topic: Koppie /

Map of Koppie Environs

This diagram shows the area around the Koppie of the Ochre (which is the circle at the centre of the drawing). Note the relationship between the Koppie and the Backbone, running up the left hand side. The irregular shapes show the positions of the various seasonal lagoons. Also shown are the positions of neighbouring koppies whose tribes appear in The Standing Dead and The Darkness Under The Trees. Also of note are the various earthworks […]

Plainsman Koppies

A “koppie” is a small volcanic extrusion emerging out of a plain. It is the name given to such structures that occur throughout Southern Africa. The Earthsky is scattered with them. It is in these natural ‘islands’, in the midst of the endless fernland of the plain, that the Plainsmen make their homes. As the location of so much of The Standing Dead, I had to take care in exploring and understanding the topography of […]

Sketch of the Crag

The first diagram shows the Crag (that lies at the heart of the Grove) as it might appear to someone standing in the clearing below the Ancestor House. This was the original conception that I derived from the second diagram. As it came to be used in The Standing Dead and The Darkness Under The Trees, the scale should be perhaps a little larger… but not much. Note the contrast between the modest scale of […]

The Crag

The first diagram shows the Crag—lying at the heart of the Grove—as it might appear to someone standing in the clearing below the Ancestor House. This was my original conception derived from the second diagram. As it came to be used in The Standing Dead, the scale should be perhaps a little larger… but not much. It should also be noted that I decided to move the cistern from where it is shown on the […]

The Grove

The Grove is the collection of cedars, or mother trees, covering the slopes of the hill that rises at the centre of the Koppie. All the koppies of the Plainsmen are built around such a hill, and the grove of the Ochre is typical. The first diagram is a rough sketch showing this mound, surrounded by the Homeditch (only a few of the cedars are shown). At the very summit of the hill, at the heart […]

The Koppie

The first sketch shows, roughly, what you would see if you were standing on the edge of the Outditch. The inner ferngardens lead to the Homeditch, that is like a moat for the hill that rises to the Crag. It is upon this hill that the Grove of mother trees grow, cedars that are sacred to the Plainsmen. Some of these trees are shown. There should be enough to cover the whole hill. The other […]

The Koppie Environs

This diagram shows the area around the Koppie of the Ochre—the circle at the centre of the drawing. Note the relationship between the Koppie and the Backbone that runs up the left hand side. The irregular shapes show the positions of the various seasonal lagoons. Also shown are the positions of neighbouring koppies whose tribes appear in The Standing Dead and The Darkness Under The Trees. Also of note are the various earthworks or camps […]

The Route South

This is the map I used when writing The Standing Dead and The Darkness Under The Trees. It shows some of my earlier notions. For example, the Earthsky was originally called the Undersky; the Upper Reach was originally the City of Hides, and the Koppie was not only much further east than it ended up, but I was also at that time using the Afrikaans spelling, “Kopje”. I have included this map to show the route—the red […]