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Essay on The Effects of a Changing Environment on the Ju/'hoansi Lifestyle

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The way of the Ju/‘hoansi life has changed dramatically in many ways throughout the years. However, it is still possible to reflect upon their original way of life and compare it with their present state of living. Most of the changes occurred due to environmental, economical, developmental, social and cultural changes. All of which play a vital role in determining a Ju’s way of life. Although the land of the Dobe and !Kangwa have developed and changed in recent years, there are still some remnants of how the environment used to be. A significant shift in social and cultural aspects of the Ju/‘hoansi life can be observed in the new environment. However, some important aspects of their culture and belief system are still reflected in their everyday lives.

The biggest component which marked the shift in Ju/‘hoansi life would be the change from a hunter gatherer society to an agricultural society. The transition was not an easy one, as the unreliable rainfall and drastic seasonal changes made settling in one area a challenge. However, the Jus managed to raise livestock such as cattle and goats and grow ten different crops including tobacco, sorghum and maize.(Lee, 2003) Although these changes were beneficial as it increases the stability of the food supply in a community, it also restricted the mobility of the people. Farm life resulted in children having to start working at a young age and the subordination of women became more prevalent as they became housebound while their spouses left to seek job opportunities. Men started to leave home grounds to work at the mines to buy food and other goods. It was observed that these men incorporated the hxaro exchange system to the goods they bought, preserving traditional pra...


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...Nora Haenn and Richard R. Wilk (2006). The Environment in Anthropology: A Reader in Ecology, Culture and Sustainable Living. Robert Netting (1993). Chapter 2: Smallholders, Householders: Farm Families and the Ecology of Intensive, Sustainable Agriculture. Stanford University Press.
New York and London, New York University Press. (pp. 10-13)

Richard B. Lee (2003). The Dobe Ju/‘hoansi (3rd Edition). Case studies in cultural anthropology, USA, Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Peaceful Societies: Alternatives to Violence and War. (Feb 9, 2012). Economic Stability for the Ju/‘hoansi.
Retrieved from
http://www.peacefulsocieties.org/NAR12/120209juho.html

Anthropology and the Human Condition (Nov 10, 2010). Introduction to the Ju/‘hoansi’s Exchange System.
Retrieved from
http://sc2218.wetpaint.com/page/INTRODUCTION+TO+THE+JU%2F+'HOANSI+'S+EXCHANGE+SYSTEM







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