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Readings (due October 25)

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 9 months ago
To comment on the following readings, please first indicate your name, e-mail address, and the date of your post. Then, add your comments.

 

Example: [E. Kintz, kintz@geneseo.edu, 8/25]

 

 

IN THE FUTURE COMMENTS - LET'S BEGIN TO THINK LIKE CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS AND USE THE SCHEMATA THAT SCHOLARS APPLY TO THE STUDY OF OTHER CULTURES. PLEASE IDENTIFY YOUR FOCUS FOR YOUR WIKI POST AS:

 

A. ENVIRONMENT

B. KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE

C. ECONOMICS

D. POLITICS

E. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM

F. SOCIAL CHANGE

 

YOU NEED TO HAVE THREE COMMENTS FROM EACH READING USING AND IDENTIFYING THE CATEGORY ABOVE AND YOU MAY USE THE SAME TOPIC MULTIPLE TIMES IF YOU WISH. POSTINGS SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THREE SENTENCES. THIS WIKI IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE YOUR ATTENTION TO THE READINGS LISTED IN YOUR SYLLABUS AND TO ASSIST YOU IN MASTERING INFORMATION ON WORLD CULTURES AND PROVIDING YOU WITH A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.

 

Bushmen of Today

 

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 10-28-07]

Bushmen of Today

1. SOCIAL CHANGE: In 1970, a reserve was created in the Kalahari desert for the !Kung. This caused them to lose 90% of their traditional land and all but one of their water sources. This is a major social change that caused a total cultural change with a serious lack of land and hunting grounds, crucial parts of both survival and culture. Booooo.

2. SOCIAL CHANGE: There was a time before the intervention of governments when the !Kung had to have an intimate knowledge of their environment in order to survive. Now this cultural knowledge is not as valued or even as useful because of the intervention of the outside world.

3. IDEOLOGY: "Where your mother and father are buried is your strength" (page 275) is a quote that sums up the relationship of the !Kung to the land very well. Their connection to the land is the most important part of their lifestyle, and today's governments are infringing upon that lifestyle.

END

 

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 10-30]

 

1.) ENVIRONMENT: In a way reminiscent of the Native Americans, the !Kung's land was "legally" possessed in the 1960's and the !Kung were assigned designated plots of space as their own, called "homelands." These lands were only a small fraction of the territory the !Kung used to inhabit. This brought an end the hunter-gatherer lifestyle that defined the !Kung.

 

2.) ECONOMICS: 97 percent of the Bushmen in Namibia are completely dispossesed, squatting, depending on police or army forces, or working for whites. The lack of control these people have over their own lives is astounding.

 

3.) IDEOLOGY: The romanticization of the bushmen has led them to be portrayed by so many people, from anthropologists, journalists, filmmakers, etc. but they never truly have their own voice. Silenced by narrators and editors, they never get to truly communicate their plight to the outside world.

 

END

 

 

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

Bushmen of Today
Environment/Change: Since the outside world have stepped in, the !Kung have lost a big part of their traditional land.  They no longer use their land as culturally as they used to and this disconnects them from the main aspect that their culture revolves around.
Ideology: The land is the most important aspect of the !Kung life and without it, they will not only lose the base of their life but lose the purpose of their culture as well.  
(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/19)
Bushmen of Today by Megan Biesele
Environment/Politics- The proclamation of the "homelands" for the "Bushmen" of Namibia has proven quite detrimental to their existence. This decision by the South West African government has meant a significant decrease in the vast areas of land that was once used by the "Bushmen". Prior to this proclamation, 40 years ago, the tribes of Namibia had had no restriction on their land usage. This unfortunate "legal dispossession" meant the end of a hunting-gathering society for many Namibian Bushmen. Now, with almost no land to hunt, nearly 33,000 "bushmen" are being forced to find new ways of living; something forced on them by people in power.

END

 

Bushman of Today

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 11/20]

 

Change: Similar to the Australian Aborigines and the Native American Indians, the Bushman of the Kalahari Desert were forced off of their lands. Outsiders forced them to go to schools, attend churches and change religions, work under white owners, and much worse. The Bushmen people's way of life has changed significantly; they are unable to return to their traditional way of living due to the change in the land and their dispersement. How would we feel if we were forced to leave our homes and assimilate to the way of outsiders? It's quite impossible to imagine right? Think of how they felt and are still feeling ot this day.

END

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/2/07]

 

Bushman of Today

 

CHANGE: The Bushmen in the present have gone through many oppressions and sufferings in the past. However, they have fought for their rights against the outsiders. The outsiders have also taken away the Bushmen’s hunting grounds, therefore, taking away their ability to gather and hunt food. Despite the Bushmen’s efforts to change this, not a lot of drastic changes have been made.

 

END

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/2/07

 

Change: I was thinking a great deal about Australian Aborigines and Native American Indians whose land was "legally" possessed. In the 1960s and continuing until today, the exceptional hunter-gatherer lifestyle of the Kung bushmen was altered dramatically by those who wished to "help" them. The children were forced to go to school and change religion, their lands were taken away, and their culture pretty much destroyed. The Bushmen have lost many of their hunting grounds and live today on reservations.

 

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/2]

 

Bushmen of Today

Politics: One thing I had not really put much thought into is how the Bushmen are dealing with the fact that in outside societies there are leaders and a hierarchy of power. “Traditionally, the Bushmen had no leaders, believing that a person who set himself up as better than another was without shame and harmful to group life. Nurturant and undemanding of their children, they promoted tolerance and downplayed ambition” (271). Therefore, the sudden change to hierarchies seems not only wrong to Bushmen, but also allows outsiders to easily exploit the Bushmen. END

 

 

Kaitlyn Northrop krn3@geneseo.edu 12/12

 

Bushmen of Today

 

I think that one of the most interesting things that I noticed when I was reading this article was about the influence that the government and outside sources have had on the native people. With the reserve being created, the !Kung were forced to live in a specific area, thus losing most of their native lands and having to cope with learning new strategies of survival. Before the reserve was created, things were not easy for the bushmen, but they were capabale of dealing with what they had because they were used to it. With the influence of the government, who I am sure thought they were helping matters, the !Kung people had to completely restrart their lives in a new environment and get used to survival all over again.

 

END

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

Bushmen of Today

Politics: The attempt to give Namibia’s Bushmen a homeland has resulted in a drastic amount of land loss for the people. This is particularly hard on them as they are a historically nomadic people. The Department of Nature Conservation also took much of the land used for hunting and instituted game and nature reserves. This political change may seem wonderful for those seeking to save wildlife, but it si taking an important food source away from the Bushmen.

END.

