Monday, 31 March 2014

Pioneers of Recording Bushman Folklore
John Marshall

Photo Courtesy of Documentary Educational Resources

John Marshall
Image Credits: Documentary Educational Resources
John Marshall was a filmmaker and activist for indigenous peoples. He become well known for his monumental effort over a period of 50 years during which he recorded and documented  the lives of a group of Ju/'hoansi (!Kung  Bushman) living in the Kalahari Desert in Namibia, or what is even today known as Bushmanland. Today the area consist of private farm land and the Nyae Nyae conservancy. His worked started in 1950 and was concluded in 2000. He shot over one million feet of film and video accounting to 767 hours of footage. His work of documenting the lives of the Bushmen begun when the Bushmen still followed their traditional hunting and gathering lifestyle. Soon after dramatic and rapid changes occurred that continued for the ensuing fifty years. Marshall's films and videos documented these changes, along with interviews in which Ju/'hoansi share their thoughts and feelings about the past and their hopes and concerns for the future. Follows the links on the right for more information on the work of John Marshall. His documents and films are kept at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, while some of the films he made is available from Documentary Educational Resources, a company he founded before he passed away in 2005. 

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Bushmen Rock Art
Tsodilo Hills Botswana

Tsodilo Hills

Entrance to Tsodilo Hills

Drawings of a penguin and a whale shown here by Xontae,one of the guides at Tsodilo Hills
Image Credits:
Tsodilo Hills are of great cultural and spiritual significance to the Bushmen. It was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It consists of more than 4500 rock paintings, making it one of the most historically significant art sites in the world.  The hills contain 500 individual sites representing thousands of years of human habitation depicted on the rock faces. Although having great significance to the San communities Tsodilo Hills do not have among them the status of a "shrine". There are also no San communities staying in the immediate vicinity of the Hills. Although very remotely situated, the hills are visited by travelers from all over the world. Basic camping facilities are available as well as local guides. It might take some searching to find them as the site seems to be deserted most of the time.  

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Food from the Veld
Kuru (Corallocarpus bainesii)

Corallocarpus bainesii
Image Credit: Zimbabwe Flora
Image Credit: The Hidden Gifts of Nature by Sigrid Leger
This plant is a perennial climber with a thickened root bulb which mainly grows in soft sandy areas of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It "climbs" up trees and shrubs and, as can be seen from the photo, basically anything that it can attaches itself too. The small oval fruits are striking red with a green base when ripe and helps to identify the plant. Its main use is the thickened root which is dug out and then baked in a fire by putting it into hot ash. The taste is said to be similar to that of a potato. The root bulb can be harvested any time of the year.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Food from the Veld 
Omajova Mushroom - Ejova Termitomyces Schimperi

the tail

Ejova or Omajova Mushrooms
Photo Credits:
The Omajova Mushroom (plural) starts to grow around the base of huge termite mounds just after the start of the rainy season ever year. It is occurs in Omaruru, Okahandja, Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, Tsumkwe, east of Windhoek and in the south-eastern part of the Etosha National Park. It is a species of mushroom that relies for its growth on a symbiotic relationship with termites, in this case Macrotermes michaelseni. It is one reason why it is unlikely to be grown commercially as a food source. It is considered as a delicacy and highly sought after. It can either be fried or cooked. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Roads to the Bushmen
These photos appeared on the blog of Colin and Julie that worked with in Maun Botswana. The photos were taken during a trip they undertook in August 2011. This particular photos were taken on the road between Tsumke in Namibia and Gumare in Botswana. Tsumke is located in o what must be one of the remotest places in Namibia inhabited by people, if not the most remote. From Tsumke the road goes east towards Botswana crossing through the Dobe border post. This must also be one of the remotest border crossing anywhere in Africa. It only sees traffic every few days. Tsumke, Dobe and Mohapa are home to several communities of Bushmen. 

