The Bushman

Ghanzi Travel Blog

 › entry 27 of 35 › view all entries
    What can I say?  They really are amazing people.  Their knowledge of the bush really is amazing.  We followed them around, watching them randomly digging up plants with sticks, dressed only in animal skins softened and dyed with the root of a plant I can't pronounce, chatting away to each other in their unique bushman-clicky-language (the kind of language spoken by natives in hollywood films).  I still can't get over this plant that foamed like soap when mixed with a water retaining plant.  What I also won't forget is how the women are paired off with men as soon as they start menstruating to produce 10 or more children in their lifetime.  Also, I don't know if this is still how they live, but later on we were told that if the tribe are starving and have to more quickly across the desert/bush to find food and water children and the elderly are left behind to die for the sake of the majority.  I know it makes sense but it just goes against any western cultural ideologies that I've grown-up with.  Also, when they finally find food the whole tribe will eat the kill because they don't know when they'll next get to eat; that's why they all have saggy wrinkly skin on their bellies, because they binge and starve throughout their lifetime as a way of life.  Also, now this will blow your mind, the bushman used to be hunted, by black and white men alike, like animals.  To the point where their skins would be decoratively hung on the wall; elderly women were the prize kill though because they would use the saggy skin from their breast as a tabacco pouch.  You can't get more sick than that.
    Later that evening, the bushman came back to our camp to show us their traditional dances for the moon to prey or thank it for their well-being.  That was really cool.  This bushman experience was like a full-on meeting with the origins of Africa before any of it was colonised.
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Ghanzi
photo by: Biedjee