What pierces us with a loss we should have foreseen. A language fresh in the dawn of time, before civilisation, before colonial trespass.
Aenki Kassie, 71, who was one of only three people who spoke the N/uu language, died in Upington on January 7.
Her son said she died in hospital of chicken pox.
She was part of the Khomani people of the Kalahari desert, whose language became known to researchers in 1998 through a land claim which helped form the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Only a few people are left who can speak the oldest surviving San language of Southern Africa.