!Kung and Nisa

Topics: Marriage, Woman, Arranged marriage Pages: 3 (1236 words) Published: February 8, 2012
The book, “Nisa The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman,” written by Marjorie Shostak is a culturally shocking and touching book about a woman who had gone through many struggles and horrific tragedies in her life. This book also highlights the perspective of most of the women in the society. There are many issues in this book that the people of the !Kung tribe goes through. Out of all the women in the tribe Shostak had made close connections with a fifty-year-old woman named Nisa. According to Shostak, “None of the women had experiences as much tragedy as Nisa…” (Shostak, 1981, p. 351). The book is written in Nisa’s point of view of her life experiences while growing up in that type of society.Women, although still equal to men have a great responsibility of taking care of the family. In the !Kung tribe, the sex of the child does not matter, but in certain cultures, “A mother’s influence is thought to pose a threat to her son’s masculinity or ability to attain full male status, and boys are separated from their mothers to counteract this feminizing influence (Shostak, 1981, p. 214). The only time that the boy child is being separated from the mother is when there is a ceremony called “Choma” being held for the boy around the ages of fifteen and twenty. As a result of being a hunter-gathering society, the !Kung diet is based on what they can find in their surroundings. The women and children of the village handle food gathering consisting of mongongo nut and food from the over 200 varieties of plants that grow in the region, these resources count for about 80% of the !Kung diet. The women also hunt for small game, supplementing the diet with lizards, snakes, tortoises', birds' eggs, insects, and some small mammals. Women decide when and where to gather, just as men decide when and where to hunt. The availability of nuts and plants in the area is so stable that women pride themselves on being able to feed their families utilizing only three days per...
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