The Ju/’hoansi are working with land managers to protect the surrounding Kalahari Desert lands from hot-season fires that threaten their villages and their livelihoods. A news story in the online newspaper Namibia Economist last week reported that seasonal fires, especially in the summer in southern Africa, pose a serious environmental threat. The Ju/’hoansi have been […]

The Ju/’hoansi San had another good year harvesting, curing and selling devil’s claw tubers from the surrounding Kalahari Desert. About 800 residents of the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and their closely-related neighbors to the west, the !Kung of the N#a Jaqna Conservancy, harvested about 32 tons of the desert plant roots this year, earning them nearly […]

In 2014, the European Union granted the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia 649,390 euros to help the Ju/’hoansi and the !Kung devise ways of mitigating climate change. Several African news services reported during April that, after four years of successes, the grant program has ended. The Namibia Economist published a story on April 13 […]

The Ju/’hoansi Traditional Authority announced last week that they have engaged some lawyers to help them regain control over their lands in Namibia. A report in the New Era newspaper on Tuesday the 27th provided a brief catalog of the wrongs they have suffered from invaders who have occupied some of their lands. Government actions […]

People who have had the privilege of living in a community that holds an annual town meeting should appreciate stories about the exercise of direct democracy elsewhere. Town meetings are still commonly held in rural New England, often in mid-March—“mud season.” One year in a small Maine town, for instance, where the snow plow crews […]

The sustainable harvesting of roots from the devil’s claw plants growing in the Kalahari Desert, and their careful marketing to international herbal medicine buyers, are returning increasing profits to the Ju/’hoansi. Two different reports last week, from the Namibia Economist and the New Era newspapers, carried complementary stories about the good economic news from the […]

The Ju/’hoansi cherish their egalitarian traditions so strongly that they have a hard time assuming any leadership roles, yet they have one of the most successful civilizations in history. At least that is one of the central arguments made by James Suzman, an anthropologist who has been studying them for over 20 years. On October […]

Lorna Marshall (1960) pointed out that since all Ju/’hoansi have unique footprints, every member of a band could instantly recognize who has been doing what—so stealing was nearly impossible. The thief would be immediately known and dealt with. In other words, their famed ability as trackers was not only essential to their hunting successes, it […]