Wooden Sign to Word to Africa Mahopa Church Botswana

Word to Africa Mahopa Church Botswana

Main Road between Tsumke and Doba border post

Namibia border post

Botswana border post

Monday, 24 March 2014

Pioneers of recording Bushmen folklore: Wilhelm Bleek
File:Bleek and Lloyd pictures 008.jpg
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Wilhelm Bleek must certainly be the pioneer in recording the folklore of the Bushmen. But before he could be able to do that he had to intensively study a very complex language, and record it in a way that could make sense to the normal ear. He was ideally suited for this purpose. He gained a doctorate in linguistics at the age of 24, specialized in Hebrew at first and then became one of the world’s foremost experts on African languages. Wilhelm's, his wife and later his daughter, persistent efforts in studying and recording the language of the Bushmen in the then Cape Colony, led to the publication of several historic manuscripts. One of these manuscripts Bleek and Lloyd's Specimens of Bushman Folklore published in 1911, is available online. 
This manuscript is a collection of stories told by Bushmen most probably in their native tong and then translated into English by Bleek and Loyd. We have made a selection of these stories that we we will share in future posts. This manuscript gives a rare insight into the Bushmen's close relationship with nature, its love for poetry and stories. The Bushmen's poetic ability was only discovered once these manuscript become available. The Bushmen also had a reverence for the supernatural and many of the stories are strongly influenced by it.
Human Mammal, Human Hunter - Attenborough - Life of Mammals - BBC

This is remarkable documentary short film made by a renowned film maker about the Bushmen's ability to outrun a wild animal. The film was inspired by Louis Liebenberg the inventor of the CyberTracker, a device that bridged the gap between between the indigenous knowledge of the Bushmen, and modern technology. This film gives a rare glimpse into Bushmen's remarkable ability to track and outrun a wild animal. In this instance a Kudu, one of the most agile and graceful wild animals in Africa. 
Persistence Hunting and the Bushmen
San Hunters Tracking Wildebeest on Nyae Nyae Pan
Photo Credit in this post: Louis Liebenberg 
Persistence hunting was a phrase coined by Louis Liebenberg in his efforts to explain the ability of hunter/gatherers to think scientifically. This might sound a bit weird but given it second thoughts it explains to a large degree the Bushmen's ability to have survived and endured in one of the most harsh environments on earth for thousands of years. His study of, and involvement with the Bushmen over a period of 4 years led to the development of the world renown CyberTracker. You can read more about that in some of the other posts.     
He mentions the following: "Probably over 2 million years old and likely the most ancient form of hunting (before the domestication of dogs and the invention of weapons), persistence hunting is/was done without weapons. This was mainly possible because of the unique human physical ability to outrun an animal to exhaustion. Strange as it sounds humans are the best adapted creatures on earth to run long distances in hot conditions. Because unlike most animals our upright bodies aren’t so close to the hot ground, we sweat to cool down, don’t need to drink as frequently as other animals and our breathing is independent from our stride. But besides endurance running, another important factor contributing to our persistence hunting success was our unique ability for scientific thinking. Humans had to be able to deduce, predict and theorize where the prey might be or run to."

Photo Credit:

"CyberTracker creator Louis Liebenberg, a South African scientist and author, first came up with the idea in 1996 while tracking with a group of Kalahari Bushmen. Liebenberg realized that he could help save the Bushmen’s rapidly disappearing knowledge if he could find a way to help trackers, who could neither read nor write, record their observations. Thus CyberTracker was born". - Conservation Magazine
Since 1996 CyberTracker has evolved into more uses all over the world and has become compatible with more devices. A application was developed that can now be run from an android phone. Remarkable to say  the least. It is not clear what happened to the data recorded by the Bushmen and if it is still in use, and if it still benefits them. If any one perhaps know let us know. 
The CyberTracker story is a remarkable story. In the words of Louis Liebenberg: " The CyberTracker story is captured in the powerful image of Karoha holding the CyberTracker, with his hunting bag slung over his shoulder. The image symbolises the cultural transition from hunter-gatherer to the modern computer age. Persistence hunting may be the most ancient form of hunting, possibly going back two million years, long before the invention of the bow-and-arrow or the domestication of dogs. After two million years, Karoha may well be the last hunter who has been doing the persistence hunt. Yet of all the hunters at Kagcae, Karoha is the most proficient in using the CyberTracker. In Karoha, one individual not only represents one of the most ancient human traditions, but also the future of tracking with computers. Karoha's story represents the most profound cultural leap – a story that gives hope for the future: The ancient art of tracking can be revitalized and developed into a new science to monitor the impact of climate change on biodiversity."