 

[Shamrian Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 12/14]

Megan Biesele: The Bushmen of Today

Change/Environment: This reading reminded me so much of what happened to the Native Americans in our own country with land loss.  Here in this read it mentions how the Bushman used to be people who would hunt large game and gather whatever was useful from their surroundings.  However, living in areas that centered on and supported by resources of n!ore, a Bushman word for “the place to which you belong” or “the place which gives you food and water” eventually ended (Biesele:269).  According to the author, over the past 40 years life drastically changed for the Namibia’s Bushman, where the Odendaal Commission recommended to the south west African government to designated the Bushmanland as homelands for all people classified as “Bushman”(Biesele:269).  The author goes on to say “The process of ‘legal’ dispossession, which predates the decision to establish homelands, signaled the end of the hunter-gatherer way of life for the vast majority of Namibian Bushman” (Biesele:269). Here the higher authority began to expropriate large sections of the traditional hunting lands used for game and nature reserves and this eventually led the innocent Bushman to be driven out from their own lands to make way for other things that were unnecessary.

 In all, it is sad to read things such as this because the Bushman people were their first; using the land for thousands of years and all of a sudden it is all taken away from them.  We must consider the costs of such actions for it might wipe out this group and with it will go its enriched cultures which would be sad if it was to be lost because of human actions.  In addition, one can also see how this relates to the Native Americans, in that they too were forced to move from their land and more into reservations.  -END-

 

[Dan Lilly djl5@geneseo.edu 12/15/07]

Bushmen of Today

 

Environment - I thought it was interesting that the same thing the American government has been doing happens to other indigenous people throughout the world. At first, it seems like declaring an official homeland for a group of people is giving them land, but in the case of indigenous people, its actually the exact opposite. Its simply sequestering them into a smaller piece of land and saying, "Ok, this part actually belongs to you. We will allow you that privelige."

 

[Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu 12/15/07]

 

 

Ideology:  The Bushmen have a history of having a dependency on “people they perceive as stronger” (271).  This might lead one to believe that the Bushmen “need” these other people, but as the text explains their history more thoroughly this dependency is more understandable.  The Bushmen have just been uncompetitive in their tradition.  It can also probably be inferred that although the Bushmen are seen as dependent on these other groups they view these other groups as people who set themselves “up as better than another [and being] without shame and harmful to group life” (271).  The way of thinking and ideology of the Bushmen has historically been noncompetitive with limitless land and no leaders; thus the idea of being ranked based on level of “dependence” is not highly valued within the culture.

-END-

 

{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 12/15}

 

Bushmen of Today

 

SOCIAL CHANGE/ENVIRONMENT:  The Bushmen are suffering from a loss of culture because of government policy and its intervention on their previous autonomy.  The government has stripped them of over half of their land and continues to disregard their cultural significance.  The Bushmen have lost vast amounts of water resources, and their population is suffering as a result.  Since outside forces do not value their culture, they have begun to abandon their traditional ways and are losing the survival tactics they have been known for.  If the government continues to mistreat the Bushmen, their culture will slowly become extinct.

 

~END.

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

 

Bushmen of Today

 

Change—How sad it is that we so often hear the same story of a highly romanticized people where the perception we have of them from images and film does not even come close to matching their actual lives.  The Bushmen of today hardly live the life we think they do, or that they did only several decades ago in Bitter Melons.  What is even sadder is that they have little to no voice in what is happening to them.  Hopefully the governments of Botswana and Namibia will do a better job of providing opportunities for the Bushmen to have more control over their own destiny.

END

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu 12/16/07]

Bushmen of Today

 

Change: It bothers me that "progress" is always defined by Western powers. The entire world seems to be forced to adapt to the Eurocentric system of organization. People of different cultures are being forced to assimilate because their cultures are considered inherently backwards or uncivilized because they do not have military might. It seems like in a few years, every country in the world will be run exactly like the United States. I'm sure there are people applauding right now.

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

Bushmen of Today

Social Change: Like many tribal groups and indigenous people, the Namibian Bushmen have been mistreated by their government.  They were given “homelands” on which they could live which sounds good, but in reality is not since it took away land previously used by the Bushmen to hunt and gather.  Currently 3,000 people have no land to continue their traditional way of life and are forced to join the army or become wage earners. They constantly deal with cattle herders, tourists and hunters destroying their land and natural resources. 

-END-

 

 

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

 

Bushmen of Today – For my presentation, I looked at women and traditions in !Kung society but didn’t focus much on how they live today with globalization as a factor. It’s a terrible thing that so many native cultures are forced off their own lands. In one of my classes with Pacheco we learned that a vast majority of native cultures are completely wiped out or changed within 5 years of outside contact. It makes me sad to think that the culture I spent time researching for my presentation could potentially be gone in a matter of years.

 

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

 

Bushmen of Today

Environment and Social Change-The change being forced upon the !Kung by the government, most specifically through relocations, is not only changing the social structure of the !Kung people, but also altering their environment, thus changing their cultural knowledge, as well as their ability to procure food and water.  This change, though beneficial for the Botswanan government, has caused immense hardship for the !Kung by forcing them into permanent settlements and into poverty.

 

 

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

 

Bushmen of Today

 

ENVIRONMENT: I found it very insightful that the Bushmen understood the environment in which they lived, and believed in treating their natural resources with respect - an "ethic of conservation" (272) that must be extended globally! Tourists and hunters are waiting to enter into Nyae Nyae territory for exploitation, but the Bushmen are adament about the fact that people must not over-use their land and expect to be able to enter into others' and ruin it as well. Bushmen practice moderation in their cattle size to protect against environmental deterioration - this lesson must be applied to environmental and economic policies worldwide!

-END-

 

 Bushmen of Today Charlie Genao cg7@genseo.edu 12/17

 

The Bushmen are a interesting people they have not change for 40,000 years wow. According to the aritcle they pratice one of the most simple hunting and gathering techniques on Earth. But in the 1960s they are starting to be pentrated thourgh globalization and legal land taking. Thier lands are being taken and calling it a nature reserve which is kinda odd because they are part of nature. Now they are force to rely on captialism and work for low paying jobs.

Reality and Non-Reality in San Rock Art

 

 

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 10-28-07]

Reality and Non-Reality

1. IDEOLOGY: Today we have art for art's sake, while the art of "primitive" peoples has certain purposes that we don't really think about anymore--telling the daily activities of life and recounting hunting stories. These things are important for their way of life, and they are not as naive as some Westerners might think (page 208).

2. RELIGION: Some of the things depicted in San rock art are the work of Shamans under trances. It was interesting that other types of hallucinations, not just visual hallucinations, were mentioned as important: auditory, physical, and olfactory altered states also occur (page 209).

3. IDEOLOGY: All of these paintings recreated in the article are really intricate designs, depicting not only the parts of daily life but also deciphering the different shamanistic, hallucinogenic paintings and symbols as well. Cool!

