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"Things from the Bush". A Contemporary History of the Omaheke Bushmen

"Things from the Bush". A Contemporary History of the Omaheke Bushmen

James Suzman's dissertation "Things from the Bush" is a Contemporary History of the Omaheke Bushmen in Namibia.
Suzman, James
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978-3-908193-06-7
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Book title: "Things from the Bush"
Subtitle: A Contemporary History of the Omaheke Bushmen
Author: James Suzman
Series: Basel Namibia Studies Series 05
Publisher: PSP Verlag
Basel, Switzerland 2000
ISBN-10: 3-908193-06-0
ISBN-13: 978-3-908193-06-7
Softcover, 17x24 cm, 191 pages, illustrations, maps, index

Description:

Bushmen or San people have been eking out a living in the margins of the Omaheke Region in Namibia, on white-owned farms and in former reserves, for several generations. Yet, they have been of little interest to anthropologists and popular audiences because they do not resemble "living exemplars" of hunter-gatherers.

In this study, which is the result of eighteen months of fieldwork, James Suzman examines the processes of marginalisation of Ju/'hoansi. He shows the radical changes experienced by Bushmen and argues that Ju/'hoan identity is constituted not in terms of cultural institutions left over from their hunting and gathering past but in terms of their historical and contemporary relations with others.

James Suzman's dissertation is important because it shows us in painful terms that, despite the State's attempts, Bushmen were mostly not driven off their original lands but were rather enveloped by settler-farmers in a crude system of villeinage and that, more importantly, such enveloped Bushmen form the large majority of those labelled Bushmen.