!Kung Short Films Series

Documentary Educational Resources
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17 videos in this playlist

The Lion Game
Gunda, a young man (who later marries N!ai), pretends to be a lion. He is "hunted" and "killed" by a group of boys. Filmmaker: John Marshall
Men Bathing
In Nyae Nyae, water often remains in open pans. Sometimes if the rains have been heavy, water stays in these pans, like small lakes, all year. In this film five…
N!owa T'ama: The Melon Tossing Game
Women from three separate Ju/'hoan bands have gathered at a mangetti grove at !O to play an intense game in which under-tones of social and personal tensions become apparent. The…
An Argument About A Marriage
In 1958, with assistance from the Marshalls, a group of Ju/'hoansi returned home to Nyae Nyae after several years as unpaid, captive laborers on a farm. One woman, whose husband…
A Joking Relationship
This film depicts a moment of flirtation between N!ai, the young wife of /Gunda, and her great-uncle /Ti!kay. The two share a "joking relationship," a Ju/'hoan kin relationship which provides…
A Group of Women
Ju/'hoan women often share an intimate sociability and spend many hours together discussing their lives, enjoying each other's company and children. In this short film, Ju/'hoan women rest, talk and…
A Curing Ceremony
Sha//ge, a very young woman about to have her first child, falls ill, probably with malaria. /Ti!kay, a relative and healer, enters a mild trance, without the stimulus of dancing,…
The Wasp Nest
In this film, a group of women and children gather sweet, fresh /ole berries and sha roots. The younger women, led by N!ai, bait a nest of wasps. As the…
The Meat Fight
In this film, an argument arises between two bands when an antelope killed by a hunter from one band is found and distributed by a man from another band. The…
Playing with Scorpions
Children tempt fate, playing with scorpions. Filmmaker: John Marshall
Baobab Play
Children and teenagers throw sticks, berries, and leaves at each other from perches in a large baobab tree. Filmmaker: John Marshall
Debe's Tantrum
In this film a five-year-old named Debe refuses to let his mother Di!ai go gathering without him. Di!ai appeals to her daughter N!ai to entertain the child but Debe resists.…
A Rite of Passage
This film, shot in 1952-53, documents the scarification ceremony called "marking" which was traditionally held for Ju/'hoan boys after they had killed their first large animal. Here, /Ti!kay, a boy…
Restortation Examples
Restored footage from the !Kung series
About the series
A short documentary that captures behind the scenes footage of the making of the !Kung series
N/um Tchai: The Ceremonial Dance of the !Kung Bushmen
Tchai is the word used by Ju/'hoansi to describe getting together to dance and sing; n/um can be translated as medicine, or supernatural potency. In the 1950's, when this film…
The Melon Tossing Game
Women from three separate Ju/'hoan bands have gathered at a mangetti grove at !O to play an intense game in which under-tones of social and personal tensions become apparent. The…

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A Kalahari Family Part I: A Far Country
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!Kung Bushmen Hunting Equipment
This film shows in detail all the pieces in the Ju/'hoan hunting kit and how each piece is made and used, from the collection of the raw materials to the final fabrication, including the preparation of poison arrows. !Kung Bushmen Hunting Equipment was shot by John Marshall between 1951 and…
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