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. 

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