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Food from the veld
African Horned Cucumber, Jelly Melon, Kiwano Cucumis metuliferus 

Photo Credit: Africa Wild
The fruit needs to be carefully handled because of the sharp spines. The fruits occur in very bitter forms, grading to non-bitter forms. The bitter forms are unpalatable and probably poisonous. The taste of the non-bitter forms has been described as flavourless or rather bland pineapple-banana-like or even  sour. The fruit can be eaten like an ordinary cucumber. A jelly can be made from the fruit by boiling it until soft, straining it and boiling the fruit pulp again with a cup of sugar for each cup of water. The fruit can also be cut into cubes and pickled in vinegar. The Bushmen is known to roast the fruit and then strain the flesh. The leaves can be cooked as a vegetable and, or mixed with maize meal. More Info: Plantz Africa
Food from the veld
Springbok Cucumber, Wild Gherkin, Cucumis africanus

Photo Credit: Africa Wild

Photo Credit: 66squarefeet.blogspot

Photo Credit: 66squarefeet.blogspot
Indigenous to Africa and occurs from the woodlands of Angola and Zimbabwe to Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. The fresh young leaves can be eaten as a pot herb or vegetable. Studiess have found  the leaves to be rich  in calcium, iron, nicotinic acid and vitamin C. The fruits have an overall nutrient composition slightly better than that of the cucumber and is used a water source by the Bushmen. The non-bitter fruits of C. africanus can be pickled and preserved. More Info: Plantz Africa
Food from the veld
Tsamma Melon, Wild Watermelon Citrullus lanatus 
Photo Credit: Africa Wild
Native to the Kalahari sand region, including Botswana, Zambia, Western Zimbabwe and South Africa. The tsamma has a crisp, juicy but almost tasteless white flesh. It consists of more than 90% water and is rich in Vitamin C and some trace elements. When eaten a hole is cut in one end of the fruit and the middle portion eaten. The remaining pulp is then mashed with a stick until watery and then consumed. The fruit minus the rind, is cut into slices for drying in the sun, or for mixing with meat, which is then stewed. Roasting the entire fruit under a bed of hot coals in the sand is also possible.
Food from the Veld
(Bitter Appel (Afr), Small Thorny Cucumber, Gifappel (Afr), Wilde Komkommer (Afr) - Cucumis myriocarpus

Leaves are edible and eaten as a spinach or relish after boiling. The fruits are poisonous. Source: EcoPort
Food from the veld

Representatives of 3 genera of cucurbits fruiting together after an exceptionally good rainfall year in the Kalahari desert. The fruits of all 3 of these arid-adapted species store large quantities of water and are utilized extensively by many desert animals, as well as local indigenous people. Here from the Mier Rural AreaNorthern Cape.
Source: EcoPort Picture Databank

In this book, the author processes the detailed descriptions of a land rights dispute in Botswana in such a way that its instructive relevance for fundamental questions of intercultural justice becomes obvious. The case of the present book is the High Court of Botswana’s decision of the case Sesana v. the Attorney General in late 2006.
Biblical Clues for the Origins of Indigenous Peoples

This topic requires at least a theological, archaeological and anthropological thesis on the origins of indigenous groups around the world, and is it not as simple as quitting a few Bible verses. Nevertheless the Book of Genesis at least gives us some clues about the diversity and origins of so many distinct people groups around the world. In this blog as time allows us we would like to explore the origins of the Bushmen, and other indigenous groups in view of history recorded in the Bible. Genesis 11 is most probably to best point of departure. 
Genesis 11 (New International Version)
1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward,[a] they found a plain in Shinar[b] and settled there 3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other. 8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babe — because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Genesis 11 as explained by Institute for Creation Research
11:9 all the earth. As the people scattered, each family gradually became a tribal unit, and each had to develop its own distinctive culture as best it could. Each for a time would have to live by hunting and gathering, residing in caves or temporary shelters. The stronger families would occupy the best nearby sites (e.g., the Nile valley), while others would be forced farther away. Although they were all familiar with the arts of agriculture, animal husbandry, ceramics, metallurgy, construction, navigation, etc., each family would require time, population growth, and discovery of sources of metals and building materials. They all had known how to write, but now, with a completely new speech, each tribe would need to invent an entirely new written language, and this would require still more time and ingenuity. Within a few generations, however, all these attributes of “civilization” had surfaced all over the world, even on distant continents. As populations grew, some tribes eventually reached into every part of the world. In some instances they traveled by land bridges (e.g., Bering Strait, Malaysian Strait) which existed for perhaps a millennium during the Ice Age which followed the Flood. In other cases, they established colonies through sea exploration (e.g., the Phoenicians). All carried essentially the same Babylonian culture and religion with them, unfortunately, so that Babylon is called in the New Testament “THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS (that is, “idolatries”) OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:5). At the same time, they also carried a faint remembrance of the true God and His promises, especially remembering the divine judgment of the great Flood in their traditions. Each retained knowledge of God, and could see enough evidence of Him in both the creation and their own natures (Romans 1:20; 2:13-15; John 1:9) so they were inexcusable in their almost universal descent into the religious morass of evolutionary pantheism, astrology, spiritism, polytheism and, finally, atheistic materialism.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Indigenous People of Angola  (Source: International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs)

