Draper, Patricia. 1975. “!Kung Women: Contrasts in Sexual Egalitarianism in Foraging and Sedentary Contexts.” In Toward an Anthropology of Women, edited by Rayna R. Reiter, p.77-109. New York: Monthly Review Press

Some of the Ju/’hoansi, in this article referred to as the !Kung, still hunted and gathered in the Kalahari Desert, though most had already settled into villages near water sources when Draper investigated their gender and family relationships in the late 1960s. Among the nomadic Ju/’hoansi, she found that the women gained self-esteem from their work, which required considerable skill to discriminate edible foods among all the desert plants. The “vivacious and self-confident” women wandered many miles from camp, unconcerned about the possibility of encountering lions and other large predators. The absence of violence in their society, or between them and outsiders, added to the women’s freedom from fear. When children misbehaved, either parent simply interrupted the disruptive behavior and diverted them into other activities. Draper found life in the settled Ju/’hoansi villages to be quite different from the nomadic desert foraging.

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