Firelighting Sticks by Komtsa Daqm


2 in stock

SKU: K-Daqm-4299 Category: Tag:


A pair of traditional San Bushman fire-sticks. Made from manketti wood, these hand drill friction fire lighting sticks have been made this way for thousands of years. Manketti is very dry, soft enough to cut easily, yet strong enough not to break. The shorter, thicker stick has a hole whittled into it to receive the drill stick, and a notch cut into the side to let hot ash fall out. The end of the drill stick is rounded to fit snugly. A pinch of sand is placed in the bowl. 

Once in position, the drill stick is rubbed back and forth between the palms of the hand. Two people taking turns greatly speeds the process up, as does saying “Ka, ka, ka, ka!” to call the fire! Once the hot dust falls out onto the dry brush placed beneath, the bundle is picked up and gently blown on to bring the flames to life. With a little practice you can light a fire extremely quickly.


Once the first hole has worn through after many fires, you can cut a second bowl a little further back, and so on. Eventually you will use most of the stick so they will last a long time.

They are decorated in the traditional way by binding strips of Sansevieria leaf around them in a spiral. They are them charred in the fire before removing the protective leaves. Here Sansevieria is kept as a houseplant known as ‘the snake plant’.

These fire-sticks were made by Komtsa Daqm from the Nyae Nyae Conservancy. He is an excellent translator and guide. He is married to N!ae G|aq’o and they have five children together. He was once a kindergarten teacher but Djamta!’ae village does not currently have a school. All the money from this sale goes directly to him, less postage costs, currency exchange and PayPal fees. Price includes shipping by Royal Mail Tracked 48 service in an environmentally friendly padded-paper bag.