Eating Christmas In The Kalahri Analysis

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ahari Running Head: KALAHARI2 In the article “Eating Christmas in the Kalahri” by Richard Borshay Lee, he tells about what he learned living with the !Kung Bushmen for three years. Richard Borshay Lee is a social anthropologist who missed a great life lesson while studying this hunting-and-gathering society.In this Gemeinschaft community, they worked together to teach this anthropologist something important to their people yet he was very unaware of their intentions in the beginning. Although he thought he had learned a great deal about their group and culture, he was still only beginning to learn truly what it meant to be a part of their society. One may sit and observe a certain culturefor years and yet never really know for sure what…show more content…
He also realized thatthey were kidding about the whole thing. After the celebration and feast was successful, hequickly became confused of how they had acted about his choice in the ox. It said in the articlethat this was the point when he felt that something important had happened in his relationshipwith the Bushmen and that the clue lay in the meaning of the joke. (Lee, 1969). After talking toseveral members of the group, he found the true meaning of this joke. The Bushmen people weretrying to teach him a lesson of “arrogance.” (Lee, 1969). They would not accept a person whowould boast upon his hunt and they feared that someday that kind of pride would make a personkill someone one day. Tomazo, a member of the Bushmen, told him that this was to “cool hisheart and make him gentle.” (Lee, 1969).The !Kung Bushmen’s intentions were to humiliate him and by doing so it wouldaccomplish their goal of making him realize that one act of generosity does not cover up whathappens the rest of time. Their society was not used to having a supply of food normally longer than that particular day. Meanwhile, Richard had a two-month supply of food. This made theBushmen feel like he was stingy and hard-heartedness. “By their lights, I was a miser” is whatthe article described his as from the views of the Bushmen. (Lee, 1969). Giving the people the oxwas simply the same thing the others did on a…show more content…
He was only worried about his food source and that he was notgoing to become hungry. In the end, he realized that he was alienating himself out of the group by keeping his food to himself and not sharing among the people. Their organic solidarity culturemade them used to helping each other in all aspects of life. They were a close-knit communitythat helped each other out for the survival of the entire group. The social interaction of theBushmen people was clear to all that was in that society and Richard thought he was part of thatin-group until the people were criticizing his choice of ox to slaughter. Being a part of that groupfor three years did not teach him as much as he thought he had learned just by interacting withthe people on a daily basis. It was time for Richard to leave after learning so much. Although, hethought he had learned a great deal about their group and culture, he was still only beginning tolearn truly what it meant to be a part of their

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