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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The world of animals viewed by the San hunter-gatherers in Kalahari
Author:Tanaka, JiroISNI
Periodical:African Study Monographs: Supplementary Issue
Geographic term:Botswana
plant names
External link:http://repository.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2433/68379/1/ASM_S_22_11.pdf
Abstract:Based on field studies in the Xade area of Botswana, the author describes Central Kalahari San (Bushman) perception, classification and utilization of animals and analyses the relationship between humans and animals in song, dance, rock paintings, drawings and stories. The 'ethnographic present' is the 1960s, when traditional hunting was still practised. The San recognize at least three categories of animals. The San regard animals first and foremost as game, that is, as food, 'kx'ooxo'. Animals are also of interest to the San if they harm humans. Harmful animals, such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, poisonous snakes and insects, hyenas and vultures, are classified as 'paaxo'. If an animal is both inedible and harmless, it is of no interest to the San and is classified as useless, 'go§wahaxozi'. However, San animal categorization has a multilevel structure: an animal that is deemed 'kx'ooxo' according to the first-level categorization, can become 'paaxo' or even 'go§wahaxo'. In turn, a 'paaxo' can become 'kx'ooxo' or 'go§wahaxo'. Many kinds of animals appear as motifs in the song, dance, rock painting and folktales of the San. Among the songs and dances, none indicates the symbolism of animals more than the dances of womanhood and hunting. Bibliogr., notes, sum.