1885H. Rider HaggardKing Solomon’s Mines 53We went to work to build a ‘scherm’...This is done by cutting a quantity of thorn bushes and laying them in the shape of a circular hedge. Then the space enclosed is smoothed, and dry tambouki grass, if obtainable, is made into a bed in the centre, and a fire or fires lighted.
1905W.H. Tooke inFlint & GilchristScience in S. Afr. 95The home of the Bushman is the shady cover of a kameeldoorn, a rough ‘scherm’ of branches and skins on the lee side of a clump of bush, or a crevice or cave in the cliffs overlooking a stream.
1907W.C. ScullyBy Veldt & Kopje 221A small hut, or ‘scherm,’ constructed of bushes and fragments of skin, stood before us. It was not so much a hut as a kind of movable screen such as the Hottentots use.
1924G. Baumann inBaumann & BrightLost Republic (1940) 103The Chief..received me in his ‘skerm’ in the presence of some of his councillors and one interpreter.
1936L.G. Green inBest of S. Afr. Short Stories (1991) 163Deep in..the Knysna forests you will find a race of white people more isolated than any other human beings in South Africa...Years ago these People of the Forests dressed in skins and lived in skerms with only three walls.
1948A.C. WhiteCall of Bushveld 17Better even than a tent or reed hut, is the humble windbreak, with a bed of grass on mother earth, with only the stars above to light the camp, or skerm.
1961T.V. BulpinWhite Whirlwind 55The three men surrounded their sleeping place with a barricade made of branches cut from thorn trees. Inside this ‘scherm’, as it was called, they made themselves comfortable for the night, with their horses tethered beside them.
1973J. CopeAlley Cat 75Pitjie’s place was not a hut, it was merely a skerm, the rough grass and thorn-bush shelter open on one side and with its back to the wind.
1977F.G. ButlerKaroo Morning 203Vagrant Hottentots and rare Bushmen sheltering behind a ‘scherm’ of ashbush; their flesh the colour of dust, they were desolate, resigned.
b. In the wild: a screen or hide for hunters and game-watchers; a protection from wild animals.
1838J.E. AlexanderExped. into Int.II. 210Three of the party then made a scherm or screen of bushes opposite a pool, where they expected elephants or rhinoceroses to come and drink, and inside the scherm they dug up a hole, the better to conceal themselves.
1885H. Rider HaggardKing Solomon’s Mines 56We seized our rifles, and slipping on our veldtschoons,..ran out of the scherm.
1896H.A. BrydenTales of S. Afr. 159Here there was good water: the camp could be rendered pretty impregnable by the help of a scherm of thorn-bushes.
1914W.C. ScullyLodges in Wilderness 62A few shrubs had to be pulled out of the ground and piled in the form of a low, circular fence enclosing a space about six feet in diameter. This is the ‘scherm’ or screen so often used by those who hunt in the desert. Within it the hunter lies prone, fully concealed from any approaching quarry.
1937J. Stevenson-HamiltonS. Afr. Eden 16The camp was encircled by a dense scherm, or thorn zeriba, as much to keep out dangerous wild animals as hostile human beings.
1939S. CloeteWatch for Dawn 266The lions were a perpetual menace, necessitating the building of strong skerms each night.
1943D. ReitzNo Outspan 70After sunset lion roared about our skerm.
1949C. BullockRina 43At each new camp it was necessary to build scherms for the donkeys, and for myself and the Natives.
1957L.G. GreenBeyond City Lights 201They treated the Hollanders kindly, made a skerm to protect them from wild animals at night, put up a mat hut.
d.obs.A large piece of canvas used as a shelter; see also sail sense 1 b.
1894E. GlanvilleFair Colonist 219All hands were intensely busy fixing the scherm or large canvas sheet drawn from the bottom rim of the outer wheels, up over the tent, and out for a space of twelve feet to two trees.
e.historical.A windbreak behind which cooking-fires were tended and food prepared.
1898W.C. ScullyBetween Sun & Sand 28Susannah came out of the mat-house and superintended the lighting of a fire by the Hottentot maid in the kitchen scherm.
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