cave just under two million years ago. They remained undisturbed till 2008 when scientists found them. Click here

The years have been kind to the pair, and the bodies are complete rather than in fragments of skull and teeth that may or may not belong to each other. Eve and her son have big noses and strong hands that could have made tools. Scientists say that their long legs and the shape of their hips suggest they walked much the same way we do today. The son even left behind a fragment of his brain.

Mrs Ples is even older than the South African Eve. Her skull is all that was found of her in 1947, though a skeleton found close by may have belonged to her. Scientists say she is more than two million years old, and could be related to the Ethiopian Lucy (Dinkinesh). Her gender is currently a matter of speculation, and some believe she may really be Mr Ples.

In 2004, she voted 95th on the Great South Africans Top 100 list.

Mrs (or Mr) Ples and the South African Eve and her son lived in The Cradle of Mankind, declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. Scientists have traced mankind's first use of fire to this area.

Some current references:

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When the occasion arises, there is a proverb to suit it. (Proverb from Rwanda and Burundi)

Welcome to this space where we can talk about proverbs that we can relate to (or not), and proverbs that make sense to us (or not). Most of all we can discuss how proverbs make us think about life and living. We can also share experiences of proverbs that have provided us with lifelines or just the chance to reflect.

Some of the proverbs here may also be found in "Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs", published by Random House and authored by Askhari Johnson Hodari and me. The foreword is written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

One of the unique features of our book is that we arranged the proverbs according to life cycle, in sections including, Birth, Childhood, Love, Marriage, and Intimacy, Challenge, and Death.

For more proverbs and for information on Lifelines: the Black Book of Proverbs, please visit us at