Describes the Bushmen of the Kalahari

Essay by gib_letsUniversity, Bachelor'sA, May 2002

download word file, 1 pages 3.5 3 reviews

Downloaded 125 times

The Bushmen of the Kalahari are without a doubt a unique culture of people. Bushmen refer to themselves by the tribe they are associated with instead of the term 'Bushmen.' For many years they upheld a hunter/gatherer status, though they could have advanced economically. There exists a cultural spirit that motivates the Bushmen to maintain their traditional hunter/gatherer ways. The Bushmen are know to divide into different bands, which are usually distantly related. The size of each band is usually a direct correlation to the availability of food. These bands then choose leaders, which are commonly referred to as 'headmen.' The headmen are typically the most skilled hunter of the band, and is known for bringing in the greatest amount of food.

Much to the dismay of many, it is actually the women of the Kalahari that bring in the majority of the food to the band. The women do not assist the men on hunts, however, as there are strict rules of sexuality and expression among the Bushmen.

Feminine fluids are thought to have a negative impact on a hunt. There are usually formal weddings, pre-arranged at birth. Prior to a wedding however, a groom must hunt for the family of the bride as a sort of dowry.

Religion is also a very important aspect of the Bushmen culture. The Bushmen are polytheistic animists. The most important ritualistic aspect of their religion is dance. Young Bushmen males are expected to become Shamins, that is, spiritual healers. The Bushmen rely on post-pardom abstinence as a form of birth control, and therefore the ages of Bushmen children in given families tend to be widely spaced. The culture of the Kalahari Bushmen is very regimented in that there are set ways in which to go about many things. This type of culture...