The San people (Previously called Bushmen) once were spread all over Southern Africa but, with the arrival of other groups from Central Africa and Europe, ended up occupying the most hostile, barely habitable, arid areas. Their existence as hunter gatherers is changing drastically, and not by choice, towards an agricultural society. Here seen doing a traditional dance, it is doubtful whether such events can still be readily observed. The lighter patch centre left are the ashes of their fire. Being excellent trackers and hunters of game, they camouflage very well against the red sand of the Kalahari desert which straddles the border of South Africa with Namibia and Botswana.
A few insights into San society from Wikipedia, the free dictionary:
"Children have no social duties besides playing, and leisure is very important to Bushmen of all ages. Large amounts of time are spent in conversation, joking, music, and sacred dances. Women have a high status in the San society, are greatly respected, and may be leaders of their own family groups. They make important family and group decisions and claim ownership of water holes and foraging areas. Women are mainly involved in the gathering of food, but may also take part in hunting.
The most important thing in the lives of the San people is water. Droughts can last for many months and waterholes may dry up. When this happens, they use sip wells. To get water this way, a San will scrape a deep hole where the sand is damp. Into this hole will be put a long hollow grass stem. An empty ostrich egg is used to collect the water. Water is sucked into the straw from the sand, into the mouth, and then travels down another straw into the ostrich egg.
Traditionally, the San were an egalitarian society.[ Although they did have hereditary chiefs, the chiefs' authority was limited. The bushmen instead made decisions among themselves by consensus, with women treated as relatively equal. In addition, the San economy was a gift economy, based on giving each other gifts on a regular basis rather than on trading or purchasing goods and services."
PS: Digitally reproduced from a colour slide in my archive.
Critiques | Translate
eldancer1 (24769) 2011-08-24 14:01
Very nice documentation but a very sad story. I like your pov and it has a good dof with sharp details. wonderful colors. Well done, tfs.
batalay (34575) 2011-08-24 16:14
I remember well the a film, "The Gods Must be Crazy," from thirty years ago. It was an endearing film about the Bushmen of Kalahari, who after finding a Coca Cola bottle dropped from a plane, find that it is much too divisive. I like this excellent photograph you've produced. Their color certainly suggests of mimicry in nature, colors and shapes to provide cover to them from predators. Wonderfully informative note.
jhm (134518) 2011-08-25 4:15
De kleur van de mensen is bijna het zelfde of het zand.
En dan nogeen vreugde dans uitvoeren met het gezin is een hele prestatie om daar een foto van te maken.
Heel bijzonder beeld maar zo krijgen we ook een cultuur te zien.
Goed gedaan, prachtwerk, bedankt.
abmdsudi (38878) 2011-08-25 6:09
Every picture tells a story, great shot of almost a vanishing amazing tribe. A well captured candid, spot-on framing has made a very balanced and appealing composition. The power and strength in this individual is apparent and nice grin from the woman as well with a mix of humour but its a privilage to have witnessed. A beautiful desert region which one would either love or hate but I love the fabulous textures and a wonderful warm sight light and the depth of field including the background to give some context. So natural it looks straight from the camera in the best possible way; direct, warm, humorous, wise. His strong expressive features captivated me, fantastic features and a great character study and you appeared to have captured all the warm personality there. An intriguing moment and an interesting write up, Very powerful and captured beautifully. Well done
Neel, In WS I adjusted the color balance, I sincerely feel that this picture is overpowered by reddish color. Hope you like it, Tx
ikeharel (51533) 2011-08-26 6:05
The red soil along with the afternoon light had a strong effect on the vivid picture, Neels.
The documentation is superb, the three not seem to be dancing - but pre-opening this I was thinking about a ritual preformed.
danos (82675) 2011-08-26 7:18
nice the view of the representative members of the San cociality,as they live under these conditions as you write in your informative note.Previously i saw a factual film in TV with the people to drink woter from ostriches eggs as was used to collect the water from holes in the desert.
subhendu_bagchi (25117) 2011-08-26 7:40
what a shot Neels! An excellent one no doubt. Scan quality is superb. But I love here the reddish tone too much. Excellent portrait of this tribal trio. Superb-shot. Tfs.
anokutan (15097) 2011-08-26 10:38
What a shot.Excellent portrait of this tribal trio. Superb-shot.
geoant68 (2751) 2011-08-26 10:45
the quality of the digitally reproduced colour slide is great as show us these members of the San society taking place in this ceremony in the desert.A great reportage shot from the Bushmen of Kalahari.
