The San of the Kalahari Desert

Topics: Family, Extended family, Nuclear family Pages: 3 (792 words) Published: January 9, 2012
The San of the Kalahari Desert

The San also known as “Bushmen” are one of the well-known foraging and hunting communities. They have made the Kalahari Desert located in Southwest Africa their home for many years. These communities are called bands that consist of multifamily groups with a size ranging from 25 to 50 people. “Family, marriage, and kinship, gender, and age are the key principles of social organizations in foraging societies” (Nowak & Laird, 2010. Section 3.7). In this paper you will have a brief understanding of the kinship system of the San Tribe, as well as how their environment influences their behavior and interactions.

The nuclear family would consist of a mother, father and their children. This family is considered the most common in the foraging societies because they are able to adapt to various conditions. Bands are made up of several multifamily groupings such as nuclear families. It is very important how these families are related because it will determine how they will act towards each other. The bands will sometime include extended family members which will be beneficial in circumstances such as cooperation and sharing amongst the community.

Both men and women work together to provide for the community as a whole. Women are responsible for 80% of the san diet (Nowak & Laird, 2010). Women are the primary gathers; their diet is consisting mostly of nuts and fruit. The men are responsible for 20% of the diet. They provide meat from their hunts. The women are able to gather enough food that will last a full week in two to three days. They can enjoy each other’s company the rest of the time. The men and women work together by mentioning areas of vegetation or animals they may come across on their gathering and hunting trips.

The good and services produced by the men and women are shared amongst the community. They rely on each other for the gathering and hunting of food. Everyone’s participation is very important. There is an...
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