!Kung - Scholarly Research in Books

Please include 3 annotated citations to scholarly books focused on one of the following topics about the !Kung - Kinship, Economic System, Social and Economic Change, Contact with the West, Myths. All citations should be written in American Anthropologist style and placed alphabetically by author last name.


American Anthropologist cheat sheet



Start your citations here . . .



[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 11-5]



Katz, Richard

1982 Boiling Energy: Community Healing Among the !Kung. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.


-This book discusses the healing practices of the !Kung bushmen.



Lee, Richard B. and Irvin Defore

1976 Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers: studies of the !Kung san and their neighbors. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.


-This book discusses various aspects of the daily life and culture of the !Kung and "their neighbors."



Lee, Richard B.

1984 The Dobe !Kung. New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston.


-This book describes the Dobe !Kung people.





[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 11/13]

Books on !Kung


Howell, Nancy.

1979 Demography of the Dobe !Kung. New York: Academic Press.

This book describes the fertility, mortality, and marriage patterns of the!Kung hunter-gatherers.

Lee, Richard B.

1984 The Dobe !Kung. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

This book describes a people's reactions to the forces of modernization, detailing relatively recent changes to !Kung rituals, beliefs, social structure, marriage and kinship system.

Marshall, Lorna.

1999 Nyae Nyae !Kung Beliefs and Rites. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

This book discusses the rites, ceremonies, religion and folklore along with the social life of the !Kung.


[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 11/14]


Books on the !Kung


1. Shostak, Marjorie

1983 Nisa, the life and words of a !Kung woman. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.


This book provides information on !Kung social life and customs through a biography of a !kung woman. The biography provides a primary source of information, although it may be biased to her opinions and specific beliefs. It was published by the Harvard University Press which is a reputable publisher and has published many other scholarly ethnographic books. This book provides its references as well further ehancing its reputability.


2. Lee, Richard B.

1979 The !Kung San : men, women, and work in a foraging society. Cambridge, [Eng.] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1979.


This book deals with !kung society. Its subject headings include: !Kung, which tells us that a major part of the book is based around the !kung people. After researching the author I discovered that he is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, and is best known for his study of the !Kung. He won an award in 1980 for the publication of this book, and has written others on the !Kung which leads me to believe that it is indeed scholarly. Again, it is published by The University Press which also makes it noteworthy.


[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 10-26-07]


!Kung Book Citations



Lee, Richard B

1984 The Dobe !Kung. New York: CBS Publishing.

*This is an ethnography of the !Kung San people, who Richard Lee lived with for a total of 40 months. It describes every aspect of !Kung culture, from religion and kinship to subsistence and the environment.



Howell, Nancy

1979 Demography of the Dobe !Kung. New York: Academic Press.



*This book discusses the demographic makeup of the !Kung San people, including factors such as infant mortality and life span.

Lee, Richard B, and Irven DeVore, editors

1976 Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers: Studies of the !Kung San and Their Neighbors. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

*This is a collection of articles written by scholars on the !Kung people. It is divided into sections on Ecology and Social Change, Population and Health, Childhood, and Behavior and Belief to give a lot of information about !Kung culture.





[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/26/07]

Kung!—Scholarly Research

Bjerre, Jens

1960 Kalahari. New York: Hill and Wang.

*Kinship- This book is an account of the author’s expedition into the Kalahari with several other Danish scientists/anthropologists. The book goes through different aspects of the Bushmens’ lives, such as religious beliefs, family structure, and basic survival strategies. Although not all of the book is about the Kung!, and might be outdated, I would argue that it is a scholarly source as the information obtained was so long ago that I would suspect that the Kung! had been exposed to much less outside influence then as are now.

Dornan, S.S.

1975 Pygmies and Bushmen of the Kalahari. Cape Town: Struik Ltd.

*Social and Economic System- Similar to the book mentioned above, this book is a firsthand account of the lives of the people of the Kalahari. This one, however, is not written by someone on an expedition of scientific purposes, but by a priest who spent several decades among native peoples in South Africa, Rhodesia, and Botswana. In the introduction, it states that although the author was not a scientist, and did not know much beyond his own personal experiences, the work is still considered very important as it contains observations meticulously recorded of these people that are nearly 100 years old.






