The !Kung Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert Essay

The! Kung Bushmen of Botswana inhabit the semi-arid northwest part of the Kalahari Desert. Their mean one-year rainfall is hapless. merely six to nine inches a twelvemonth. Field work for this article written by Richard B. Lee. was done in the Dobe country. which is a line of eight lasting waterholes. The Dobe country has a population of 466 Bushmans. This includes 379 lasting occupants populating in independent cantonments or associated with Bantu cattle stations. every bit good as 87 seasonal visitants. The Bushmen life in independent cantonments lack pieces. farm animal. and agribusiness. The! Kung are wholly dependent upon runing and garnering for subsistence. Although Dobe-area! Kung have had some contact with foreigners since the 1880’s. the bulk of them continue to run and garner because there is no feasible options locally available to them.

During the dry season ( May-October ) the full population is clustered around the H2O Wellss. There are “camps” around each well. which is an unfastened sum of collaborating individuals which alterations in size and composing from twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours. The members move out each twenty-four hours to run and garner. and return in the eventide to pool the gathered nutrients in such a manner that every individual present receives an just portion.

Vegetable nutrients comprise from 60 to 80 per centum of the entire diet by weight. and roll uping involves two or three yearss of work per adult female per hebdomad. The major part of the male Bushmans to their diet is the hunting of medium and big game. Although men’s and women’s work input is approximately tantamount in footings of man/day of attempt. the adult females provide two to three times every bit much nutrient by weight as the work forces.

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For the greater portion of the twelvemonth. nutrient is plentiful and easy collected. Although during the terminal of the dry season people have to boost farther for nutrient. the nutrient still remains changeless. The most of import nutrient is the mongongo nut. This nut histories for 50 per centum of the vegetable diet by weight. Although 10s of 1000s of lbs of these nuts are eaten every twelvemonth. 1000s more are left on the land to decompose. Besides. a diet based on mongongo nut is more good health-wise as cereal harvests such as corn or rice.

In add-on to the mongongo. the Bushmans have available 84 other species of fruits. berries. and melons. and another 30 species of roots and bulbs. There are 54 species of animate beings classified as comestible by the Bushmen. but merely 17 species were hunted on a regular footing. All of the! Kung’s nutrient supply can be obtained in a six-mile radius of cantonment. and normally takes a full twenty-four hours to go the 12 mile round-trip.

The! Kung Bushmen of the Dobe country live a long productive. and apparently hearty lives. Longevity compares favourably to any industrialised society. The old people are fed and cared for by their kids and grandchildren. The old people are besides actively involved indecisiveness devising and ritual hardening. Young people are non expected to supply nutrient on a regular basis until they are married. Girls normally marry between the ages of 15 and 20. and boys about five old ages subsequently. It is non unusual to happen healthy. active adolescents sing from cantonment to bivouac while their older relations provide nutrient for them.

The people in the age group of 20 to sixty support the nonproductive and old. These productive members work about two and a half yearss a hebdomad. about 12 to 19 hours a hebdomad to acquire nutrient. A adult female gathers plenty nutrient in one twenty-four hours to feed her household for three yearss. and spends the remainder of the clip relaxing and basking her leisure clip. The work forces Hunt for a hebdomad and so make nil for two or three hebdomads and spend their leisure clip sing and dancing. In a cantonment with five or more huntsmans. two or three are actively runing while others are inactive. The sum and the type of nutrient the! Kung Hunt and gather is sufficient plenty calorie-wise to provide all the foods required for good wellness.


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