milk-sack in historical contexts, also milk sac, a tightly-stitched bag of animal-hide used for the preparation of curdled milk (see maas sense 1); lekuka; also attributive.
1798Lady A. BarnardS. Afr. Century Ago (1925) 212A milk-basket which I looked at with a covetous eye, in which the Kafirs carry their milk — which they weave so close with certain rushes that, after once using, the milk cannot get through.
1824W.J. BurchellTrav.II. 507Made, apparently of some species of rush...The manner in which it is wove together is the same as that which is practiced by the Caffres Proper, in the making of their milk-baskets.
1913C. PettmanAfricanderisms 318Milk basket, Baskets made by the natives from a strong, reedy grass are used to hold milk; so well and closely are they plaited that no liquid can pass through them.
[1795milk-sack: C.R. Hopsontr. ofC.P. Thunberg’s Trav.I. 197The vessel..is the hide of an antelope..which is sewed up close together, and hung up against the wall...In one of these sacks.., new milk is put, which turns sour and coagulates.]
1828W. Shaw Diary. 22 MayAt supper tonight,..we had not less than five different Messes: –Boiled pumpkin, Pumpkin mixed with Indian Corn; Boiled Caffre corn, Meal porridge, and Curded Milk, from the Milk sack.
1835A. SteedmanWanderingsI. 263In that (sc. the hut) of a wealthy Caffer, there is usually a milk-sack made of bullock’s hide, so closely sewn together as to prevent leakage, and capable of containing several gallons.
1844J. BackhouseNarr. of Visit 249A milk-sack of oblong form, made of cow-skin, with the fresh side out, and having the hair carefully removed, was lying at the door of one of the huts.
1860W. ShawStory of my Mission 416The ‘master of the milk-sack,’ umnini wentsuba, is an important functionary,..especially at the kraal of a Chief. He alone fills the sack with the milk, declares when it is ready for use, and pours it out.
1898B. MitfordInduna’s Wife 126Presently the women brought me tywala.., for they might not open the milk-sacks, the heads of the houses being absent.
1902G.M. ThealBeginning of S. Afr. Hist. 72This is the last of the ceremonies, and the guests immediately begin to disperse, each man taking home the milk-sack which he had brought with him.
1913C. PettmanAfricanderisms 318Milk sack,..A bag made of ox or quagga hide in which Amasi..is prepared.
1925D. KiddEssential Kafir 59The hens and eggs should always be bought from the women or children, who, by the way, are not allowed on any account to touch the milk sac.
1985S. Afr. Panorama May 5Nokokwane, a musical bow with milk sac resonators which is extremely rare today.
2. Denoting plants which exude a milky sap when injured:
milk-bush [translation of Afrikaans melkbos, see melkbos], (a)obsolete, the tree Ficus cordata of the Moraceae; melkboom sense a; (b) any of several species of shrub of the genus Euphorbia (family Euphorbiaceae); see also melkbos sense 1 b, and naboom;
milkwood [translation of South African Dutch melkhout, see melkhout], in full milkwood tree, occasionally milk tree (also simply milk): any of several species of tree of the Sapotaceae, (a) frequently with distinguishing epithet, white milkwood: the usually low-growing shrub-like coastal and forest tree Sideroxylon inerme, bearing leathery, dark-green leaves, small creamy flowers, and round, purple-black fruit; jakkalsbessie sense b; melkboom sense b; melkbos sense 3 b; melkhout sense a; (b) frequently with distinguishing epithet, red milkwood: a tree of the species Mimusops caffra, M. obovata or M. zeyheri; see also melkhout sense b, waterboom sense 2; cf. moepel sense a.
1821C.I. LatrobeJrnl of Visit 133The milk-bush (ficus), a tree not unlike a Portugal laurel.
1838J.E. AlexanderExped. into Int.I. 284He said that the poison of euphorbia, or milk bush (boiled till it was black), which he used, took from sun-rise to mid-day to kill the game.
1870R. Ridgill inA.M.L. RobinsonSel. Articles from Cape Monthly Mag. (1978) 32We had a long walk among the poisonous milk-bushes, and a fatiguing scramble among the mountains in the deepening darkness.
1879O.E.A. Schreiner inC. ClaytonWoman’s Rose (1986) 15Before her and behind her stretched the plain, covered with red sand and thorny Karroo bushes; and here and there a milkbush, looking like a bundle of pale green rods tied together.
1883O.E.A. SchreinerStory of Afr. Farm 3The milk-bushes with their long, finger-like leaves..were touched by a weird..beauty as they lay in the white light.
1895Cape Times Christmas No. 45 (caption)Milk bush, from which the Bushmen obtain Poison for their Spears.
1896E. ClairmonteAfricander 52The only green things visible were the milk bushes — an euphorbia of a poisonous nature — that grew like long thin fingers pointing to the cloudless sky.
1911P. GibbonMargaret Harding 61Sometimes there is grass — a little — not much, and milk bushes and prickly pear..but it is hard ground.
1922J. GalsworthyForsyte Saga 697The trickle of river running by in the sands,..the straggling milk-bush of the Karoo beyond.
1958I. VaughanDiary 12We looked at the milk bushes near the brick fields and saw the men on horses bobbing and riding from one side to the great sloot on the other.
c1968S. CandyNatal Coast Gardening 134Euphorbia, ‘Rubberbush’, ‘Milkbush’. All have milky sap, and many are spinous and Cactus-like in growth.
1987T.F.J. Van RensburgIntro. to Fynbos 22A large variety of succulents such as milk bush (Euphorbia mauretanica) and vygies (Mesembryantheaceae) are also present.
1988Smuts & AlbertsForgotten Highway through Ceres & Bokkeveld 26The traveller descends by a gentle incline to the lower-lying Bokkeveld Karoo, and the vijge, the brakbos, the milk bush and the ganna are in summer the only stunted shrubs that welcome him.
1815J. Mackrill Diary. 119Milk Wood is the Sideroxylon inerme.
1951N.L. KingTree-Planting 69Mimusops caffra (Red milkwood), A small tree. Occurs on sand dunes along the coast in eastern Cape down to high water mark.
1953R. CampbellMamba’s Precipice 21There was the red roof of their Beach Cottage, half overshadowed by a giant milk-wood tree.
1961Palmer & PitmanTrees of S. Afr. 141The white milkwood is an evergreen, low-growing tree, sometimes with shady, spreading branches, sometimes many-branched from the base, and forming a rounded mass of compact foliage.
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