END

 

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 10-29-07]

 

1.) IDEOLOGY: While at first the San rock art was interpreted as "art" (and not as something more functional or primitive like symbols or characters) because of it's "aesthetic sensitivity,"

it was later discovered that these paintings were part of a shamanistic ritual in which a shaman will enter a trance and depict his activites on the rock.

 

2.) IDEOLOGY: Visions and hallucinations experienced by someone who is in a trance will be percieved differently by people from different cultures or different priorities. For example, a person who is hungry and sees a round object may infer it to be an apple, while another person who is horny might see a nice curvy buttcheek.

 

3.) IDEOLOGY: The shamans liken themselves to snakes when they are in their trance states; they "travel far through the earth and emerge at another place." This explains the frequency with which snakes are depicted in San artwork.

 

END

[D

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/19)

 

Reality & Non-Reality in San Rock Art

 

History/Ideology- For a long period, the only method thought to provide a recollection of San history were their paintings. The San were never thought of as having any collection of independent records, making their art the only way of uncovering their past. This emphasis on San paintings was realized to be unnecessary when, in fact, there was found to be a great deal of ethnography. It was interesting to me that those prior to us believed the same as we did about the San, given the same materials. Many similar aspects of the San are borrowed from past interpretations.

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/2/07]

 

IDEALOGY: In Reality and Non-realityin San Rock Art, there is great emphasis behind the meaning of the art rather than the art itself. Instead, there is more stress on the thinking of the people who drew and carved the art, than the beauty of the art itself. It was thought that the art only had aesthetic value and that the artists were naïve. However, after much research, it was discovered that there were geometrical shapes in the art, which showed that the art had a more complex meaning to them. At first, anthropologists thought that there were no evidence of the San people’s daily lives, however, more evidence has been found to show that the art and their lives are interconnected.

END

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/2]

 

Reality and Non-Reality in San Rock Art

 

Ideology: I wonder why San people consider bees as one of the “strong” things that live around them. Is it because they sting, because they make honey, or what? It is also interesting that they would like to trance dance with a swarm of bees. It makes sense since they consider the bees powerful but bees sting and that is not too fun. Wouldn’t the pain of getting stung multiple times during a trance dance snap you back to reality? -END-

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/2

 

Reality and Non-reality in San Rock art

 

This passage got me quite interested in art as a medium for historical reconstruction. I find it quite amazing that in the absence of historical writings and recordings, we can recreate the histories of groups of people just because of the art that we have that we know they conceived of. I think that this is interesting and it gets me thinking, but i think it is unfair to judge art and try to attribute historical reasoning to it. We, as outsiders, cannot possibly comprehend the significance of Native art, and we must not keep trying!

 

[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 12/10]

 

Reality and Non-reality in San Rock Art

 

The San had two different types of rock art, the engravings and the paintings. Both were distinct with large numbers of geometric forms found in the engravings and none in the paintings. It is great that we can take away a lot of information about the San people through their art and the beliefs of their distant descendents, but it is ashame that there is not more information of the painters themselves. It is also interesting how much effort goes into disecting these paintings and engravings to find their meanings.

 

Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu 12/12

 

Reality and Non-reality in San Rock Art

 

I thought that this article was really interesting because it showed how historical perspectives can be recreated based on only the ar that was found. It seems in a way unusual that they can do this, because in most cases there needs to be some type of written record or recollection to be able to recreate history. I think it is really interesting the kinds of things that we can take away from just the simple designs in the art work and thus be able to tell what the people were trying to say. I think that it is important to keep trying to figure out the meanings of this work and to deicpher what is being said in the art work to understand the culture and the people completely.

 

END

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

Reality and Non-Reality in San Rock Art

Spirituality: San Rock Art was originally though of as being made purely as a way to please the artist and their viewers, but it is actually associated with San medicine and shamanistic purposes. Paintings and engravings depict the hallucinations of medicine people and symbols they activated to enter trance. A variation of forms is said to be seen when entering trance and this is actually true for other cultures as well. The experience is compared, in a way, to a migraine.

END.

 

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 12/14]

J.D. Lewis-Williams: Reality & Non-Reality in San Rock Art

Ideology: what is the meaning behind the San Rock art? This question has been pondered by numerous people; some would claim the art work was simply done for decorative purposes and/or just to please themselves and their viewers.  Others, on the other hand, believe those art pieces depict rather scenes from daily life such as scenes from dances or hunts, thus having a greater meaning.  As for myself, I strongly believe such art work can be examined in various ways.  Art like those mentioned in the reading can represent and tell one more about the ancient people, for instance, art can tell the reader/viewer the artist’s way of life in areas such as their religion, kinship, political ways and overall culture.  With this in mind lets consider the hunting scenes, here these scenes might have more depth to them for instance, they might depict how their kinship is set up; having the superior gender hunt and drawn larger than the other gender.  In addition, at the same time these hunting scenes might be just drawn as means to teach others how to hunt.  There are many interpretations when talking about art.  Art is not viewed the same from man to man and thus all possible interpretations must be taken into account in order to understand something more in depth. In all, I liked this reading because I love reading anything that deals with art and art work just because I used to paint myself.  -END-

 

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

 

Symbolism/Ideology - I find it amazing that the images and symbols portrayed in the rock art actually have a biological basis. That neuropsychological experiment, I thought, was fascinating. Trances always blow my mind, because my first instict would be to think that the person was just putting on a show, but this proves undeniably that there's something more to it than that.

 

 {Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 12/15}

 

Reality and Non-Reality in San Rock Art

 

IDEOLOGY:  While San rock art was originally perceived to be only of decorative worth, they have now begun to realize its practical purposes.  The art depicts scenes from traditional ceremonies and records aspects of their daily lives, similar to a journal.  The rock art provides a way for the San to preserve their culture and help their descendants understand the significance of their environment and religion.

~END.

 

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

 

Reality and Non-Reality in San Rock Art

 

Ideology—This reminds me a great deal about a discussion we had in my Anth 105 class regarding the purpose of Paleolithic cave art such as the caves at Lascaux.  One can hardly imagine that such a large amount of artwork could simply be for “art’s sake.”  It is much easier for us to imagine that it had a purpose.   It is somewhat suprising however, that the purpose was more for shamanistic or magic than a more conventional use such as using the art to tell a history or as a teaching tool. 

END

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

 

Reality and Non-Reality in San Rock Art

 

I think we try too hard to find a purpose for things we find. It's become so hard to understand that some things just don't have a practical purpose. I think it's become hard to see the beauty in things for their beauty. Beauty in itself should be a purpose for something, and we should be able to stop there. Art should be appreciated because it's nice to look at. Of course, it reflects the culture in that it shows us what that particular culture finds beautiful, but beyond that, there's nothing left to understand.

