Where to see the last remains of San culture??

Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:30 AM
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Very interesting discussion about language -- especially the change over time. It mirrors somewhat the change in language used to describe Native Americans. Many tribes now say the collective term for U.S. Native Americans should be "Indians" because the use of a collective term for all tribes is relevant only in US government and legal contexts. The argument is that lumping together all of the disparate cultures is a political construct, and the word "Indians" reflects this in a way that "Native Americans" does not. Those making this argument claim that the term "Native Americans" implies a homogeneity that doesn't exist. After growing up learning that calling Native Americans "Indians" is a slur of sorts, it would be difficult to make this change.

I wonder if the term "Bushmen" has the same jarring tone to some in Southern Africa that the term "Indians" has to U.S. ears. I'd prefer to err on the safe side and use the word mostly commonly used by the average politically sensitive Southern African, even if the most up-to-date scholarship suggests that a return to the older term is more appropriate. What's the consensus of what that word is?
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 09:39 AM
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P.S. I just re-read PB's post and it seems that in the context that I'd be using the word -- in the Kalahari desert camps -- the consensus is that Bushmen is the preferred term, so that's the term I'll use (if my planning works out!) We'll have to ask female Bushmen their opinion of that term, however, to get a complete picture!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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hi aby


that's the place to go as far as i can estimate!
ralph does special safaris WITH the san people!

happy planning!
Old Apr 18th, 2008, 11:54 PM
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The San and there related tribes were all over Southern Africa, not just Botswana. In the area where I live there are still some mixed blood Khoisan.
Here are some interesting links some of which may not be considered politically correct!





Going back to the original question it is not yet extinct, but is largely not allowed to survive.

Old May 6th, 2008, 08:56 AM
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I promised to pull this up and update following my visit to Grassland Bushman lodge.

I will have more when I do a full report (have to finish my Tanzania report first) but the interactive experience at Grassland Bushman is wonderful! A walk is done in the morning that includes many bushmen, there were 14, not including babies when I walked and that includes women and childeren of many ages. Different bushmen would summon you to show and explain plants, spoor, etc. all the while gathering edible items. They then built a fire, men using the traditional sticks method and women using a flint striking method, and cooked the food. In all I think I tried about 10 different foods.

In the afternoon we went to a small traidtional village setting and different cultural games and dances were done. Because of the number of individuals of both sexes and range in ages this was quite different than other bushman experiences that I have seen. Most importantly is the manager/guide of Grassland Bushman (Neeltjie) speaks fluent Naro bushmen and grew up together with most of the bushmen in the area who usually had relatives working on the farm owned by her father, Willie, who happens to speak two different bushman languages fluently. Although many guides conducting bushman activities give the appearance of speaking some bushman this family is quite likely the only guides who are truly speaking fluent bushman and that allows you to ask questions and really know what is going on adding tremendously to the experience. This group approach is important too because the children are learning the traditional knowledge to find the foods, etc. and at least keeping some of the culture alive.

I rode horses with a couple of bushmen and they can arrange for more intense experiences on request. I also drove in what is known as the No Man's land, a large strip of public land between the CKGR and the first farms where I saw a small settlement of bushmen and they are allowed to hunt. They are ranching cattle and goats there but apparently do hunt as well but not in the traditional manner with the bow, apparently that occurs basically nowhere anymore. Rather they ride horseback and spear animals.

I definitely recommend a visit here to learn about and experience time with bushmen.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 05:40 PM
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First to address the term to apply to the people weíre talking about. I lived in Ghanzi, Botswana for 6 months in 1983 while inthe Peace Corps then again for 2 years in 2004-5. I worked a bit with the Díkar Trust and had a number of Bushmen I hunted with, called friends, and shared meat. They call themselves Bushmen or by thier clan names Ė Naro, Makaukau (sp?), etc.

As for a Bushmen experience there are several places that offer a cultural experiences, these include Trailblazers, Dqãe Qare Game Farm which is run by the Díkar Trust and where I filled in as manager on occasion, and Kalahari Sunset Safaris run by Andrea Hardbattle, who is half Bushmen and whose father is immortalized in Van Der Postsí book. My wife and I are working with Kuru (an umbrella group that includes the Díkar Trust) to help develop their tourism efforts at Dqãe Qare and to market their crafts. Google African Excursions or Womenís Work Botswana for more information on this.
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