A Reassessment of the !Kung San Essay

A Reassessment of the !Kung San Essay

Length: 1070 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A Reassessment of the Kung San


The !Kung San are a group of hunter-gathers that make their home in the northern Kalahari desert. Although many ecological and cultural changes have occurred within this group throughout the past thirty years, this article examines the gathering and subsistence patterns that characterize these people. Bentley examines the total fertility rate of the !Kung San and hypothesizes that the pattern of female energetics in their subsistence routine has a direct effect upon their fecundity (1984: 79). His perspective explores the topic of fertility in great depth, and represents a viewpoint that is absent from the text written by Richard Lee, The Dobe Ju’/hoansi. In fact, some of the hypotheses proposed by Bentley appear to contradict Lee’s own research, while others are supported by the findings of Lee.

One question that remains undecided regarding the low fertility rates of the !Kung is the degree to which this is a result of sociocultural means, or an effect of physiological and biological processes. Bentley examines the "intermediate variables" within Bongaarts’ reproductive equation, which is one means of illustrating and quantifying the mechanisms that may cause the low fertility rate, and demonstrates that this research seems insufficient in explaining fertility. Briefly, Bongaarts’ equation incorporates the following variables: total fertility rate, index of proportions married, index of contraception, index of induced abortion, index of lactational infecundability, and total fecundity (which includes fecundability, intra-uterine mortality, and permanent sterility).

In addition to showing that the intermediate variables of Bongaart’s equation are insufficient in explaining th...


... middle of paper ...


...estyle may consist of foods that are more malleable, therefore reducing the amount of time mothers spend nursing their young.

As the !Kung make cultural transitions into more sedentary lifestyles, fertility rates will presumably be affected. As Lee points out, in village life the men maintain the mobility while the women become housebound, with more of their time spent alone with the children. Thus, a more sedentary lifestyle may lead to an increase in fertility rates and a subsequent increase in population. In fact, the population of Dove has risen from 35 in 1964 to 165 at the time Lee wrote his book (1994: 154). Another result of such changes is that they may lead to the subordination of women. The new emergence of a sedentary lifestyle has implications for overall fertility, but also threatens to undermine the egalitarian values of this group of people.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The !Kung San of the Kalahari Desert Essay

- The !Kung San of the Kalahari Desert are one of the most highly researched groups by anthropologists. They refer to themselves as the Zhun/twasi, which means, “the real people”. The !Kung San people inhabit Southern Africa, and are commonly referred to as Bushmen. Being that the !Kung San are a nomadic people; their bands are usually only seen as being fairly low in population. These people, who also inhabit parts of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Angola, Swaziland, and Mozambique, have a fascinating lifestyle due to the hostile environment that the Kalahari offers (Bushmen, 2011)....   [tags: Anthropology]

Strong Essays
967 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on kung san

- kung san Among the many cultures in Africa, one of the most well known cultures would be the Kung San. The Kung San are a very unique culture and are the most studied foraging society in the world. As with numerous other cultures around the world, the Kung San are faced with many problems. But one problem the Kung San don't face is that of being a nonentity, partially because of the popularized view of the Kung San shown in the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy. The Kung San are a hunting and gathering people living in southern Africa....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
771 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about Kung Life: An Ethnography by Majorie Shostak

- The many ethnographies produced from the fieldwork of anthropologist, account for much of our knowledge of cultures we may consider foreign of our own. Ethnographies are often written to provide an understanding of the practices of the studied culture, thus bridging the gap between separate ways of life. Majorie Shostak is one of the well known anthropologist who attempts to do just this in her writings. During her stay in the Dobe regions of Botswana, she studied the life of !Kung women to find out if they share similar ideas to women of her own culture....   [tags: kung, geography, anthropology, ethnographies, Majo]

Strong Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)

Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman by Marjorie Shostak Essay

