The !Kung Bushmen of Botswana inhabit the semi-arid northwest area of the Kalahari Desert. Their common annual rainfall is poor, solely six to 9 inches a yr. Subject work for this text written by Richard B. Lee, was completed in the Dobe space, which is a line of eight everlasting waterholes. The Dobe space has a inhabitants of 466 Bushmen. This consists of 379 everlasting residents residing in impartial camps or related to Bantu cattle posts, in addition to 87 seasonal guests. The Bushmen residing in impartial camps lack firearms, livestock, and agriculture.
The !Kung are fully dependent upon searching and gathering for subsistence. Though Dobe-area !Kung have had some contact with outsiders since the 1880’s, the majority of them proceed to hunt and collect as a result of there isn’t any viable alternate options regionally out there to them.
Throughout the dry season (Might-October) the total inhabitants is clustered round the water wells. There are “camps” round every properly, which is an open mixture of cooperating individuals which modifications in dimension and composition from everyday.
The members transfer out every day to hunt and collect, and return in the night to pool the collected meals in such a means that each individual current receives an equitable share.
Vegetable meals comprise from 60 to 80 % of the complete weight-reduction plan by weight, and gathering includes two or three days of work per lady per week. The main contribution of the male bushmen to their weight-reduction plan is the searching of medium and enormous recreation. Though males’s and ladies’s work enter is roughly equal in phrases of man/day of effort, the girls present two to 3 occasions as a lot meals by weight as the males.
For the higher half of the yr, meals is plentiful and simply collected. Though throughout the finish of the dry season individuals need to hike farther for meals, the meals nonetheless stays fixed. The most vital meals is the mongongo nut. This nut accounts for 50 % of the vegetable weight-reduction plan by weight. Though tens of hundreds of kilos of these nuts are eaten yearly, hundreds extra are left on the floor to rot. Additionally, a weight-reduction plan primarily based on mongongo nut is extra useful health-wise as cereal crops corresponding to maize or rice.
Along with the mongongo, the Bushmen have out there eighty-four different species of fruits, berries, and melons, and one other thirty species of roots and bulbs. There are 54 species of animals categorised as edible by the Bushmen, however solely 17 species have been hunted regularly. All of the !Kung’s meals provide may be obtained in a six-mile radius of camp, and often takes a full day to journey the twelve mile round-trip.
The !Kung Bushmen of the Dobe space stay a protracted productive, and seemingly satisfying lives. Longevity compares favorably to any industrialized society. The previous persons are fed and cared for by their youngsters and grandchildren. The previous persons are additionally actively concerned indecision making and ritual curing. Younger persons are not anticipated to supply meals recurrently till they’re married. Women often marry between the ages of fifteen and twenty, and boys about 5 years later. It isn’t uncommon to seek out wholesome, energetic youngsters visiting from camp to camp whereas their older family present meals for them.
The individuals in the age group of twenty to sixty help the nonproductive and previous. These productive members work about two and a half days every week, about twelve to nineteen hours every week to get meals. A lady gathers sufficient meals in at some point to feed her household for 3 days, and spends the relaxation of the time stress-free and having fun with her leisure time. The males hunt for every week after which do nothing for 2 or three weeks and spend their leisure time visiting and dancing. In a camp with 5 or extra hunters, two or three are actively searching whereas others are inactive. The quantity and the sort of meals the !Kung hunt and collect is enough sufficient calorie-wise to provide all the vitamins required for good well being.