 

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]
 
Reality and Non-Reality in San Rock Art
Ideology: Although the art was previously thought to be a mere representation of daily life, further analysis and study let anthropologists to see that is associated with the trances of San shamans. Cross-cultural evidence shows that geometric shapes are common for people who are in a trance. For the shamans, they turned grid shapes into giraffes and U-shapes into honeycombs and bees. This were not random choices, but were connected to the animals they considered powerful. It is clear that the shamans’ minds framed what exactly they saw based on the symbolism of animals associated with San culture. 
-END-
 

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

 

Reality and Non-Reality in San Rock Art – I agree with Dave that reality and non-reality are subjective to one’s personal agenda (nice example Dave)! Depending on your priorities and your cultural background, reality changes, especially with something like art which is generally subjective anyway.

 

[Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

 

 

Ideology:

                I was very surprised to see the correlations between the drawings from the experiment when juxtaposed with the rock art.  I thought the neurological basis of these drawings was interesting because it gives us the idea that some of our symbols and ideology comes out of purely biologically based expression.

 

 

This article reminded me of this study done on the cross-cultural use of ecstasy and music.  The ecstacy users in clubs and raves would do a certain “catepillar”-like dance, when the beat of the techno music reached over 200 beats per minute.  Studies found that in some African tribes the use of a drug similar to ecstacy is coupled rapid percussive beats; when the beat of the drums reaches over 200 beats per minute the users do the exact same dance as the people in the techno clubs.

 

 

I  found it really interesting to see that our brain’s response to certain trances is also seen in art, and that this tribe’s rock art was not done just for art’s sake and had neurological origins.

-END-

 

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

 

 

Reality and Non-Reality in San Rock Art

Ideology-The rock art of the San people, until recently has been thought of as simply art.  It is not until the work is placed in the context of San culture that it could be understood for its religious meaning.  Much of the work was created by the Shamans under trances, and may even be taken out of context unless properly explained by a Shaman, not just a lay person of the San culture. 

 

Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu 12/17/07

 

Just by taking art class I know that people before language and before creating a writing system they used to draw thier ideas and what they done on rocks. So when you see a drawing on a rock think twice before saying it is just scribble. Some of this paintings can very well be dicpitons of thier daily lifes.

 

 

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

 

Type your comments here . . .

 

[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 10/24] ]

 

1. Social change- both the kung and the ethnographers were changed by one another. The kung adopted the idea of christmas from the missionary society and its tradition from the bushmen, while the ethnographers, quickly learned valuable lessons in pride and generosity from the kung.

2. Ideology- It is really interesting that the kung insult every good thing anyone does in order to keep them humble. You could tell that the ethnographer really learned a valuabe lesson becuase he had been really proud of himself and looking forward to showing off the "biggest" ox he could find, and then was faced with the possibility that it was, in fact, useless. This taught him to do things for the sake of kindness and not power.

3. politics- their way of treating others is an effort to prevent arrogance and higer power in any one person over another. They don't want a person who kills something amazing to feel the need to be given special treatment as if he/she were superior to the rest of the people. Giving them humility keeps everyone grounded and in the same social status.

 

END.

 

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 10-25]

 

1.)IDEOLOGY: That's messed up that the anthropologist had a two month supply of canned food but wouldn't give any to the perpetually hunting Natives. I doubt they understood or empathized with his philosophy that giving them food would interfere with the daily life that he was studying. I'm sure they just thought he was a jerk.

 

2.)IDEOLOGY: I love the quote about what the !Kung love to eat the most: "...we always search for the fat ones, the ones dripping with layers of white fat. Fat that turns into a clear thick oil in the cooking pot, fat that slides down your gullet, fills your stomach and gives you a roaring diarrhea." That is so the opposite of the general contemporary American sentiment in so many ways. Except for the diarrhea part. Because we all love a good case of roaring diarrhea here and there.

 

3.)IDEOLOGY: It's interesting that the !Kung insist on constantly belittling themselves and others. Although it is apparently to prevent arrogance in successful hunters in their tribe, and I guess keeps a good balance of power within the men, it sounds kind of immature to me, to be quite honest.

 

End

 

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 10-28-07]

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

1. POLITICS: It is somewhat political, somewhat economical, somewhat ideological, the practice of slaughtering an ox for the !Kung on Christmas by the missionaries, but it seems to have developed into a major part of their culture. I guess this is a bit of social change as well, this new tradition coming in and being taken in by the !Kung.

2. IDEOLOGY: They spent a whole lot of time belittling the ox that the anthropologist chose, and, as it turns out, a lot of time belittling the accomplishments of other members of the tribe, so that everyone remains equal and humble. In terms of participant observation, this seems like a fairly major oversight on the part of the anthropologist, to not know that this was a custom just by being there.

3. IDEOLOGY: I second what Dave said about the fat ones being the most desirable. In an environment so scarce and lean as the Kalahari, something fat is probably a welcome treat and something that does not come very often. Whereas we could use a lot less of it! (page 155).

END

 

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

[Lanh NGuyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 10/28]

1. Environment: !Kung people thrive for fat and lots of it. This is a sure way to keep them full and nourished due to the lack of available food. They get sick after eating something big, like a fat ox, to show that they enjoyed it.

2. Tradition: We are able to see how strongly the !Kung people believe in sharing and equality when it comes to food. When u!au arrived from outside the group, he clearly stated that if there was not enough meat to go around to everyone, there will be fighting, bickering, and complaining among all.

3. Tradition: It’s interesting to read Lee’s experience with the Bushman regarding their tradition of insulting hunters. It makes a lot of sense if we think about it, it helps to keep arrogance and stratification among members of the band from developing. Because they don’t have a political system to control things, they must form their own check and balance system. This is a prime example.

END

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 10/29]

“Eating Christmas in the Kalahari”

Religion/Ideology- How strange to think that the author mentions that the Christmas holiday comes to the !Kung “third hand.” (154) It is also very cool to me that they have adapted their own version of the holiday. Even though they still see it as purely a white man’s holiday in a religious sense, they still celebrate the feast. It holds no religious meaning for them, yet they still like to party. Seems to hold true to the description of them as a very laid back people.

Environment- The Christmas holiday for the !Kung falls right during their rainy season, which makes sense for them to have a large feast as it is the most abundant time of year for them. If the holiday was in September, would they be able to celebrate it?

Economics- Both the Inuit and the Kalahari rely greatly on sparse kills of large game animals. Because of this system, it is improbable that every hunter will frequently score a large kill. I understand their system of belittling the best hunters because it makes sense that the best hunters would otherwise become very haughty. Cultures that rely more on smaller kills or simple gathering may not have this system of sarcasm (157).

