Eating Christmas in the Kalahari
by Richard Borshay Lee
This article is about the Christmas culture of !Kung Bushmen. The conflict between Bushmen’s culture and the author’s through the whole article. The social anthropologist, also the author use the anthropological fieldwork method to figure out the difference between Bushmen and ours. According to the author, “Perhaps, armed with that independence and with their superb knowledge of their environment, they might yet survive the future.” When we have a conflict with others’ culture, we need to consider it based on social anthropology and ethnography. And we need to understand the different culture and show our respect to them. When the author was accused that the ox is too thin to eat, the author felt that he had been taught an object lesson by the Bushmen; it had come from an unexpected corner and had hurt him in a vulnerable area. In the final paragraph, Lee wondered what the future would hold for the !Kung Bushmen with whom he had shared a memorable Christmas feast.
Introduction of !Kung Bushmen
A. The origin of !Kung Bushmen is “The London Missionary Society brought the holiday to the southern Tswana tribes in the early nineteenth century. Later, native catechists spread the idea far and wide among the Bantu-speaking pastoralists, even in the remotest corners of the Kalahari Desert.” B. The Bushmen’s idea of the Christmas story is “stripped to its essentials, is “praise the birth of white man’s god-chief”; what keeps their interest in the holiday high is the Tswana-Herero custom of slaughtering an ox for his Bushmen neighbors as an annual goodwill gesture.” II.
How the anthropologist, also the author work with !Kung Bushmen He had come to the Kalahari to study the hunting and gathering subsistence economy of the !Kung, and to accomplish this it was essential not to provide them with food, share his own food, or interfere in any way with their food-gathering...
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