Silvio1953 (115175) 2011-08-26 10:56
Ciao Neels, lovely family portrait, imnteresting documentation, splendid clarity and wonderful warm colors, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
raszid62 (18583) 2011-08-27 8:02
Beste familie portret van die Boesmans. Dit lyk vir my dat dit die laaste vrye mense in die wêreld. Hulle weet nie wat dit belasting, burokrasie, karieta en ander ongerief van hierdie tipe van die beskawing. Wonderlike kleure in 'n baie warm toon en perfekte gehalte.
axiotea (21649) 2011-08-27 12:14
when I've first looked at this picture, it reminds me a movie called "the gods must be crazy"...
An interesting note to go with this picture in which you've caught nicely these people performing traditional dance...It's cute and funny to see the little one trying to keep balance while dancing.
Have a nice WE
SnapRJW (28917) 2011-08-28 8:20
Hello Neels - In little more than a blink of the eye and this people group will have joined the great melting pot of the world. Progress? I'm not sure. Your shot is a wonderful reminder of the richness of Southern Africa. Take care and best regards Rosemary
Charo (51208) 2011-08-29 10:21
Another beautiful photo well scanned, the predominant red color that gives a good atmosphere of warmth.
The timing is superb and very sympathetic with little trying to keep up with the elderly.
adores (33944) 2011-09-05 19:22
That's a very old one! Good idea to digitalize it. I like the way you included the family. I've never been there, so I cannot express my opinion about the colours. But I like their pose during the dance. Maybe they don't look that different now, in spite of the changes. Good note also!
DjoleEric (0) 2011-09-13 6:16
Good representation of color and sharpness.
Have a nice day.
nilotpal_patra (1684) 2011-09-14 5:51
Namaskar Neels Gunter,
It is realy, realy a Wonderful Picture of Daily Life. Nice Frame. Nice colour, contrast and sharpness. Excellent shot. Nice POV. TFS.
ghost_man (1006) 2011-09-14 12:35
"Tanrılar Çıldırmış Olmalı" filminden çıkmış gibi. Sanki kamera arkasında çalışmışsınız gibi gerçekçi fotoğraflar. Tebrikler.
lakshmip1949 (19110) 2011-11-05 11:39
It is so nice to learn many unknown things of other counties from members here. Like your informative note as well as the image. The monochromatic color works very well here. The whole family looks so natural . I like the cute little kid and the way he is lifting his one leg .
serp2000 (37511) 2011-11-09 6:37
Great photo! Just a page from GEO or National Geographic.
You have got an interesting archive, no doubt. My congrats!
adramad (34951) 2011-11-25 7:07
A wonderful composition, which is also a great testimony to this people that progress has not tried anything right, the picture shows very well that the age pyramid.
A good job with the scan, I think it's worth rescuing some old picture. Well done.
Have a nice weekend.
Best Regards ..
fanni (14377) 2011-12-16 12:54
very interesting photo and Note!
to come to think of it, these people live a natural life which we, urban inhabitants, have lost completely...
We live in comfort and are pressed for time.
They live in severe conditions and have to struggle for their existence.. and yet, they find the time for leisure, rest, good talks and smiles..
and who is, actually, happier? we or they?
This picture really teaches us about the world and is in the true spirit of TrekEarth :)
Concerning the technical aspect of the photo, I don't really mind its having a reddish tint.. :) it makes the picture even more impressive - the scene looks very hot! (dried by sun rays)
Urs (14082) 2011-12-17 2:35
An excellent documentary shot, which really tells the story about the lack of water and the tremendous heat. It looks and feels hot ... possibly it has a a bit of a reddish tone, but I have not been there, so I do not know if the light really was like this. Otherwise a very sharp and attractive shot. Well done
faubry (35401) 2012-05-01 17:30
Great shot with character, interesting social work, i like gestual, a lot humour here! really amazind photo
have a good evening
mayjayne (2942) 2012-10-16 7:46
Great composition in natural native surroundings, coupled with a very informative note !
fritzi007 (2441) 2012-12-13 6:28
really very interesting, your picture and comment are great. In Austria, we had about the San people a report on TV!
jmdias (52009) 2014-03-04 12:22
nice portrait of the group. I took many photos of them in botswana too. nice details and pose of the personages.despite being a old image the scanner job is very nice here.