Dobe Ju/'Hoansi

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The complexities and the ever-increasing strife of modern human life bids one to learn more about the normal and natural human cultural experiences, so that misconceptions about modern ‘civilized' ways of life and ‘progress' are clarified, in a way helping him in creating a more egalitarian and sustainable society. The is the significance of the study of cultural anthropology – it helps man to analyze and evaluate himself, his culture and his society, while gaining an in-depth understanding of other ways of life. The life and culture of the Dobe Ju Hoansi, the ethno-linguistic group of people of the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa, presents the advanced Western community with such normal and ‘natural' human cultural experiences; Richard Lee describes it in fine detail in his book titled ‘The Dobe Ju/'Hoansi.' The Dobe Ju Hoansi of the Kalahari Desert Called by western anthropologists as the "Dobe !Kung", the Dobe Ju Hoansi, are essentially a hunting and gathering kind of people living near waterholes in northwestern Bechanaland (presently Botswana) region in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. Popularly known as "bushmen" and living essentially by hunting and foraging until the 1960s, for a contemporary outsider, particularly a Westerner, the nomadic and fierce Dobe Ju Hoansi may seem to be a barbaric and uncivilized group. It is only when one gets to know their living conditions and their cultural adaptations for survival as a community that the complex and superior cultural elements underlying the seemingly oafish ethnic community becomes apparent. ‘The Dobe Ju/'Hoansi,' written by Richard Lee, an anthropologist at the University of Toronto, after conducting about 15 months of fieldwork among the Ju Hoansis between1963 and 1965, presents an extremely informative and analytical study of the culture and nature of life of the tribal society from a socio- environmental perspective. His description presents a clear idea of the extremely harsh living environment...
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