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 11/1]

 

“Eating Christmas in the Kalahari”

1. Ideology – The Bushmen have a very interesting way of teaching their friends and family the lesson of arrogance. I completely understand where they are coming from. By not allowing the hunter to brag about their hunt, the hunter’s ego and heart is calmed and humbled. This way, he is able to share his meat with others without bitterness.

2. Ideology – it is interesting to see how the Bushmen value humility and look down upon arrogance. But in a way, you can see why they look down upon arrogance so much. Throughout time, there are countless accounts where arrogance has led to demise and destruction. With arrogance, the Bushmen kinship and nuclear structure can fall.

3. Kinship – The kinship between the Bushmen can be seen and is apparent that it is strong. The fact that the Bushmen go through all the trouble to trick the hunter and Richard Lee, shows how much they care for the hunter and how much they want to teach him. In addition, there is so much generosity between the men, especially with food.

 

END

 

[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 11/7]

 

 

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

 

Social Change: The Kung quickly learned and adapted to the idea of Christmas and respected the ethnographers for believing in such a beautiful religion.

Ideology: I strongly disagreed with the fact that the ethnographers did not share any kind of food with the Kung. The Kung revealed their culture to them and shared every kind of beliefs that they had within their culture but the ethnographers could not share anything that would interest the natives.

Ideology: The Bushmen were not being professional. They treated the Kung like some businessment treating their clients. The Kung deserved so much more than what they did for them and instead of looking down on them for their ignorance, they could have learned something from their culture and values.

 

 

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu 11/16]

 

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

Ideology: Ideology was big in this reading for it taught the readers more about the Kung people in not only painting an image of their way of life but in showing the reader how these people thought, especially when it came down to food. In this reading, one notices how the Kung people, old and young, insulted everything that one did even if it was good; for instance, from ones’ successful hunts (pg. 156) to the author purchasing the biggest black ox there was to feed all on Christmas day (pg.154): everything was criticized. Here we see the author being told by numerous people from the village that the ox he purchased was not good enough but rather too small to feed everybody, going on to the point of scaring the author by telling him that even fights might result because the people would be upset (pg.155). But than towards the end, we see they knew the ox was rather good in that they joked and laughed when the author claimed they were wrong about the ox being to thin to feed everyone. This way of thinking to us, westerns, might be hard to understand at first: we ask ourselves questions the same questions as the author such as “why do these people, despite knowing that something is good they say it’s bad? However, if one goes more depth, such as the author did by talking to the Kung themselves, he or she realizes the reasons behind everything. In all, to me, as I was reading this piece, I felt the Kung criticized everything so everyone remained equal in the village: so no one saw himself above the other just because he got game and shared it with the rest of the villagers (pg. 157). Overall, there is a lot that one can learn from this reading. One thing I noticed was how both the Kung and the ethnographers changed. We see the Kung people adopting a Christian Holiday and we see the ethnographers learning more about the Kung ways and in all how they operate. END

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/19)

 

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

 

Environment - The concept of Christmas is third hand to the !Kung. I found it unique that the "Bushman's" knowledge of the Christian holiday basically means to "praise the birth of white man's god-chief". This, to me, shows a striking similitarity between some of the rituals that the Mbuti and surrounding villagers share. The Africans that live oustide the Ituri forest force their customs upon the native Mbuti. When I first read this article, I immediately thought of this comparison.

Another interesting point, which John previously touched upon, was that the "Bushmen" celebrate Christmas during their rainy (or abundant period) season. Had this celebration fallen on a dry season, it would have made things very difficult.

 

 

[[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 11/24]

 

"Eating Christmas in the Kalahari"

 

IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM: In order to protect against arrogance, the !Kung habitually downplay the contributions that any hunter makes to the tribe. The Bushmen provide for each other every day – joking around with one another levels out any selfish calculations within generosity since it becomes a function of reciprocity. This humbling mechanism serves to minimize individual accomplishment and enhance a sense of codependency and solidarity – a seemingly sustainable egalitarian existence. This system was cleverly acted out for the anthropologist to witness firsthand the vulnerability of having his skills dismissed and his pride compromised - deep down, he wanted to receive accolades for his gift, but the Bushmen taught him that a single offering did not raise any sort of status or level of appreciation.

END

 

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/2]

 

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

Social Practices: It is very different how the !Kung take care of arrogance and pride. According to the !Kung, arrogance makes people treat people like inferiors and make him eventually kill someone. Therefore, they’re belittlement of hunters and their catch, accordingly is used to cool their hearts and make them gentle. It is an interesting concept if you think about it. Even in our society, when someone says something like “that food you just made was awful” to you, and even if you know they are only joking, the comment still stings. -END-

 

[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/3]

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

The anthropologist wouldn’t provide the !Kung with food, share his own food, or interfere with food gathering activities. although he handed out tobacco and medical supplies he wasn’t allowed to give food. Although we’ve learned from other sources that the !Kung are self sufficient and are able to survive in the environment in which they live, the anthropologist states that they “rarely had a day’s supply of food on hand.” Even with seeing this he wasn’t able to share food. I believe it’s more ethically wrong to stand by and watch some one struggle than it is to influence their traditional ways.

END

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/3

 

I think it is interesting that the Kung celebrate their own version of christmas at a similar time. The passage talked about their traditional equivalent of Christmas taking place during what would be the rainy season for the Kung. Maybe the environment dictates when their holidays will occur. The rain that they are getting induces the Kung to feast in honor of the rain. I also like how the Kung have different notions about giving and kindness. The anthropologists in attendance at this Christmas dinner truly learned from the Kung values about reciprocity and human kindness

 

Kaitlyn Northrop krn3@geneseo.edu 12/12

 

"Eating Christmas in the Kalihari"

 

I thought it was really interesting how they tried to teach the anthropologist about the !Kung culture and their ideaology of arrogance and generosity through a type of joke about the black ox that he bought. He was boasting about how he bought a big ox, large enough for everyone to share and have plenty of meat to be full and dance. In the !Kung culture, it is not ok to be arrogant about kills because it tends to make people feel higher up in the group, and it makes them look at the others as servants. I like the way that they all need to be equals in the culture, this way no one gets too involved and thinking that they should just be given what they should actually earn. I think it was also interesting how they thought of the anthropologist as part of the tribe, and thus needed to teach him the lesson about generosity and arrogance.

 

END

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

Ideology: Lee (1969) describes how the Bushmen try to make everyone humble by making jokes that downplay success and tend to sound mean to outsiders. When he bought the ox for Christmas, everyone made it sound worthless and this really upset him. He stayed hurt for a bit even after he realized it was a joke, which show the importance of the impact of cultural differences on everyday life.

END.

