It is Gaborone that is far away

Again, the experience of the First Peoples of the Kalahari is apposite. Called ‘Bushmen’ of old, they, rejecting this label, call themselves by words that mean, in their various languages, ‘people.’ When anthropologists call them the San, or when the Government of Botswana, sat in Gaborone, calls them Remote Area Dwellers (RADs), they are not impressed. ‘It is the people in Gaborone who are the Remote Area Dwellers,’ they say. ‘It is Gaborone that is far away.’

D R . S T E W A R T G I L L A N BSc MDiv PhD

Jan Goliath - Primus inter pares of the San in South-Africa

Message from people who have been moved against their will from Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana Representatives of the people who have been moved against our will, choice and consent from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve during 1997 and 2002, have consolidated this message. We hope that this message will accompany the message of the President of the Republic of Botswana, the Honorable Festus Mogae, in his visit to the United Kingdom in June 2003.

Background Information on the Bushmen of Southern Africa                                                              by Survival International (Right Livelihood Award 1989) - The Bushmen are the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, where they have lived for at least 20,000 years. Their home is the Kalahari Desert, which is now divided between Botswana, Namibia, Angola and South Africa.

Film Recommendations

A tale of Kalahari Desert Bushmen: “The Great Dance – the Story of !Nqate”

"The Great Dance” is a fascinating documentary that examines the unique relationship between Kalahari Desert Bushmen, or the San people, and the harsh landscape of the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa....

Cosmic Africa is an extraordinary personal odyssey of African astronomer, Thebe Medupe, who journeys into this ancient continent’s astronomical past unveiling the deep connection humans have with the cosmos...

THE SAN & THE KHOI PEOPLES and THE KHOISAN LANGUAGES                                               In parts from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

WHO ARE THE OPPRESSORS ?                                                                                                  The Tswana - and their western corporate stirrup holders - The Tswanas are a tribe who migrated from Central/East Africa to southern Africa during the 14th century. The origin of the name ‘Tswana’ is a mystery, but is applied to a number of groups who all speak the same language, have similar customs, but separate names.

See the   San Library / References

Land, Livestock and Leadership among the Ju/’hoansi San of North Western Botswana   (PDF)           Abstract: In Africa, indigenous peoples have had difficulties in gaining secure legal rights to land and resources. The Ju/’hoansi San of the Republic of Botswana have had to contend with governmental decisions that have not allowed groups to claim land on the basis of customary tenure or longterm occupation. This article examines some of the innovative ways in which the Ju/’hoansi have dealt with the issues of land and resource rights, including carrying out detailed mapping of their ancestral territories and using Botswana government policies on community-based natural resource management to their advantage in gaining greater control of land, water and wildlife resources.

Hunter - gatherer time                                                                                                                    excerpt from LIVINGTIME: The Euro-American image of time is a machine, a factory assembly line chucking out identical hours, each unremarked and indistinguishable. Worse than that, it has insisted that its time is the time, and that indigenous peoples all over the world lack a ‘proper’ sense of time. It is not a lack. Rather they have cultivated a far more subtle and sensitive relationship to time and timing.

Kalahari                                                                                                                                        The Kalahari: a vast, dry grassland that stretches over large portions of five countries within Southern Africa - Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola. Though often referred to as a desert, its reserves of underground water allow for a fully vegetated landscape that supports (in its natural state) large populations of wild game. Predominantly flat, like the great Central Asian Steppe, the Kalahari is all about space and silence, heat and distance.

Exiles of the Kalahari                                                                                                                     (January / February 2005 Issue) Forcibly resettled by a Botswanan government eager to clear the way for diamond mining, the Bushmen are battling to regain their ancestral homeland.

Bushmen's Diamond News                                                                                                             AS LONG AS THE BUSHMEN ARE OPPRESSED IT STANDS:  BOYCOTT BOTSWANA DIAMONDS !

Kalahari Diamond - Project Information                                                                                            This Summary of Project Information is prepared and distributed to the public in advance of the IFC Board of Directors' consideration of the proposed transaction. Its purpose is to enhance the transparency of IFC's activities, and this document should not be construed as presuming the outcome of the Board decision.

Our Perspective on WHAT is ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE?                                                              To Aboriginal peoples, native to the land they live in since time immemorial, the term "environmental justice" goes beyond the issue of disproportionate toxic and nuclear contamination and health exposure of our elders, men, women, youth, children and our traditional food web. ... ff

Biopirates in the Kalahari?                                                                                                              How indigenous people are standing up for their rights - the experience of the San in Southern Africa

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES KYOTO WATER DECLARATION                                                               Third World Water Forum, Kyoto, Japan, March 2003

DECLARATION OF THE PEOPLE'S MOVEMENTS - MUMBAI 2004                                                 We, the people's movements representing workers, peasants and agricultural workers, women, Dalits and Adivasis, indigenous peoples, fisher peoples, urban poor, the physically and mentally handicapped and other sectors of the poor and oppressed, have again come together in Mumbai from 16-20 January 2004 for the People's Movements Encounters Part II.

