Essay about Marjorie Shostak: the Life and Words of Nisa a Kung Women

1262 Words Feb 23rd, 2013 6 Pages
| !Kung Women | | |


“Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman,” written by Marjorie Shostak; is a culturally shocking and extremely touching book about a woman who had gone through many struggles and horrific tragedies in her life. This book also emphasizes the perspective of most of the women in the society. There are many striking issues in this book that the people of the !Kung tribe go through. Marjorie Shostak, an anthropologist, has written this book and studied the !Kung tribe for two years. Shostak had spent her two years interviewing the women in the society. She was very eager to learn more about how women’s roles differed from our own here in the United States. She knew that the !Kung were one of the
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These people are also usually semi-nomadic moving from camp to camp irregularly. This is a sign of the !Kung tribe’s egalitarian ideology (Shostak 1981).
Although we have yet to discover complete equality among the sexes in any pre-existing or presently existing society, the !Kung people are among the closest to reach such equality. The !Kung are an egalitarian society, meaning everyone has access to the valued resources. While the amount of access does vary, just the fact that everyone is included at least on some level when it comes to meeting the essential needs of living is significant. Much of !Kung life consists of caring for one another and there is a strong effort put forth to keep everyone relatively on the same status level. A great example of this exists in the traditions of hunting. When a man returns to the village after killing a large animal, there is a certain role-playing he is expected to participate in. As people approach him about what happened, he pretends that nothing worth mentioning took place (Draper 1975). This signifies to the rest of the !Kung that the hunt was a success as they continue to inquire for further detail. The credit for the hunt invariably goes to the one who made the arrow (which, although rare, can be a woman as well as a man) and it is his (or her) duty to divide the meat fairly between everyone in the village. One way

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