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Indigenous peoples in Angola

The indigenous San peoples of southern Angola, also known as Bushmen, are the oldest inhabitants of Angola and southern Africa and are mainly located in remote and inaccessible areas. Many (mainly in Kuando and Kubango provinces) still live as hunter-gatherers, staying in rudimentary shelters and moving within their ancestral territories, while others have settled in homesteads where they practise agriculture, surrounded by Bantu neighbours, or live in urban communities. The population of Angola numbers around 15.5 million people and the San are estimated to account for approximately 0.04 percent of that figure. The majority of the San reside in HuĂ­la, Kunene and Kuando Kubango provinces in southern Angola and probably also in Moxico Province in south-western Angola. The exact numbers and location of all San communities is not, however, known.

Situation of indigenous peoples in Angola

The San is a small, vulnerable ethnic minority. In Angola, they live in extreme poverty, often in areas that are not yet cleared of landmines. The illiteracy rate among Angolan San is very high and, due to lack of infrastructure, lack of birth certificates and discrimination, few San children attend schools. The mortality rate of the San is very high due to lack of clinics. Even in areas where there are private clinics, San families do not have money to pay for medication and treatments.

No constitiutional recognition of indigenous peoples in Angola

The new Angolan Constitution that has recently been approved by the National Assembly unfortunately does not foresee a specific policy or law to protect the indigenous peoples of the country.

ILO Convention 107

Angola has ratified ILO Convention 107 concerning the Protection and Integration of Indigenous and other Tribal and Semi-Tribal Populations in Independent Countries. However, there are no specific laws on indigenous peoples’ rights in Angola.

Prayer Requests for the Ju/'hoansi  Bushmen of  North Eastern Namibia and Botswana. (Tsumkwe Area in Namibia and Mohopa in Botswana)
This prayer requests are also applicable to other Bushmen groups as the problems mentioned here are universal. 

* Alcohol misuse is a big problem amongst all age and ethnic groups in the Tsumkwe area. One reason for this is the availability of liquor as the sale of it creates revenue for many people. Pray that people will be delivered from dependency and that negative behavior patterns which result from the abuse of alcohol, will be broken.

* Unemployment is also a big problem. Pray for existing income generating projects to be successful and sustainable and for the Bushmen to utilize these opportunities to their full benefit and well being.  

* TB, Malaria and HIV/Aids is prevalent in the area with  HIV/Aids on the increase. Pray for the effective service delivery to people with HIV/Aids, TB and malaria as well as for the education and prevention programmes which are in place. Pray that the people will grasp the importance of what they learn in these programmes and start implementing the practical hints they receive.  Pray for the sick and dying. Pray for those looking after them, often deep in the bush.

School attendance is poor amongst Bushman children. This results from poor parental guidance and control as well as abuse by children from other ethnic groups. The smaller sized Bushmen are an easy target . Pray that parents will once again take up their responsibilities and that they will discover their role as parents.

* The Bushmen are often victimized by other ethnic groups that “invade” their community and land, without any respect for them. Stock theft also occurs as other groups steal from them. Efforts by Bushman community leaders are often falling on deaf ears. Pray that other ethnic groups will respect the Bushmen, their land and their property and that they will not be seen as outcasts by society. Pray that the Bushmen will have favor with Government and other organizations which render assistance to them.
* The Bushmen are very dependent on handouts and sometimes believe the world owes them something. This prevents them from discovering and developing their own potential and gifts. Pray that a sense of self worth  and pride will be restored and that they will understand that they need to, and that they can, shape their
* Pray for the Christian believers amongst the Ju/'hoansi Bushmen, that they will grow in Christ and be able to withstand the temptations of everyday day life, and their unique culture. Pray that they will be able to discern the perfect will of God for their lives and that they will discern what is wrong and right. Pray that they will become witnesses in their own community.
* Pray for DEGNOS in Grootfontein, a Service and Witness centre of the Dutch Reformed Church in the North Eastern part of Namibia that trains, and works amongst the Ju/’hoansi Bushmen, as well as amongst the other Bushman groups in the North Eastern parts of Namibia.
How to pray for the Bushmen
Their is redemption from spiritual darkness and life in abundance available to them. Pray for the restoration of the Bushmen as the spiritual gatekeepers of the continent. For them, through prayer and intercession, to bring redemption to the people of Africa. For them to discover their identity in Christ Jesus. For the restoration of their pride in their heritage. Pray Ephesians 3v14-19 (New International Version): 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Pray for them to discover that their is indeed a creator of heaven and earth and that He is God, and through His son Jesus their is redemption.

