Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

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Eating Christmas in the Kalahari
Latisha Willoughby
Ivy Tech Community College

“Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” is a story about of how Richard Borshay Lee explores the culture of the !Kung Bushmen natives in the Kalahari Desert. During his journey, his purpose was to find out how hunting and gathering helped the economy of the Bushmen. In order to do this he had to make sure not to supply them with any food, share his own food, or to interfere with any of the gather activities they were doing. Since he was not going to help with food he could supply tobacco and medical supplies. Even though, this helped some it was not enough to hide the difference in wealth between him and the Tswana tribe. He experiences a cultural misinterpretation which causes him grief and concern that almost caused him to end his lengthy three year study.
The Bushmen’s idea of a Christmas story was that it is to “praise the birth of the white man god-chief”. It was only believed that the slaughtering an ox for their village and the surrounding neighbors was a good enough celebration for Christmas. This would be a good will gesture for the Bushmen. Their December activities include congregation at the cattle post for a trade, marriage brokering, and a number of days trance dance and feasting, which local Tswana headman hosts. This would be an example of mechanical solidarity because everyone within this group are all on one accord. This was a yearly tradition and something they are had a level of respect for within their culture. Agents of Socialization would be mostly family and neighbors. Family being the strongest social agent in this tribe because they rely on one another completely in every aspect of life. Family raises children and teach them right from wrong. They also teach children how to hunt and feed themselves as well as others. Family also teaches how to cook and take…...

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