[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/1]



Biesele, Megan

1976 Aspects of !Kung Folklore. In Kalahari Hunter-Gatherers: Studies of the !Kung San and Their Neighbors. Richard B. Lee and Irven DeVore, eds. Pp. 302-324. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Abstract: This excerpt gives various information on the religion of the !Kung. This book is scholarly as it is written by a scholar who has published several times ( as found on Google Scholar ). Furthermore, though it is an old book, it was written when the !Kung had not be quite so influenced by modern culture, and thus focuses on traditional !Kung practices and beliefs and therefore still accurate for specific information. Furthermore, the !Kung is not studied as much today because they have been so intensely studied in the past so it is hard to find current information unless it is about modernization. Furthermore, the book is scholarly itself as it includes articles from several scholars.
Lee, Richard Borshay


1984 The Dobe !Kung. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Abstract: This book gives various information on the !Kung including things from traditions, medical practices, marriage, et cetera. This book is scholarly since the author is a scholar who has published many times ( as found on Google Scholar and as found in our own library ). Futhermore, for the books available on the !Kung, this book is in an acceptable time frame (see previous abstract). In addition, the information presented is informational and has little if any bias. Finally the author uses his own research as well as references others.
Howell, Nancy


1979 Demography of the Dobe !Kung. New York: Academic Press.
Abstract: This book gives information on the statistics and general information on the populations of the Dobe !Kung covering things such as population studies, births & deaths, health, furtility, etc. This book is scholarly because the author has published other books and research (as found on Google Scholar). Furthermore, the book is relatively recent and can be used as a comparison to more modern studies to show the change in the !Kung society over time. Furthermore, she includes many outside studies with her own gathered information and cites her sources at the end. Finally, this work seems mostly scientific in nature and seems to have very little if any bias, making it more reliable than a biased source would be.



Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/11


Shostak, Marjorie

1981 Nisa: The life and works of a !Kung woman. New York: Random House


Abstract: This book is a detailed look at the traditional everyday lifestyle of the Kung. It focuses on the activities of one female informant and this ethnographic work goes over ritual, tradition, and the effect of history and change on Kung lifestyle.


Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu 12/13


Lee, Richard B.

1984 The Dobe !Kung. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston


ABSTRACT: This book gives information on the !Kung people of Africa. I would consider it scholarly because it has to do with a case study in cultural anthropology, and thus would have to be some firsthand information of what researchers have found.




Charlie Genao, cg7@geneseo.edu 12/14


Biesele, Megan

1989 Hunters, clients and squatters: the contemporary socioeconomic status of the Botswana Basarwa. In African Study Monographs 9( 3), Kyoto, Kyoto University, Center for African Area Studies, pp. 109-151. eHRAF, http://quod.lib.umich.edu, accessed December 14, 2007.


Annotation: This book appears to be scholarly for the author Megan Biesele

is well known for writing other various work on the Kung!  Here in this

book, it examines the past and present socioeconomic situation of the

Basarwa along with other similar groups from the same region. In addition

to discussing their economic ways, Biesele also touches on their legal,

political and environmental issues that are affecting the Basarwa people.

In all, it’s a good book to use when researching the Kung especially the

Basarwa people


[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/15]


Marshall, Lorna

1976 The !Kung of Nyae Nyae. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.


Abstract: This book looks at !Kung location, orientation, and perspectives. It also talks about their environment, settlement patterns, and methods for obtaining food. It delves into kinship, marriage, society, and more. It is a scholarly book because it contains many tables, multiple maps, a lengthy appendix, an informative index, and acknowledges other known experts on the !Kung. Although Lorna Marshall is not a trained anthropologist, she is able to account for her experiences with the !Kung and backs up her statements with other informational sources.





[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/15]


Ottenberg, Simon

                1960 Cultures and societies of Africa. New York: Random House.


Abstract: This book discusses different cultures and societies in African including the !Kung. It discusses their economy and the significance of folklore, music, and dance. This book has its advantages because it introduces Africa to novice learners of African culture. It describes the African culture as a whole and provides the readers with in depth background information and history.






[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 11/15]


Lee, Richard B.


    1984 The Dobe !Kung. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.


Annotation: This book appears to be a great resource to use when dealing with the !Kung, because it discusses a great deal about these people; from who they are to where they live. Going from here to discussing how they live their life, for instance, about their hunting and foraging ways and eventually talking about their kinship and those who live around them.  As one can see, this is a good book to use for it talks about everything that deals with the Kung people.  Another good reason to use this book is because the author, Richard B. Lee, is well known for his various works done on these people.  He not only is an expert on these people but he has also made numerous trips visiting these people between the years 1963 and 1983.  On top of this all, he is a scholarly person in that he is a professor of anthropology, teaching at the University of Toronto where he has written more well-known books many which deal with the !Kung. -END-


[Dan Lilly, djl5@geneseo.edu 12/15]

!Kung Scholarly Research in Books


Bannister, Anthony, Johnson, Peter and Wannenburgh, Alf

     1999 The Bushmen. London: New Holland Publishers.


Annotation: Though the book deals with many aspects of the !Kung, one section, The Eternal Fire, discusses not only the importance of fire to the !Kung, but also their myth of fire acquisition. Being warm is much preferably to being cold for the !Kung, and so fire is essential not just for cooking but for heat as well. The story of Pisiboro stealing fire from the Ostrich is also fascinating and funny.


