Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Dlamini-Zuma tweet over 'dying language' causes a stir

Ouma Katrina, 86, made news this week after Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma wished her a happy birthday (unfortunately a few months later, or early, since it was in February).
However, the tribute to the elder as a custodian of what Dlamini-Zuma called Boesmantaal (Bushman language) quickly got people talking, with some people pointing out that the minister had used an offensive identifier for the /Nuu language.

Lost Tongue Trailer

Lost Tongue Trailer from MYA Productions on Vimeo.

Helena Steenkamp, a San woman from the Kalahari Desert, South Africa embarks on a mission to revive the endangered N/uu language of her people. The cultural and spiritual journey battles time as the number of surviving elders diminish. Now, arriving at a pivotal juncture, the community must step in to support Helena’s mission before the younger generation loses the crux of their identity. For this small group that is determined to keep the N/uu language alive, they must struggle against the apathy of their community and government bureaucracy. As one of their leaders is acknowledged as Queen of the Khomani San, will the dawn of her coronation herald a new chapter in their struggle, and will it be sufficient to ensure that neither their culture nor language is rendered extinct?

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Anthropology and the Bushman


‘The Bushman’ is an image that remains in anthropological consciousness, although transformed through history, especially in recent decades. This book is a social and intellectual history of that image as handed down to anthropology from earlier anthropologists and archaeologists, social theorists and travellers, and Bushmen and Khoekhoe themselves. It is also an exploration of the diversity of that image, for its appearance changes in space as well as time. ‘The Bushman’ in contemporary South Africa can be quite different from ‘the Bushman’ as understood in Japanese or American writings. 

All modern humans originated in northern Botswana, study says.

Study author Vanessa Hayes chats with Headman ǀkun ǀkunta from an extended Ju/'hoansi family. 

(CNN)Africa has long been regarded as the cradle of humankind, but scientists seeking a more specific location have narrowed in on northern Botswana as the "homeland" for all modern humans, according to a new study. There, south of the Greater Zambezi River Basin, which includes northern Botswana and parts of Namibia and Zimbabwe, the ancestors of Homo sapiens began 200,000 years ago, the researchers said. Their new study, published Monday in the journal Nature, suggests that the ancestors of modern humans thrived for 70,000 years in this region before climate change led them to migrate out of Africa and eventually span the globe. Read the full story here

Saturday, 17 August 2019

The San values of conflict prevention and avoidance in Platfontein

The aim of this article is to identify measures that can prevent violent conflict through the maintenance of traditional cultural values that guide conflict avoidance. Moreover, the article focuses on the concepts of conflict prevention and conflict avoidance as applied by the San community of Platfontein. The causes of the inter-communal tensions between the San community members are also examined. A selected conflict situation, that of superstition and witchcraft, is assessed as factors increasing interpersonal conflict in the Platfontein community. This investigation is made to determine if the San preventive measures have an impact in the community, so as to prevent ongoing conflicts from escalating further. - Mollema, N., 2017, ‘The Sanvalues of conflict preventionand avoidance in Platfontein’,The Journal forTransdisciplinary Research inSouthern Africa 13(1), a429.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

The Last Bushmen (San) of Zimbabwe

The Forgotten Khomani San Bushmen - A Revisit

An artist by day, Jacobus van wyk lives in Andriesvale, a Khomani San community near the Botswana boarder. Trough the Restitution of Lands Rights Act of 1994, the Khomani San successfully reclaimed the area they are now living on. But 25-years into democracy, Jacobus feels that his people have been forgotten.