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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Ons is Boesmans': commentary on the naming of Bushmen in the southern Kalahari
Author:Ellis, William F.
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 2332-3264)
Geographic terms:Botswana
South Africa
anthropological research
ethnological names
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/23323256.2015.1056314
Abstract:This paper examines academic debates about the nomenclature of the San in light of recent ethnographic data. Academic debates centre around two aspects: the apparent complicity of the term 'bushman' in construing the San as lower on the hierarchy of race and class; and the construction of the San as being in close contact with animals and nature. Academics have sought to resolve this dilemma of complicity by adopting self-referential terms, which would allow them to overcome the effacement of cultural and linguistic variation. Critically, the paper argues that this turn to self-referential terms is problematic in the case of the?Khomani San of the southern Kalahari because the San themselves claim 'bushman' as their identity. The analysis suggests that the?Khomani San claim this name for themselves in a context of developmental needs. Thus,?Khomani San chose the name 'Bushman' for themselves because it can be commoditised. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]