Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The San People

Day 488
54,588 km since the beginning of the journey
Written in Namibia, Divundu.

It is very probable that the San People are the first settlers of the present region of Namibia, and have lived here long before the arrival of other tribes. The San People have been also called "Bushmen", but they themselves prefer the name “The San People ” - given them by other tribes. They mostly live in Botswana (55,000), Namibia (27,000), South Africa (10,000) and Angola (<5000). Wiki. The San still live “close to nature”, although modern civilization is reaching their villages as well.


The San village. First of all, there is 75 kilometers of properly dusty road with some traffic, which means that within an hour perhaps five cars were coming. Nobody passed me and I didn`t pass anybody either. Then in the middle of the road there is a barrier and the crossing of the next veterinary border. Another hundred meters and by the road there is a big sign - "Living Museum of the Ju / 'Hoansi-San", which means that the place is near.
Turn to the left. Now comes 6 miles of sandy road. There are, of course, more footprints than car tracks. As soon as I have reached the village the guide comes and introduces the agenda.

First of all the demonstration - how to make fire with two pieces of wood. There is a hole in one stick and the other stick is inserted inside the hole and quickly whirled between the palms.

No need to wait for a long time. Hardly a few minutes, and the smoke begins to rise from between wooden sticks.

A little bit more cautious blowing - and the fire is lit.


Hunting equipment - a bow and arrows.

There are two kinds of arrows, and the newer and more modern ones are of metal ends.

The following is an illustrative hunting. We are moving between the bushes, but no game to shoot with an arrow in the vicinity.

Then the making of a trap is introduced. The warning is that while forming the loop one must keep his head away.

Ready-made and waiting for the pray. It's meant for smaller animals. Does not make sense to frighten elephants. And I try to put up the trap myself and succeed. One more useful skill obtained and one never knows when needed.

Women picking firewood.

Looking for water. Actually the search for water was the following - a kind of turnip-like root , as in the picture below, was dug out from about twenty inches deep ground.

Then it was scraped with a knife and from this minced-porridge mixture water is squeezed out.







Back to the XXI century. The receipt was written with a ball-point pen and the numbers were summed up with a calculator.

The guide puts on the ordinary clothes. I make a suggestion to make a small tour in the village and see how they actually live.

Four donkeys in front of a carriage.

Grashoek Primary School. The Secondary school is about 150 kilometres away in Tsumkwe that is considered to be the San unofficial capital. There are no children around as it is now the school holidays.

A home made of corrugated sheet. Hot in the daytime and cold at night.

And can be made only from film as well.


Cooking on fire. It is no longer a demonstration - this is a day-to-day existence.

And handicrafts will be made here - ostrich egg shells are the primary material.

Back to the main road. One more veterinary check-up and a chance to introduce Estonia.

Another 75 miles and then the main road leads towards Rundu.

African road signs can always surprise with something fresh. Again and again there is something new by the road to catch the eye. This picture was taken on the main road before the town of Rundu.



A nightclub in Rundu, by the main road.

More about The San people one can read in wikipedia. But I personally would like to recommend to watch a really cool and fun movie titled "The Gods Must Be Crazy". The main role is played by The San actor Nxau. The film is about The San tribe and was made in 1980. It is about their everyday life and what happens then when a coca-cola empty bottle is thrown out from a plane and how this event changed all their life.

I'm not going to re-tell the subject as the movie is too good and worth watching. This is not a documentary, but there are very, very many situations in this movie that have been taken from real life.

It could be followed also in Youtube. Link to the first part:
The Gods Must Be Crazy Clip 1

No comments: