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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 27, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 36 THE LETHBRIDCE MSRAID Wednesday, June 27, 1973 Bushmen facing uncertain future GABORONE, Botswana (AP) For most of mankind, the JOth century is almost three- quarters over. For a dwindling band of primitive people in re- mote Botswana, it never really ctarted. They are the Bushmen, throwbacks to the Stone Age, and they face an uncertain fu- ture. About to of these short, yellow-brown people with Mongoloid features remain. They face possible doom by a civilization they hardly under- stand. About 14.000 are serfs or clients to black patrons in vil- lages or cattle farms. About 000 work or squat on white- owned ranches around Ghanzi in Botswana's far west. Only one-tenth of them work full-time for wages. An estimated live free in the "wild" Bushman tradition as game hunters and gatherers of wild plants, roots and nuts in South Africa's vast Kalahari Desert. The Kalahari Covers more than half Of this republic. Bot- swana was the British territory of Bechuanaland until independ- ence six years ago. FIND NEW CLAN So vast is the desert that one Bushman clan discovered for the first time last year was found to be speaking a unique dialect. Accustomed to a nomadic life, tracking and killing game, oc- cupying whatever shelter is available, the Bushman now must respect boundaries that never existed before, poach meat he was once able to kill as needed and steal water that was once there for the taking. Bushman ancestors once wan- dered across much of southern and eastern Africa, leaving evi- dence of their passing in multi- colored drawings that remain in thousands of caves and on rocky ledges. Such pictures, however, were produced in a more leisurely time when game was plentiful, memies fewer and art could flourish. Experts say no Bush- man painting has been executed for more than a century. Some Bushmen have been re- duced to begging at roadsides for scraps of food. Others steal water and cattle from farms, which hardens land-owning blacks and whites against them. Bushmen were once shot as vermin by white settlers, and it j is feared that this practice might be resumed by irate j farmers. j The Bushmen differ physi- cally, linguistically and cultur- ally from almost every other class of human being. They don't fit easily into any of the major racial Caucasoid, Mongoloid or Ke- groid. Their language is studded by with many tongue clickings, usually printed in English as and and They are grouped into as- sorted trbies including the Na- ron, the Masarwa, Heikim, G-wi and Others. Typical of several of the tribes are the G-wi, to whom science is meaningless and whose greatest technological skill is the bow and arrow. Their main occupation is sur- viving, but they seem to spend little time worrying, apparently preferring to accept whatever fate serves up. The most important factor in their lives after hunting and food-gathering is a simple reli- gion which honors as God. They believe he has a hu- man shape, lives in the sky and created a good complete world. The devil is who takes many forms, has no fixed abode and tries to undo all of MSodima's work, but without much success because he is much the weaker. Lack of contact with outside influence and ideas helped keep the relatively intelligent Bush- man at a prim'tive stage of de- velopment for so long. Fear also played a part. Throughout much of their his- tory, Bushmen have been forced into increasing isolation by more dominant cultures. They have fled to obscure areas which these cultures do not find attractive. Thus they remained static for decades. Exoerts differ about what should be done to save the Bushmen. One school of thought favors the "noble savage" ap- proach, suggesting that an area be set aside where can live as they always have. This would put. them in much the same category as elephants, lions and other beasts protected in game reserves. Dr. Hans Heinz of the Univer- sity of the Witwatersrand's medical school in Johannes- burg, South Africa, takes a dif- ferent tack. He has been in- itiated into Bushman society, but will disclose no details of (he ceremony. He also has been accepted into a Bushman's fam- ily. LSTOK6 1602-3rd Ave. S. Phone 327-5777 At Revelstoke we want to get to know our customers. Know who they are, what they want, and how we can serve them better. You can help by filling in a customer survey form. AND: You can enter our special Draw. Just drop a completed entry form in the barrel and you could win your entire purchase (to a maximum or Ask sales personnel for details. Free Delivery Open Mon.r Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat. a.m. to p.m. Thurs. a.m. to p.m. CARPET NYLON MEDIUM LENGTH SHAG 3 colours only. Limited yardage. 4 .99 yd. 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