 

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu,12/14]

“Eating Christmas in the Kalahari”

Social ties: The social norms and values of the Bushmen are very interesting.  They do not like people who brag about themselves or place themselves above others as a result of their actions.  To make sure no one feels superior to others, men will insult the animals killed by the other men have hunted, or in the anthropologist’s case, the one he bought.  The Bushmen cannot have a man thinking too highly of himself because sharing and reliance on one another is clearly expected and valued.  I agree with Larkin that the anthropologist, after spending a year with the Bushmen, could have not been participating in enough activities or observing the right things since he did not know about the value they place of humbleness.

-END-

 

{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 12/14}

 

"Eating Christmas in the Kalahari"

 

IDEOLOGY:  I found the Bushman's tactic of downplaying their successes similar to that of the Inuit's social interactions.  In "An Eskimo Takes a Bride," the Inuit speak of themselves in very negative terms, just as the Bushmen refer to the game they kill as pathetic and disgusting.  Tamazo's rationalization of why his people act was very enlightening:  they believe it prevents arrogance and thus violence among the tribes.  I suppose this may be true for the Inuit as well; however, I would be interested in hearing what their reasonings are.

~END.

 

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

Ideology - I really enjoyed the part about Lee not liking the "joke." I think we can laugh along with the Bushmen because we've probably heard about insulting the meat in Anth 100. Its interesting to see an outsiders reaction to it when they don't know about it at all. I also really like the term "Christmas ox," and I kind of want one this season.

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu 12/16]

"Eating Christmas in the Kalahari"

 

I loved this story. The way the Bushmen make light of their captures allows them to keep on equal footing with each other, even if one person is obviously a better hunter. It helps quell animosity between members of the tribe, as well as deemphasize competition. I also understood the downplaying of their hunts to be a show for everyone else, and that the hunter himself would pat himself on the back for a job well done. This made me happy because the hunter should feel accomplished for his success.

 

 

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

 

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari – it seems like Lee is the !Kung expert. Most of my presentation research came from his studies. Fat is essential to their diet because of the lack of vegetation. Very similar to the supposed diet of Australopithecines and early Homo species, reliance on fat in the diet allows the !Kung to compensate for times of scarcity and the unavailability of proper nutrition. I found it interesting that the !Kung use Christmas as a time for a large feast since the holiday holds no religious significance to them, rather it is an opportunity to feast and celebrate.

 

 

[Dan McConvey, dpm5@Geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

 

Politics

Lee is initially insulted by the Bushmen’s reaction to the ox that he provides for Christmas.  They say that it is far too thin and that it will never feed all of the people.  Lee is naïve to the fact that they are not being completely sincere with these comments and believes them.  When the butchering of the ox actually occurs, Lee sees that the ox is undoubtedly large enough to feed everyone but even after he insists that it is large enough, he is again refuted.

Lee later speaks with /gaugo about this “joke” that the Bushmen were playing on him.  /gaugo explains that thi is a means to keep people being a braggard.  This serves to keep the people from being hierarchical in their political structure because food is such a necessity that if people were to be praised for their kill they would be given prestige for hunting, which would detract from the egalitarian nature of the tribe.  The humble discourse used about hunted game serves to maintain the egalitarianism within the tribe.  Lee initially thinks that the insults about his kill ruined his Christmas, but if the holiday feast was focused solely on the person who had provided the food it seems that that, would in fact ruin Christmas.

 

-END- 

 

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

 

 

“Eating Christmas in the Kalahari”

Social Change-In “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari,” the !Kung celebrate the Christmas holiday, but not because of the traditional reasons such as to celebrate the birth of Jesus or even to get gifts.  They do not celebrate with Santa Claus or with Christmas trees.  The reason they celebrate the holiday is to because they get food and nourishment from the Christmas Ox.  Here their search for food permits them to adopt new customs instead of sticking to their traditional ways.

 

[Justin Wilmott, jmw23@geneseo.edu 12/17]

“Eating Christmas in the Kalahari”

From “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari, the most amazing and interesting thing I learned about !Kung was the their ideas on equality.  If someone is to do something or find something that is better than everyone else, something that the person could take pride in, the tribe puts him or her down for it in a way to humble him or her and keep everyone equal.  This is idea is so intrinsic because it is the exact opposite of what our culture is promotes.

-END-

 

Short Kwi the Hunter

 

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 10-23-07]

Short Kwi the Hunter

1. IDEOLOGY: The four songs the man plays each have the same sort of story line, being sad and ironic songs about companionship, jealousy, and taboos. Because music is such a major part of !Kung culture, their songs undoubtedly convey all of their stories and traditions.

2. KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE: The play and actions of the young girls seem to be geared toward being beautiful, and thus marriage-worthy. Even from a young age the boys and girls play in this way.

3. KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE: Ungka is considered beautiful and desirable because she can spit like a man. This is interesting because in our culture, a girl who can spit is considered un-ladylike and unattractive.

END

 

[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 10/24]

 

1. kinship and marriage-It is weird to imagine an 8 year old girl being a 30 year old man's wife as well as a 10 year old girl being married and a girl who is 16, being kidnapped, married, and divorced already.

2. change- farmers took people away which broke up families and forced people that may have been too old and weak to do labor. Being exposed to new methods of healing, however, could have been beneficial.

3. kinship and marriage- family and friends seem to be very important in their society. Families and friends stuck together and were always with one another. Children could stay with their mothers if they were young, even if they were married already, and many older sons stayed with their mothers as well. Everyone seems to always be together and were very welcoming to visiters, embracing and kissing as they met. There also seemed to be a genuine concern for the families broken by the farmers.

 

[Dave Roberts, dlr4@geneseo.edu, 10-25]

 

1.) IDEOLOGY: The music of the !Kung is of great interest to me. Clear and shrill sounds do not sound good to them, they like the full, deep acoustic tones of string instruments. Their songs are rhythmically complex, and although they are repetitive in terms of beat and melody, they weave stories of themes and events that ring true to the life of a bushman in the Kalahari.

 

2.) RELIGION: The concept of the oracle discs is interesting; they can be used to predict anything because the thrower would assign a different identity or meaning to them everytime he threw them. I wonder if the fact that he named each disc, and could manipulate the direction and manner in which he threw them, ever really occurred to him. did they take the disc's predictions seriously?

 

3.) IDEOLOGY: It's interesting that the !Kung are not interested in fictional stories, but savor and relish minute details of accounts of true ones. I infer that much like the !Kung's not keeping the passage of time, they don't concern themselves with information they consider to be trivial, frivolous. Much like their lifestyles, their mentality is very bare boned and simple.

