Any of several species of termite of the order Isoptera; more commonly, their larvae which resemble rice and are eaten by the San (Bushman) people; Hottentots rice, see Hottentotnoun sense 6 a; rysmier. Also Bushman’s rice.
[1797Earl Macartney inG.M. ThealRec. of Cape Col. (1898) II. 99The proper Bosjesmen..feed upon..ant eggs which they call Rice, & which serve them for a great part of their food.]
1827G. ThompsonTrav. 432There are two species of ants which they chiefly feed upon — one of a black and the other of a white colour. The latter..is, from its appearance, called by the boors ‘Bushman’s rice.’ This rice has an acid, and not very unpleasant taste.
1886G.A. FariniThrough Kalahari Desert 107Kert went into a transport of joy at finding some ‘Bushman’s rice’ — a species of ant, with broad black heads and long fat bodies...Taking a handful of these he poured them into his mouth and chewed them with the greatest gusto.
1896G.M. ThealPortuguese in S. Afr. 12The ordinary food of these people consisted of roots, berries, wild plants, locusts, larvae of ants — now commonly called Bushman rice by European colonists.
1905G.W. StowNative Races of S. Afr. 59The Bushman-rice, as it was termed by the Dutch, or chrysalides of white ants obtained from the ants’ nests, was merely gathered in such quantities as sufficed for daily use.
1913C. PettmanAfricanderisms 99Bushman rice, The larvae of several species of termites are sometimes so called, because in appearance they are not unlike rice grains and were a favourite article of food with the Bushmen.
1948Mrs How inE. RosenthalAfr. Switzerland 206In the old days the..Bushmen..took the white pupae from inside the ant-heaps (known as Bushman Rice) and roasted them on hot stones. Unroasted pupae are said to be excellent for poultry and very fattening.
1955L.G. GreenKaroo 23They feasted on the roasted white ants called ‘Bushman rice’.
1967E. RosenthalEncycl. of Sn Afr. 87Bushman rice, Name applied to the eggs of certain types of termites, for this reason known to the Boers as ‘rysmier’. They closely resemble rice in appearance, and were actually eaten by the Bushmen.
Any of several species of termite of the order Isoptera; more commonly, their larvae which resemble rice and are eaten by the San (Bushman) people; Hottentots rice, see Hottentotnoun6 a; rysmier. Also Bushman’s rice.
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