- Eland -
Eland were not found at all locations; they like red, sandy ground, so they are mainly found at places like ||Axawakab, !Gobaub, ||Nububes, Tsînab, Tu!naris and ||Ai!gâb. They are seldom seen on open plains, preferring open woodlands. They feed on ‡oos (Combretum apiculatum, kudu bush), auib (Spirostachys africana, tamboti), ‡khaiab (Terminalia prunioides, purple-pod terminalia) and other bushes.
Eland, the largest of Africa’s antelope, were revered by the Hai||om, and hunting and slaughtering them involved a special ceremony.
Because the eland hunt was so prestigious, some of the older hunters would not hunt any lesser antelope. Eland meat is very good and the fat, especially from around the chest, is excellent. Indeed, eland were mostly hunted for their fat, which could be stored and used to soften other lean meat or biltong. The fat remains good even when the eland become thin towards the end of the dry season. It was believed that the fat does not affect the human heart in the same way that oryx fat does.
Because eland were not widespread, hunters often had to travel far in order to hunt them. They would wait in a hunting shelter (!goas) close to an open fountain (|aus), or stalk them (||haba). Since a male eland can weigh in excess of 900 kg, compared to about 250 kg for a kudu, for example, the hunters tried to hit it at least twice with poisoned arrows to make sure that it died.