 

End

 

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 10/28]

Short Kwi the hunter:

1. KINSHIP: “The band of a young man perhaps 30, who lived with his 12 year old son and his 8 year old wife, whom he was nourishing while waiting for her to grow” jumped out at me immediately because of the age differences among the family members. The son is older than the mother, indicating that the son is from another wife. The wife is ONLY 8 while the husband is around 30. This to me seems like an extreme difference in age, I can’t picture an 8 year old being a subservient wife.

2. TrADITION:We see how important music is to the Kung tribe. They use it to pass time, tell stories, incorporate it in their games, etc. When one man sings, it tends to attract others due to the sound of the music and its beauty.

3. IDEOLOGY:Bushman stories are never made up because they feel there is no need to listen to them. Every story they tell get retold many times with accuracy and the same amount of enthusiasm due to their lack of outside contact.

END

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 10/29]

Short Kwi the Hunter

Kinship/Marriage- It took me several times of re-reading to understand the family structure that was described on page 222. The man about thirty with his twelve year old son and eight year old wife…I thought at first that the wife was the son’s not the man’s. This just seems crazy to us, even if the wife was married to the young boy it would still seem strange to us. Since it says the little girl still spent a lot of time with her mother, I wonder if the marriage is simply a title for the !Kung until the girl is older.

Kinship/Marriage- I was relieved to know that the Bushmen do not simply leave cripples behind (239). I wonder if there are in fact any cultures that truly do such a thing to a kinsman on a regular basis. This is just cruel. Also, I wonder how many deaths from incidents like snakebites could be prevented if the region had a better system of transportation. It mentions driving to Windhoek, which is on the other side of Namibia from the Kalahari.

Politics- I wonder what the author’s purpose was in including the rather lengthy sidetrack about Beautiful Ungka and her cousin. He goes into great detail to describe them, and the reader gets a good idea of both their looks and personalities. I was actually kind of hoping that one of them would marry the lonely man that was the musician or something, but they were never mentioned again in the part that we read.

-END-

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 11/1]

 

Short Kwi the Hunter

1. Marriage and Kinship – It is surprising to see young girls getting married because it is not our usual customs. The difference between our culture is obvious through these stories and examples.

2. Marriage and Kinship – The idea of marrying a young girl is not looked down upon but with awe and respect. On page 227, there is a song that says, “I am tired and old and without people, I wish I could marry a young girl.” This shows how marrying a young girl is not odd at all but something that most men would like to achieve.

3. Ideology – The songs of the Bushmen tell a great story. The songs themselves illustrate their culture and beliefs. The songs of the Kung are deeper and freer. The most common songs that were sung were the main four. And these four were all wistful and sad.

 

END

 

 

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

Short Kiwi the Hunter

Ideology: the songs that were played were really meaningful to the people and their culture. Each song portrayed a different story about their background and values. It showed how much we could learn just from their music alone.

Marriage/Kinship: Like many cultures, I was not surprised when I saw young girls getting married to older men. It is sad that many cultures share similar practices in marriage (young children with elders) but it also portrays what’s important and acceptable in their society.

Change: The interference of the farmers split many families and changed the lives of the people forever. It was definitely a negative change and I wish the !Kung had a voice to fight back.

 

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu, 11/16]

Short Kwi the Hunter

 

KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE: At first I felt this reading was going to be boring in that it started to only talk about the 2 unmarried girls and how they were better than the rest. However, towards the end I thought the reading was overall interesting in that I learned a lot about these people and their ways especially in their kinship and marriage. I was shocked when I read the part where a thirty year old man, with a twelve year old son, had married an eight year old girl (pg.222). To me and most westerners this would be seen as a sicken act; honestly I would not blame the girl for spending more time with her mother rather than her husband. Going on ward, what else I noticed in this reading is how the man is allowed to get married to more than one wife and this is seen in the second song mentioned in the reading about the two jealous co-wives and how the husband tried to make them all happy (pg. 224). This to me is all interesting because I knew practices like these were happening but I didn’t know how much in depth it went with some cultures. Another thing I want to note about the kinship and marriage is the two girls that the author talks about in some depth. What I noticed about them is how they acted towards the people around them. They knew they were better and as they result they acted superior to the others and thus would often times tease the people around them especially the boys. I actually felt bad for the guys because so many of them tried to impress the girls but failed as seen when the one boy cleared the grass for the parents of one of the girls but all the girls did was run away when they heard the music playing (pg 227). In all great reading filled with lots of interesting fact which I must say my favorite was how if a girl spit more like a man she was favored more among all, this is seen again page 227. END

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 11/19)

 

Short Kwi The Hunter

 

Kinship & Marriage - While reading this piece, it was difficult to imagine some of the marriages within their society. In a our, westernized society, it would not be acceptable for an eight year old to marry a thirty year old. It was equally strange to read about a ten year old marrying and a sixteen year old who was kidnapped, married, and then divorced. These are some very strange occurrances to us, from our standpoints. This article gave a wonderful description of their kinship and marriage rituals, which are much different from ours; however, there are certaily similarities.

 

 

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 11/24]

 

"Short Kwi the Hunter"

 

IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM: The guashi is a stringed instrument played by the Bushmen, whose songs are deep and free – mood pieces. One such song was reflective, called “The Stump,” in which a lost man is overjoyed when he believes he sees another Bushman but actually comes upon a tree stump instead. Ironically, the young man who played this guashi instrument naturally played it when feeling lonely; when hearing the music, people (usually men), would gather around, singing softly with him, dreaming within their own harmonies. Instead of actively engaging with these visitors, the player would only perform for his own ears, and after he was finished, they would all retreat, brooding from the music’s lasting mood.

END

 

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/2]

 

Short Kwi the Hunter

Music / Art: Bushmen songs are really hilarious! They compose songs of nearly everything you could think of, even to ridicule jealous co-wives. Of course, they sing of what they know, just as we do. -END-

 

[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/3]

Short Kwi the Hunter

Kinship/Marriage-

Kinship and Marriage seem to be important aspects of this culture. The people live close together both to keep an eye on one another but also to easily visit and socialize with one another. It was surprising to read of an eight year old girl who is already married even though it was obvious she was too young to take care of her family and still spent most of her time with her own mother. Even the music dealt with kinship and marriage issues such as jealous co-wives.

END

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/3

 

Kinship and Marriage in Kung society are very different than our society. For example, their marriage and kinship rituals seem to transcend stereotypical taboos regarding sex, marriage, and age. Eight year olds marrying thirty year olds? This happens in the Kung lifestyle. There was also something else quite interesting about this passage. The Kung music and songs are very interesting and similar to our own. They talk about things that our songs talk about, love, jealousy, and sex. Not so different after all?

 

 

Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 12/12

 

Short Kwi the Hunter

 

One of the most interesting things to read about in this article is music. All of the songs have to do with food, religion, taboos, etc and this is important because not only do the songs provide entertainment, they also have social and educational purposes. The songs bring people together as a group and also help them to know certain things about their environment and ideology that is important to them. This was also indicated in the film Bitter Melons.