Environmental Colonialism: “Saving” Africa from Africans                                                                   Under the banner of saving the African environment, Africans in the last half century have been subjected to colonialism from an overlooked source: the conservation movement. Local populations have been displaced and impoverished in order to create national parks and to serve other conservation objectives, in large part because Western conservationists misunderstand African wildlife management practices and problems.

Convention concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (ILO No. 169), 72 ILO Official Bull. 59, entered into force Sept. 5, 1991  The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation, Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its seventy-sixth session on 7 June 1989, and Noting the international standards contained in the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention and Recommendation, 1957...

Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property - 17 Nov 70  Entry in force: 24 April 1972. - The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in Paris from 12 October to 14 November 1970, at its sixteenth session...

PROTECTION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE IN TIME OF WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH                          by JAMES A. R. NAFZIGER - James Nafziger is the Thomas B. Stoel Professor of Law and Director of International Programs, Willamette University College of Law. He chairs the Committee on Cultural Heritage Law of the International Law Association (ILA) and serves as President of the ILA's American Branch. He is also a member of IFAR's Law Advisory Council.

Land Rights Movements      PDF                                                                                                 Professor Daniel W. Bromley - University of Wisconsin-Madison --- Indigenous peoples in territories subjected to European conquest dating from the late 15th century onward have managed to focus national and international attention on their subjugation and dispossession. These various movements, primarily concentrated in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South America, and the United States, began in different places at different times over the past several decades.

ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS - looking over the fence to Australia                                                      The Indigenous spending drip - Land rights - the new debate we had to have - Crikey Daily - Tuesday, 12 April - Political correspondent Christian Kerr writes: “Indigenous communities have suffered from misplaced idealism,” Jenness Warren, a workplace English language and literacy tutor for the Laynhapuy Homeland Association Inc in the Northern Territory, wrote in a Financial Review (see below).

Tribe or Nation?               (PDF)                                                                                                     Nation-Building and Public Goods in Kenya versus Tanzania

International Alliance Charter                                                                                                          (Established Penang, Malaysia, 15 Feb 1992) - (Revised Nairobi, Kenya, 22 Nov 2002) Article 1. - We, the indigenous and tribal peoples of the tropical-forests, present this charter as a response to hundreds of years of continual encroachment and colonisation of our territories and the undermining of our lives, livelihoods and cultures caused by the destruction of the forests that our survival depends on. ...

AFRICAN 'INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' SEARCHING FOR A FUTURE                                                  Archive 1993 - 'Indigenous Peoples' from all corners of the African continent have met for the first time to take stock of their situation and organise for their future.

Indigenous Peoples’ Declaration     PDF                                                                                     Indigenous Preparatory Meeting - 16-17 JUNE, 2002 - International Association Centre- Brussels, Belgium

Primary Life Concept                                                                                                                     Primitivists argue that prior to the advent of agriculture humans lived in small, nomadic bands which were socially, politically, and economically egalitarian. Being without hierarchy, these bands are sometimes viewed as embodying a precursor to anarchism.

At The Hand Of Man - The White Man's Game                                                                                 Prince Bernhard and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - To attract donors, large and small, as well as media attention, Nicholson, Scott and the founding fathers of WWF wanted the royal family to lend their name. They approached Prince Philip to be president. Philip was an avid outdoorsman and hunter-in January 1961 he had bagged a Bengal tiger in India-and he and Queen Elizabeth had been to Kenya, on a safari best remembered because King George VI died while they were watching wild animals and Princess Elizabeth had become Queen. Scott sent Philip a draft of the proposed charter. Philip read it carefully, replying that one provision was "unctuous," and another "to wordy."....

WE DO NOT WANT TO BECOME AND END LIKE ISHI                                                                   Ishi was the last surviving member of the Yahi tribe. He was born about 1862. The Yahi were related to the Yana Indians who once lived in northern California of todays USA.

World Wide Fraud - Pandering to the Demands of Industry                                                                All around the world, as you read this, children of other cultures are being kidnapped and forced into schools against their will and that of their tribes. People from Indonesia to Zaire are being forcibly removed from their ancestral homelands into shoddy shanty towns with poor sanitation and bad food. These people want to stay in their homelands, living as they always have; with no leaders and no civilisation; hunting and gathering.

Protected areas and local communities  ( RTF )                                                                               W R M B U L L E T I N 73 - August 2003 - English edition
Full bulletin to the controversial issue of protected areas in their relationship with people.

UNITED NATIONS - COMMISION ON HUMAN RIGHTS                                                                    PREVENTION OF DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECTION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES - 8 August 2002 - E/CN.4/Sub.2/2002/24 - ( PDF )

HUNTER-GATHERER STUDIES: THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTEXT  PDF                                         Anthropological and behavioral ecological studies of living hunter-gatherers have .ourished since the 1960’s. Researchers have developed and followed a variety of paradigms, each with its own assumptions and objectives, based on the behavior of huntergatherer communities. I argue here that in order to evaluate the validity of the use of a speci.c hunter-gatherer group for particular paradigmatic purposes, details of the historical and social context of the group are needed. The use of an inappropriate group, as determined by its context, can call into question the conclusions of a study.

