Kalahari Essay

924 WordsOct 18, 20144 Pages
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 they believe is important to their society andculture.In the !Kung Bushman culture it is tradition for one of its members to slaughter an ox for the entire community to share and feast upon during Christmas. They follow the feast with danceand celebrations. In order for Richard to be able to show appreciation for all of their cooperationand insight they have given him throughout the three years he spent with them to be the member to slaughter the best ox he could find. He spent a great deal of effort trying to find the best oxthat would be big enough for all to eat on. He finally found an ox that would sufficiently feed theentire community for Christmas and their festive celebrations. After seeing this ox, the Bushmen people laughed at his prize ox. One woman even asked him “Do you expect us to eat that bag of bones?” (Lee, 1969). They scolded him for buying such an “old” and “thin” ox. He was veryconfused because he thought it was enormous and would definitely feed all that would be at thecelebration. He was soon the “talk of the town.” This made Richard feel as if he had ruined their holiday traditions and his own holiday by

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