 

-END-

 

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

Short Kwi the Hunter

Society: It is surprising to see that a 30 year old would be married to an 8 year old. I reread this part many times and am still unsure whether she was supposed to be the older man’s wife or his son’s future wife. It seems that they would be at such different points in their lives and she would not be old enough to take care of his 12 year-old son, let alone have any children of her own. It is also interesting how kinship and relationships between people affect their settlement patterns.

END.

 

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/14]

“Short Kwi the Hunter”

The environment of the Bushmen provides numerous dangers in their everyday activities.  A well-known hunter was bitten by a snake which most likely resulted in gangrene on his foot and lower leg.  His situation is upsetting since someone so full of physical strength and power was forced to sit around and be carried everywhere.  It also shows an idealized, widespread viewpoint of Westerners and biomedicine.  Many cultures believe biomedicine to be their solution to countless health problems.  In some instances this is true, but for the most part, the distance and transportation to urban hospitals and cost of medical expenses usually prevents people with curable or preventable diseases and illnesses from getting the medical treatment they need.

-END-

 

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

Short Kwi the Hunter

 

Ideology - I really love the Kung's approach to music, especially in this piece. It just sounds like such a pleasant time when lots of people gather underneath the shade of a tree to listen to a man play the guashi. I think in our culture a lot of people that have never done anything with music themselves are a little afraid of it. I'm sure everybody can think of somebody that's always said they can't sing worth beans and then at some strange moment they let loose with some angelic voice. Or maybe its just me that notices/cares about that sort of thing. But either way, the freedom with which the Bushmen approach music, and that the men sit down and hum their own little melodies to the music, I think, is kind of what music is all about.

 

{Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 12/15}

 

Short Kwi the Hunter

 

MARRIAGE AND KINSHIP:  I was surprised to learn how young Bushmen women are when they marry.  Elizabeth Marshall Thomas makes reference to this concept throughout her article.  For example, she writes, "On the other side of the path, in the shade of a tree, lived one more small band, the band of a young man of perhaps thirthy, who lived with his twelve-year-old son and his eight-year-old wife, whom he was nourishing while waiting for her to grow" (222).  I had to read this sentence several times before grasping its meaning.  Marriages among  the Bushmen often involve a prebuscent girl with a much older man.  In this man's case, his first wife had tdied, and thus he had remarried a young girl who happened to be younger than his son.  I find it strange that the man married the girl to have someone to take care of him, yet he has to raise his wife until she is old enough to do the same for him.  Thomas also mentions that the two beautiful girls of the tribe pay little attention to the boys who try to get their attention, as they are already very experienced with marriage and divorce of older men of the tribe (226).

 

 

[Jennifer Mahoney, jrm30@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

 

Short Kwi the Hunter Reading "Short Kwi and teh Hunter" gave me insight into the kinship and marriage relationsihps of the !Kung.  It was interesting to read about hte man who was taking care of his eight-year old wife while waiting for her to grow.  It was also interesting to read about hte close bond shared by Short Kwi and his wife, who chose to stay with Short Kwi even after he had become crippled and could no longer hunt for her and their child.  This story displayed the importance of marriage for the !Kung, not only for providing life's necessities but also to provent loneliness.

 

 

~END.

 

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

Short Kwi the Hunter

 

I've tried to keep an open mind about other societies throughout this course, but a thirty year old man marrying an eight year old girl is just plain damn wrong. An eight year old has no way of determining whether or not she what she wants in life and should not be forced to marry someone who is an adult. There is no practical reason for it to happen either, because an eight year old can do nothing for a thirty year old man. Is she seen as an investment for the man's old age? How does that work? I cannot bring myself to find this marriage acceptable.

 

 

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

 

Short Kwi the Hunter – I like the correlation to Bitter Melons in the !Kung music. Since kinship and marriage were the meat and potatoes of my presentation, I found interesting the social restrictions and confusing (to me anyway) kinship patterns regarding marriage. Especially with first name taboos, it is difficult to figure out some of the rules and patterns for their marriage practices.

 

[Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

 

 

Short Kwi Hunter

Ideology:

                I thought that the oracle discs were particularly interesting.  Gao Feet, would throw the discs, but first associate meaning to them.  The discs could foretell information about hunting or the location of a person or of people, or even just open questions in general.  I think that it is interesting to see how different cultures deal with man’s inability to know the future for certain.  The throwing of these discs could tell the men if it would be a good day for hunting or not.  I think that it is important to see the genuine significance in predictions and beliefs about events that occur.  Despite the West’s thorough research in science there are still things that remain unexplained.  Regardless of how they choose to explain or foretell occurrences in the world there are some things that human’s need to take on faith.

-END-

 

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

 

 

“Short Kwi the Hunter”

Social Tradition-It is a !Kung tradition that the semi-nomadic !Kung bring everything with them when they visit each others camps whether they plan to stay long or not.  In “Short Kwi the Hunter,” the offer claims that the family had brought “all their belongings, and evidently planned to stay.”  Here the author shows us her inexperience with the !Kung.  She is using her own outside perspective to assume meaning from her observations about these people, which are turning out to be false. 

 

 

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

 

“Eating Christmas with the Kalahari”

 

From the !Kung readings I deviced that though an anthropologist can spend over three years in the field studying a culture, there is still much to be learned from them, even simple things. In “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” the anthropologist though spending years with the !Kung never realized the way that they joke around with each other when a man brings back large game and he was put to shame thinking they were serious about his ox not having enough fat on it. Another main point here is how cultures can clash and mix together forming new customs from old ones when new ideas are brought to them. When Christmas was brought to the !Kung it was changed from its original meaning and altered to fit there ways, mainly in the way of the ox customs and the feasting.

 

-END-

 

 

 

Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu 12/17/07 Short Kwi the Hunter

The Kung really like music. Alot of the songs are circumstance based like one of their songs have a co wives that were jealous and the husband used it to ridule them. Another song named the Chiviba it is about a guy who brought a basket veld food made of Chivba which are branches. The most notable aspects of the songs are that they are more impassioned and made with emotion.

 

[Justin Wilmott, jmw23@geneseo.edu 12/17]

“Short Kwi the Hunter”

Being a musician, the importance of music in the lives of the !Kung excites me.  The importance of a songs meanings is something that can be across indigenous tribes, but the fact that the indigenous people take so much time to create warm, full sounds with fairly complicated rhythms is unique.  I also find it interesting that the !Kung only enjoy using deep, rich sounds as apposed to sharp, more shocking, sounds.  This idea can be seen in the majority of people in the United States and Europe when examining their music.

-END-

 

 

 

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