San Culture Essay

530 WordsJul 24, 20123 Pages
This report explores the San, or Bushman, culture of southern Africa and how they express their relationship with nature. Three of their key arts are: storytelling, music and painting. Cultural Approach to Nature San live mainly in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana and Namibia. In the past, the San have been called Bushmen by southern African whites. Although many of them have become settled, many still live as hunter-gatherers organised in small groups, or bands, of about ten nuclear families. Each group has exclusive rights to an area of about 775 sq km and usually moves homes about once a month as the food supply in an area is exhausted. The San live in an unforgiving environment. All of San culture seems to be related directly to their harsh environment. So closely linked that it is reported in several places that San women become sterile during periods of long drought when the land cannot support any more children. Art seems to be one of their key survival tools, not just helping them physically but also to enjoy and participate fully in their world. Their imaginary world is as real as their physical world. It is sometimes phrased that "there is a dream dreaming us". How the ‘process’ connects the artist, group or culture to nature It does not seem that the San separate "art" from their life generally, but three categories of art can be identified: Painting; music; and story telling. Other activities, such as hunting, tool making or personal decoration, often using ostrich shell beads, probably do not class as art in the western sense, although they most clearly directly reflect and express the relationship of the culture to nature. Story telling "The story is like the wind." a Bushman called Xhabbo said. "It comes from a far-off place and we feel it" [3]. Some examples of their stories are given in Appendix 1. The San live

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