The name STRANDLOPER is an Afrikaans word meaning "beach walker". It is a term for San-derived people who lived by hunting and gathering along the sea shores of Southern Africa from prehistoric times until the second millennium AD. The term has been extended to refer to present day beach combers.
While we were on holiday in the eastern cape we came across many middens. One of them was particularly old and high. It formed a bank covered with grass but a landslide had ripped the bank open to reveal layer upon layer of shells at eye level. I did a little research and came across this post about Strandloper middens.
"... these piles of shells are often thousands of years old, and represent the last signs left by the Strandloper people, who belonged to the larger communities of either San or the Khoikhoi.... "
"The women would find some place in the dunes that was protected from the wind, and transform it into the family kitchen. They would shuck the shells and often prepare the food here as well. Pottery shards found at the midden sites indicate items of Stone Age crockery." - Chris Marais
After our holiday I was inspired to carve a Strandloper to remind me of the blissful days spent gathering pebbles and driftwood on wild beaches.