A Naro Bushmen in Botswana listens hears the Bible for the first time in his own language.Photo Credit Zeke du Plessis Wycliffe Bible Translators

The Naro New Testament is the very first Scripture to be translated into a Khoisan language with the help of Wycliffe Bible Translators. With the help of Global Recordings Network an audio recording was also made for distribution since 95 percent of the Naro people don’t read but prefer oral communication.

Launch of the Naro New Testament for the Naro Bushmen in Botswana 

Photo Credit: Zeke du Plessis

"Many hands present the finished book to those gathered at the celebration for the Naro New Testament in Botswana. This image celebrates that the work of Bible translation is done by a community of people, often representing different villages and churches. Each person brings his or her own faith, understanding, and language skills to the group. Far from being the biased opinion of one translator, a finished New Testament like this one is the result of whole communities discussing and agreeing together on the various theological meanings, names, key words, and idioms. This is no quick process. And when the Scriptures are published, that is not the end. A new generation who will grow up in God’s Word will one day want to revise the translation and update the language used. Reading, studying, discussing, understanding, preaching and translating God’s Word afresh is the job of each new generation of believers." - Wycliffe Bible Translators

Naro New Testament for the Bushmen of Botswana

Good News Naro: Ts`aokhoe People/Language Movie Trailer

Ancient Beliefs of the Bushmen - Compiled by Jaco De Beer

In The Beginning Part 2

Photo Credits Jaco De Beer
This was their first encounter with the “trickster” god “Kaggen” and they became very respectful of his powers and magic. “Kaggen” liked the looks of these girls and decided to come back when they were bigger. When the first daughter grew up her mother “Gagen” caught some baby tortoises, took the meat and intestines out of the shells and made small holes at the front end of the shells. Once the skin dried in the shell she filled the shells with small pebbles to make a noise when you shake them. These little shells she strung together with a thin strip (or riempie) of baboon skin and made it into a necklace for “Kou” or Mountains, the oldest daughter. The mother hung the necklace around her daughter's neck as a blessing and to make a nice shaking noise when she dances. Always remember to wear this necklace and there will never be a shortage of food where you live. 
Once “Kaun” the second daughter (called Plains in English) grew up, the mother took small calabashes (seed pods of a creeper) and emptied them out. Once they were dry she filled them with hard shelled seeds and strung them together with a piece of bark from the acacia tree. This served as a beautiful decoration and made a rhythmic shaking sound when Plains used to dance. The necklace came with a blessing that as long as she wore this there would always be plenty of food in the veld where she lived.

When “Khwa” the youngest daughter, also called Waters was old enough the mother took three pairs of springbok ears and cut the hairy skin off it. She stitched the inner cartilage of the ears into pods with the sinieue of a springbok and left it to dry. She then took some of the hard bony pieces that can be found in the eyes of a springbok and filled the ears with it. The mother strung the ears together with a string made from springbok skin and hung it around “Khwa's” neck. She received a similar blessing and the same caution never to remove the necklace or she will have a shortage of food for her family. 
When “Kaggen” saw the three young women dance and heard the lovely rhythm from their necklaces, he changed three of his sons into three strong young men and brought them to the women. They watched with big curious eyes while the girls were dancing and started to clap their hands with the rhythm of the necklaces. With their dancing and their eyes they each got the attention of the young man she fancied. The strong young men fell in love with the beautiful young maidens and asked to marry them. It was a joyous occasion with lots of food and dancing. Old “Ga” and his wife were very proud of their three daughters and very happy with the three young men that joined their family.

Each couple made their own hut to stay in and they lived very happily because there was lots of water and plenty of food just as their mother promised them. The family lived in love and harmony every day of their lives. With plenty of water and lots of food they had enough time for dancing and celebration. They were truly living in a “Bushmen utopia” - as long as the daughters kept their necklaces around their necks!

Was this wonderful lazy life of abundance too good to last?