- “Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman” by Marjorie Shostak      In the book, “Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman,” written by Marjorie Shostak; is a culturally shocking and extremely touching book about a woman who had gone through many struggles and horrific tragedies in her life. This book also emphasizes the perspective of most of the women in the society. There are many striking issues in this book that the people of the !Kung tribe go through.      Marjorie Shostak, an anthropologist who had written this book had studies the !Kung tribe for two years....   [tags: Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman]

Free Essays
1760 words (5 pages)

The Earthquake Of San Francisco Earthquake Essay

- The earthquake that only lasted 45 to 60 seconds but “was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada” was the disastrous 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (USGS 2012). A natural disaster that was responsible for structure damage and the lives of many people. Earthquakes are part of the natural process of the earth and are frequent around the world; they are usually small and not even felt by people. Unfortunately, there is also the magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes, which if trigger in big populated areas can become destructive in matter of seconds (Lutgens, F....   [tags: 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Earthquake]

Strong Essays
1900 words (5.4 pages)

The San Francisco Earthquake And Fire Essay

- The San Francisco earthquake that took place in 1906 is fairly well-known because of its damage and intensity that would affect many lives. The online exhibit of The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire shows how much was lost during this natural disaster, and how the city was before. Many would wonder what is the purpose of documenting how it was before, and after the earthquake, but the fact that no one was expecting one so big impacted countless lives. Also, at the time San Francisco was becoming the most popular city, therefore it would appear in the headlines how a well-known place that most people loved would become damaged (The Bancroft Library, 2006)....   [tags: 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Earthquake]

Strong Essays
797 words (2.3 pages)

The San Andreas Fault Line Essay

- The San Andreas fault line has causes constant development nightmares for large urban areas such as San Francisco and any other city that has been built on top of it. Fault lines are one of the side effects of the earth’s tectonic plates shifting that can result in devastating earthquakes. Some of the most devastating earthquakes in our modern era have occurred along the San Andreas fault line due to a dense population. The most notable earthquake on the San Andreas fault line occurred in San Francisco on 1906....   [tags: Earthquake, 1906 San Francisco earthquake]

Strong Essays
1321 words (3.8 pages)

The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Essay

- The 1906 San Francisco earthquake a natural disaster that was estimated to be magnitude 7.8, which destroy the city, caused the casualties of 2,000 people’s death and an estimate of 2,000 residents in the streets (The Center for Legislative Archives, n.d.). In addition, the 99.7 chance for future earthquakes due to San Andreas Fault and the important measurements that every resident in California should take to reduce accidents and damage. 1906 San Francisco Earthquake The earthquake that only lasted 45 to 60 seconds, but “was felt from southern Oregon to south of Los Angeles and inland as far as central Nevada” was the disastrous 1906 San Francisco Earthquake (USGS 2012)....   [tags: 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Earthquake]

Strong Essays
1908 words (5.5 pages)

San Francisco Earthquake Of 1906 Essay

- San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 One of the worst natural disasters in United States history to this date occurred almost 109 years ago. On April 18, 1906 at 5:15am in San Francisco, California, the earthquake of San Francisco occurred hitting between 7.9 and 8.3M on the Richter scale. The San Andreas Fault, which is about 600 miles long, running from the Gulf of California to Cape Mendocino and is an active strike-slip fault, cut through the continental lithosphere to cause the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906....   [tags: Earthquake, 1906 San Francisco earthquake]

Strong Essays
1003 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on San Miguelito

- San Miguelito... It has what you like is officially founded April 14, 1597 by a group of tarascan Indians and Mexicans from the village of Tlaxcalilla, commanded by the Mexican Francisco Jocquinque. In the application of Foundation, approved by Luis Valderrama Saavedra, Mayor of San Luis Potosí, settled at the new town, you were granted 2 thousand 500 rods of land in table, measured from the orchard of the convent of San Francisco more or less in the present street of Pascual M. Hernandez. Quickly named a Government for the Administration and good order of the new settlement, initially consisting of a regular Mayor, one more Deputy and one or two topiles....   [tags: Mexican Indian History, San Luis Potosi]

Strong Essays
1177 words (3.4 pages)