DESCRIBING POVERTY - DESCRIBING POVERTY : 61 WAYS                                                       NADINE GORDIMER ON POVERTY - Message from James Gustave Speth, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, New York, 17 October 1996 - Today marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. On this day, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) re-dedicates itself to a decade-long, global effort to replace hunger, helplessness and despair with opportunity, hope and the promise of a better future. Poverty places an intolerable burden on the human spirit.

Quotations from Gana and Gwi Bushmen about their land, torture and relocation                                 Source: Survival International - "The lives of our people are not free. It is terrible not to be free. In the rest of Botswana people live in peace and harmony but not in this corner, the central corner of the Kalahari Game Reserve." - Bushman, January 2002

BUSHMAN IN-DEPTH                                                                                                                    Country: Southern Africa - Population: 100,000 - Who are they? The 'Bushmen' are the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa, where they have lived for at least 20,000 years. Their home is in the vast expanse of the Kalahari desert. There are many different Bushman peoples – they have no collective name for themselves, and the terms 'Bushman', 'San', 'Basarwa' (in Botswana) and so on are used variously.


TERMINOLOGY, IDENTITY, AND EMPOWERMENT IN SOUTHERN AFRICA                                    The San, who are also called the Khwe (Khoe), Basarwa, or Bushmen, are some of the best-known groups of people in the world, thanks in part to extensive research, films, popular books and articles, and detailed documentation by development workers and extension personnel conducted over many years. Residing in and around the Kalahari Desert region of southern Africa, the San in the past lived as hunter-gatherers (foragers).

Violations of 'Bushman' peoples rights in southern Africa                                                                   COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS - Fifty-eighth session - Item 14 (d) of the provisional agenda - SPECIFIC GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS: OTHER VULNERABLE GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS - Written statementsubmitted by Survival International, a non-governmental organization on the Roster - The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31. - 15 January 2002

QUESTION AND ANSWER                                                                                                            What is the active ingredient in the arrow poison which the African Bushman make from the grubs of the diamphidia beetle, and what symptoms would it cause in a human?

THE ILLUSION OF A FUTURE?     PDF                                                                                          MEDICINE DANCE RITUALS FOR THE CIVIL SOCIETY OF TOMORROW - The medicine dance continues to be the main ritual of the Hai om and many other groups of southern African “Bushmen,” or “San.” It is, therefore, an appropriate starting point for investigating the possibilities for developing a comparative model of the religion of hunter-gatherers. Hunter-gatherers, typically provide exceptions to anthropological models. However, carefully designed models, in particular those focusing on ritual form, not only facilitate comparison across space, for example between Africa and Australia as in this contribution, but also an understanding of the dynamics of ritual and religion over time.

Life support       PDF                                                                                                                     In the name of western-style materialism and so-called progress, a different way of life practised by small tribes across the world is being destroyed. As a consequence, we are all losing critical knowledge about the connection between human existence and nature. - Words by Stephen Corry

How San hunters use beetles to poison their arrows                                                                         San ('bushman') hunters use lightly constructed bows and arrows in their hunting which means that the injury inflicted by the arrow is usually insufficient to subdue large prey unless it is supplemented by a poison that has been applied to the arrow.

Colonisation is going on !                                                                                                           (e.g. right now in the heart of Africa - from the Congo Basin where the anglo-american and neo-french interests are at stake down to the San's Kalahari lands, where DeBeers deals diamonds with the ruling elite of Botswana !)

THE REAL STORY OF THANKSGIVING                                                                                         Most of us associate the holiday with happy Pilgrims and Indians sitting down to a big feast. And that did happen - once. - The story began in 1614 when a band of English explorers sailed home to England with a ship full of Patuxet Indians bound for slavery.

Is primitivism realistic? An anarchist reply to John Zerzan and others                                                 (December 1, 2005) A reply to primitivist critiques of 'Civilisation, Primitivism and Anarchism' - - One of the major confusions in the anarchist movement in the USA and parts of Europe arises out of primitivism and its claim to be part of the anarchist movement. But primitivism is not a realistic strategy for social revolution and it opposes the basic purpose of anarchism - the creation of a free mass society. Primitivists have attempted to reply to these criticisms but these replies are easily exposed as more to do with faith then reality.

Why Race Matters: Race Differences and What They Mean                                                              Book Review - The Western Journal of Black Studies - Although the question of race has been an important sociological issue ever since the development of anthropology as a study of different human groups, contemporary philosophy has had relatively little to say about the topic. Interestingly enough though, three of the luminaries of Western philosophy did write about race as if those human groups that distinguished themselves both geographically and phenotypically constituted natural kinds in terms of temperament and intellect.

Bibliography of Foraging Peoples                                                                                                    Robert Lawless                                                                                     please go to:

Hunter-Gatherer Bibliography                                                                                                          This bibliography was last up-dated on June 16, 1997

Cui Bono ? or The Policy of Segregation                                                                                          subtitle: FENCES KILL SENSES, RESPONSIBILITY AND RESPECT - a radio broadcast as community theatre in one act -

PDF about the Bushmen in french language:

Afrique du Sud : des terres restituées aux Bushmen (9 Kb - Ik n° 32 - 1999/06 - )