Nisa: The life and words of a !kung woman:response
“Nisa: the life and words of a !kung woman” written by Marjorie Shostak is a book about a woman named nisa of the !kung people. It entails the stories of her struggles and the many horrific tragedies in her life and how it shapes who and how she is. The book Is basically an interview of a fifty year old nisa, it is written in her perspective of what it is like to live in such a society. She suffered quite a few devastating tragedies as aforementioned which included, the death of four of her children, two as infants and two as adults. Even shostak says that none of the !kung women suffered tragedies the way nisa did.
The story evokes the importance of women to the tribe. Most of the interviews involve women coming into foray in one form or another. For example, hunting and gathering which is predominantly a role left for the men, it shows bravery and courage, but due to the harsh climates and the scarcity of food the women have to resort to plucking mongongo nuts and plants which had become a very healthy and hefty part of their diet. By doing this they help to prevent the children from becoming very hungry, while being able to maintain energy good enough to continue their everyday activities. Shostak is trying to reflect women overcoming the dominance of men over them, because into the seventies in “Nisa” she says how men regard women as the rich ones or the wise ones because they have their genitals which are very important because it enables men to live. This also shows her feminist point of view.
I feel that it is kind of true because even modern day males seem to name things that are virtuous, fruit bearing , helps nurture after women. For example, women are thought of as nurturing, caring and being able to reproduce, while men are quite the opposite, that’s why you would always hear people refer of their country as “her” or “she”. Reading the book I thought of how my elder sister was always...
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