Kung Culture

1127 words - 5 pages

Intro Sample...


The !Kung is a tribe of hunter-gatherers from southern Africa’s Kalahari Desert. The !Kung are known for adapting to their semi-arid environment by gathering roots, berries, fruits, and nuts that they gather from the desert. They also use the meat that is gathered by the hunters. The !Kung culture has both guidelines and rules for the difference in gender roles. !Kung men are responsible for providing the meat, although women might occasionally kill small mammals. The men provide household tools and maintain a supply of poison tipped arrows and spears for hunting. !Kung women provide the majority of the food, and are also responsible for child care, gathering wood for fires, carrying water, and cooking. Children are left at home to be... View More »

Body Sample...


Nisa’s narrative is full of sex in the form of sexual slang used as insults, descriptions of genitalia, details of sexual activities, and discussions about the nature of sex. The women of the tribe are anxious to discuss their sexual relationships, and in !Kung marriages, infidelity is almost a given. Many of the people Nisa mentions are her former and/or current lovers. She also reveals the !Kung belief that a woman can use her sexual side to heal men in the village. “A woman can bring a man life, even if he is almost dead. She can give him sex and make him alive again. If she were to refuse, he would die.” (pg 257 ) The frequency with which men and women take lovers outside of their marriages points to the primacy in !Kung society of satisfying sexual desires and maintaining a fulfilling sexual life. “Women are strong; women are important. Zhun/twa men say that women are the chiefs, the rich ones, the wise ones. Because women possess something very important, something that enables men to live. Their genitals.” (Pg 257 )
The !Kung people and their traditional ways are increasingly faced with the modern world. The cattle-herding Tswana and Herero people intrude on the !Kung way of life when they establish settlements in the once-isolated Dobe region. “The !Kung tolerated this because it was easier to accommodate than to fight.” (Pg 193 ) Their cattle and goats pollute once perfect streams, cars and trucks occupy the region, and Tswana justice becomes the law of the land. In Nisa, the changes effectively divide Nisa’s life in two. In the first half of her life ...

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