Ancient Beliefs of the Bushmen - Compiled by Jaco De Beer

In The Beginning Part 1
Busy Canvas
Photo Credit Coenraad Buys

The Bushmen believe that in the beginning there was only a shadowy darkness all over the world. The sun, moon and stars didn't even exist. Therefore it was night or what they call “Ga” all the time. The darkness they called “Gagen” and it was present all over. But Night (Ga) and Darkness (Gagen) existed as “ou volk” or beings from the ancient times. Nobody knows how old they are and where they came from. What we do know is that old Night and his wife Darkness live in a cave deep in the Ghost Mountains of the Kalahari Desert. They never had a son, only three daughters. They lived their quiet life deep in the stone cave while the whole world was covered in cold and darkness. 
The three daughters were called Mountains, Plains and Waters. These daughters loved to dance and their parents enjoyed watching them. Often people from far away would come and visit them just to watch the girls dance. Their trickster god was called Kaggen and he existed in the form of a insect, the praying mantis. This insect has a round tummy with long stick-like limbs and it likes to hold its thick front limbs together like “hands” in prayer. One day the praying mantis was sitting on a bush watching the girls dance. He wanted to get a better look at them and changed himself into an antelope the size of a Gemsbok (Kalahari Oryx). He walked closer and watched the girls with curious eyes. 
“Ga” saw the buck and crawled behind a bush with his bow and arrows. There he waited until the buck got very close. Kaggen in the form of a buck was watching the girls dance and pretended not to see “Ga”. Old “Ga” was very good with a bow and arrow and at that distance this buck's name was “braaivleis”, which means meat on the fire. The poisoned arrow hit him right in the neck and after a few steps of running away it staggered and then dropped dead in its tracks. 
The whole family gathered around their next meal and proceeded to gut it and cut it into more manageable pieces. The father (Ga) took one of the hind quarters and the skin up on his shoulders and started to carry it home. The mother (Gagen) took up the other hind quarter and the intestines and followed her husband home. The oldest daughter (Mountains) took one of the front quarters and put that on her shoulders. The other daughter (Plains) took the other front quarter and the youngest (Waters) carried the head with the backbone still attached to it. 
Next thing the head starts blinking its eyes and groaned painfully: “Why did you hurt me so badly?” Waters got a fright when the head started talking to her and shouted at the others that the head was talking to her! The others didn't pay any attention to the youngest daughters stories and carried on walking. Again she shouted at her family that the head was coming alive, look it is blinking its eyes and it is talking to me! Again they made it off as her imagination and just kept walking towards their home. The third time she shouted with a lot more urgency in her voice that the head was talking to her and blinking his eyes. When she threatened to throw it down and leave it just there the father stopped and turned around to see what the commotion was all about. 
When they reached the youngest girl they all got a fright when each of the different parts turned towards each other. They quickly put the pieces down and stepped back carefully. Right in front of their eyes the four quarters wriggled towards the head and each one of the quarters attached itself to its correct place on the backbone. The family stood back even further when the intestines slithered back into the buck and attached itself to the animal. They watched in fear as the naked buck got to its knees and crawled back into its own skin. The buck took a final good look at them, shook itself back into shape and ran off into the distance. There it changed back into its insect form and became again the praying mantis, what the Bushmen call “Kaggen” and the Boers call a “Hottentotsgod”. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

Relocation sites are 'places of death'

The truth is that the 'relocation sites', however, are places of depression and prostitution where AIDS and alcoholism are rife. They are referred to as "places of death" by the Bushmen. The truth is that forcibly wrenching people away from their lands, homes, myths, rituals and memories is a fast route to the annihilation of self-worth and the breakdown of an entire society.
Government officials and police set up camp at Ranyane to pressurize residents into relocating.

Photo Credit: Survival International

Kalahari Bushmen unite to end oppression

Representatives of the Basarwa or Bushman peoples of Botswana will make 2014 the year to step up their fight to end structural oppression of their communities

Photo Credit: Survival International

Mandela’s Robben Island comrade denounces persecution of Bushmen

The veteran anti-apartheid activist Michael Dingake has denounced Botswana's persecution of the Bushmen.

The veteran anti-apartheid activist Michael Dingake has denounced Botswana's persecution of the Bushmen. 

Botswana Bushmen: Normal Life is Destroying Us

Bushmen herders in New Xade, Botswana

The Botswana Bushmen have been at odds with the country's government for more than 15 years, embroiled in several legal battles over their right to live inside the game park - and to continue their traditional lifestyle as hunter-gatherers.