The Hunters; Scarce Resources in the Kalahari

Topics: Kalahari Desert, Agriculture, Hunting Pages: 4 (1681 words) Published: May 8, 2011
The !Kung bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa are one of the few bands of hunter-gatherers left in the world. They survive by foraging for their meals while traveling, never settling in one specific area. Hunting and gathering was the primary mode of survival until about ten thousand years ago. Anthropologists have made assumptions about the hunting and gathering lifestyle of current populations because it seems like a precarious method of living. Moreover, the Kalahari area where the !Kung live in was perceived to be baron because it is a desert. However, a study done over a period of years beginning in 1960 led by Richard Lee disproved the common misconception of the life of these foragers, proving that they were not the uncultivated society that they were perceived to be. The !Kung people live in the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa where there is minimal rainfall, and they are physically isolated from any agricultural societies in the area. They do their fieldwork in an area with eight permanent waterholes that were about 125 miles away from a river. They do not cultivate agriculture, nor do they have livestock nor are under any heavy government authority. The !Kung people rely solely on hunting and gathering for their survival because in the area that they live in, there is no other logical means of survival. Because of all of these observed setbacks, anthropologists of the 1960’s saw these bush people as a group living solely to find food for survival. This was not the case however. When anthropologists of the 1960’s went to study these people, they found that their perceptions were wrong. Although the people lived far away from other societies, and although they did not cultivate the land, they lived meaningful lives. Despite not having close neighbors from other societies, there was a relatively large population of other camps of hunter-gatherers that were associated with the waterholes. In addition, although the...
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