It’s not a wonder you might have already watched ‘Gods must be crazy’ comedy and garbed a wide idea about Bushmen and their lifestyle and surroundings. There are around 100,000 bushmen in the Kalahari desert of Africa. They are called “Basarwa” in Botswana and “San” in Namibia and South Africa. Kalahari Desert has been the domicile to this native tribe for over ten thousand years.
Luckily, in 2011 I went to Namibia for my research based on Natural Science. I together with my collaborator set up a tent in Kalahari village just north of Uitspan Ranch. My initiative was to walk through the Kalahari and encounter Bushmen and peep into their lives, though their way of living and behavior sounds a bit weird I was very confident of meeting the groups of Bushmen since they are already aware of the world outside the desert.
These diminutive people have lives that represent poverty and the discrimination of their rights. They precede contented lives; they have adequate knowledge of flora and fauna of Southern Africa thus make great use of the limited resources of the Kalahari desert which is something we can learn out of them. Usually the Bushmen are prospected as little clusters constantly on the move comprising up to 25 or 30 members. A chief is not assigned in these groups and there is no authority in charge of all the groups. However the groups themselves govern simply by their own consensus continuing to lead satisfactory lives and no one can beat or restrict individual rights with the power.
However the culture of Bushmen denotes remarks of great exposure of the German colony during the 2nd world war and later by the mining industry. Their lives were heavenly in spite of the hardships and the scorching sun of the dessert. I was bewildered to hear ‘Taa’, their language. The language is full of ’click’ sounds. As I found out different varieties of ‘click’ sounds are produced by a sort of sucking air with the tongue. The language sounds so conscious and interesting yet I failed to figure out how to pronounce.
Namibia is not the only habitat of Bushmen. Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia are as well home to loosely related Bushmen groups. Around 2005 in Botswana Bushmen were forced to leave their natural home, the dessert and get along with civilians. The intention of the move was suspicious and as predicted by Human scientists it did not benefit the Bushmen. Most of the individuals of this native tribe then witnessed the negativity of civilization. They were victims of alcoholism, depression and diseases like Tuberculosis which were entirely alien to their existence.
About Author: Teresa Kent is a content writer and a geologist who loves travelling. These days she is writing about Namibia tours and Namibian indigenous tribes. Get more from Teresa on Twitter.