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Hunters and Herders of Southern Africa

Hunters and Herders of Southern Africa
A Comparative Ethnography of the Khoisan Peoples


Part of Cambridge Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology

  • Date Published: March 1992
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521428651

£ 34.99

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About the Authors
  • The Khoisan are a cluster of southern African peoples, including the famous Bushmen or San 'hunters', the Khoekhoe 'herders' (in the past called 'Hottentots'), and the Damara, also a herding people. Most Khoisan live in the Kalahari desert and surrounding areas of Botswana and Namibia. In spite of differences in their way of life, the various groups have much in common, and this book explores these similarities and the influence of environment and history on aspects of Khoisan culture. This is the first book on the Khoisan as a whole since the publication in 1930 of The Khoisan Peoples of South Africa, by Isaac Schapera, doyen of southern African studies.

    • Hunter-gatherer communities are of considerable interest both to cultural and physical anthropologists, to the latter because they provide a clue to the way of life of early hunter-gatherer communities
    • This is the only comprehensive book which deals comparatively with all Khoisan communites over a wide geographic area
    • Clearly written and completely jargon-free
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Alan Barnard has written a book that no scholar in the area of Khosian studies and few students in the wider field of hunter-gatherer studies can afford to ignore … To assemble all of the relevant ethnographic data on so crucial a group of hunter-gatherers in one volume and to accompany the same with crisp, topical discussions of some of the current issues of theory … is to produce a book of the highest scholarly relevance. Hunters and Herders is a worthy successor indeed to The Khoisan People!.' Current Anthropology

    'Because of its detailed and comprehensive nature, this book should be used extensively by both scholars of the Khoisan people in all disciplines as well as by government and other agencies working for their welfare. It undoubtedly makes a great contribution to our understanding of the Khoisan and their cosmology, and indeed will serve as a refernce book on the subject for a long time to come.' SOAS

    'Barnard's book is at once an encyclopedic compendium of Khoisan ethnography, in the widest sense, and an attempt at structuralist comparison between the various ethnographies. His survey is exemplary … both as description and as controlled comparison, his books is immensely valuable.' African Affairs

    ' … immensely valuable.' African Affairs

    'brilliantly written and as excellently documented and produced … as one would expect from a book of such high standard.' Anthropos

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1992
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521428651
    • length: 380 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.667kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    A note on orthography
    Part I. The Khoisan Peoples:
    1. Introduction
    2. Ethnic classification, origins, and history of the Khoisan peoples
    Part II. A Survey of Khoisan Ethnography:
    3. The !Kung
    4. The !Xo and Eastern Hoa
    5. The southern Bushmen
    6. The G/wi and G//ana of the central Kalahari
    7. The eastern and northern Khoe Bushmen
    8. The Nharo
    9. The Cape Khoekhoe and Korana
    10. The Nama and others
    11. The Damara and Hai//om
    Part III. Comparisons and Transformations:
    12. Settlement and territoriality among the desert-dwelling Bushmen
    13. Politics and exchange in Khoisan society
    14. Aspects of Khoisan religious ideology
    15. Bushman kinship: correspondences and differences
    16. Khoe kinship: underlying structures and transformations
    17. Conclusions

  • Author

    Alan Barnard, University of Edinburgh

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