Bushmen Denied Water Rights

July 27, 2010

The following was sent out on the Survival International mailing list (22 July 2010) and I am posting it here along with action links and links to the originating organization. The “Bushmen” are a traditionally gathering-and-hunting group from southern Africa who have been the subject of numerous anthropological studies, including Marjorie Shostak’s widely read Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman (Harvard University Press, 1981).


Outrage as Botswana Bushmen denied water rights

A Botswana judge has ruled that Bushmen who returned to their lands
in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve are not allowed to drill wells for
water. The decision condemns them to having to walk up to 380 km to
fetch water in one of the driest places on earth.

Tourists to the reserve staying at Wilderness Safaris’ new lodge,
however, will enjoy use of a swimming pool and bar, while Gem Diamonds’
planned mine in the reserve can use all the water it needs – on
condition none is given to the Bushmen.

Bushman spokesman Jumanda Gakelebone said, ‘If we don’t have water, how are we expected to live?’

Please write to Botswana’s President Ian Khama at op.registry@gov.bw expressing your outrage. If the e-mail bounces, you can write a paper letter using our easy online tool.

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Steve Gardiner’s Anthropology Blog

May 1, 2007

Steve Gardiner’s Anthropology Blog

Find Me Here

May 1, 2007

Hello, if you are looking for Steve Gardiner’s anthropology blog, find it at the url below.


The Culture of Anthropology

February 22, 2007

“Anthropology,” Alfred Kroeber once wrote, “is the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities.” Less charitably, anthropology has been derided as a discipline that can’t make up its mind. One of the things that drew me to anthropology in the first place was this very hybridity.

Though no anthropologist makes use of the full range of intellectual and methodological tools developed within the discipline, a vast (and sometimes puzzling) array of possibilities is open to practitioners. Everything from symbolic analysis to gene flow as measured in varying blood types, radio-carbdon dating to ethnographic description, multiple regression to life history is on the menu.

There are those who look askance at too heterodox an approach to anthropological knowledge. They fear being called dabblers, considered mere dilettantes in the presense of real scientists; they fear, in short, being seen as a discipline without discipline. How ugly.

How lovely. That is, eclecticism in itself may have little to recommended it, but the careful and, gasp, even collaborative, application of a well-rounded set of concepts and tools to understanding human beings in their complexity is surely not a bad thing.