(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 12/15)


!Kung Scholarly Research


Lee, Richard

    1984 The Dobe !Kung. New York, New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston


This book takes a detailed look at the lives of the !Kung tribe in Africa. The information provided within the book is scholarly and having to so with an anthropological case study. This study of cultural anthropology has a well written description from first-hand experience, proving that it is a scholarly resource.



[lanh nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 12/17]

!KUNG scholarly book


Lee, Richard

     1984 The Dobe !Kung. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.


This book studies the !Kung San people of the Kalahari Desert. It talks in depth about their harsh and isolated environment, their foraging cultural habits, ecology, hunting techniques, social structure, political structure and religious beliefs. This book is amazing and very informative of the !Kung culture.

It could be scholarly because the author has participated in field studies on the !Kung, he created a reseacrh group who consist of scientists who have done research on the San, is an Anthropology professor and has written many books on the !Kung. This book also include references which makes it credible.




[Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu, 12/17]




Lee, Richard B, and Irven DeVore, editors

1976 Kalahari hunter-gatherers: studies of the !Kung San and their neighbors.  Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.




This book analyzes the practice of hunting and gathering among the !Kung.  The !Kung way of life is important, because contemporary hunter-gatherers give researchers insight on a way of life that has been used by humans throughout a major segment of human history.  The use of hunting and gathering is central to this culture's economy, because the !Kung's subsistence is based on this economy and practice.




[Rebecca Coons, rsc2@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]


Scholarly Research (!Kung) –


Lee, Richard Borshay

1984 The Dobe !Kung. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

* This book is one of the primary books I used for my presentation. Lee examines the daily life of the !Kung people including diet, marriage, kinship, sexuality, traditions, ceremonies, etc. Lee is also one of the more published !Kung scholars, so anything written by him will likely be informative and scholarly.


Howell, Nancy

1979 Demography of the Dobe !Kung. New York: Academic Press.

* This is another of the sources I used for my presentation. Since it was written by a woman rather than a man, it gave perspective between the two primary books I used (see above). Since our presentation was on the role of women in !Kung society, it was interesting to compare Lee with Howell in matters of the women’s roles.





[Adam Saunders, ars11@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]


Marshall, Lorna J.

1999. Nyae Nyae !Kung: Beliefs and Rites. Cambridge, Massachusatts. Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnography Harvard University.


-Annotation- This book focuses on the beliefs and rituals of the !Kung people. Starting with their belief in many Gods and the creation myth it moves into the rites, dances and healing techniques used by the people. There are also rites of passage and subsistence that are clearly outlined with great detail .


Lee, Richard Borshay

1979. The !Kung San: men, women and work in a foraging society. Cambridge, Massachusatts. Cambridge University Press.


-Annotation- Lee’s book is an in depth realization of the !Kung people but the chapter I would like to focus on is 14 in which it outlines the various changes for the !Kung in the 1960’s and 1970’s. These changes range from a mostly farming people to the mixture of herding and farming, major land changes in terms of ownership as well as many other changes in the subsistence strategies of the !kung.


Marshall, Lorna J.

1976. The !Kung of Nyae Nyae. Cambridge, Massachusatts. Harvard University Press.


-Annotation- Another book from Lorna Marchall this one I would like to focus on the features outlining many of their kinship customs. She goes into detail on information on the family and band and how they interact with other families and bands as well as the kin terminology system that the !Kung use. She also goes into great detail about the marriage practices and systems that take place within then bands.




[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]


Jones, J.D. Rheinallt, ed.

1937 Bushmen of the Southern Kalahari.  Johannesburg, South Africa:  The University of the Witwatersrand Press.

Annotation:  J.D. Rheinallt Jones of Witwatersrand University has compiled together the work of researchers from a variety of fields including Anthropology, Phonetics, and Anatomy, among others, in this in depth study done of the Kalahari !Kung.  This work was both commissioned and published by a university press attesting to its validity and reliability.  Though the interpretation of the information may be outdated, the factual research collected in this book is of great value in studying the !Kung.



[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 12/17]


Guenther, Mathias

             1999 Tricksters and Trancers: Bushman Religion and Society. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.


This book explores foraging as an ideology, not just a socio-economic necessity, that underlies Bushman religion and spirituality. It covers Bushman society, value systems, religious beliefs and cosmology, trickster tales, mythology and "story gathering", myth in relation to gender, initiation rites, and missionary implications. It elaborates how !Kung beliefs are characterized by their ambiguity and how their social organization is anti-structural by nature. This book is scholarly because it was published by a University Press, has a very extensive list of references, and its author spent three decades talking intimately with the !Kung people.


[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu,  12/17]

Barnard, Alan

                2007 Anthropology and the Bushman. Oxford: Berg.

                This book is on the anthropological conception of “the bushman” and “the San.”  It also covers how the views of anthropologists on the Bushmen have changed over the years.  The most important and interesting chapter is about the development and advocacy of the Bushmen by anthropologists as well as local organizations.