!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…

Related videos

Traditional Life
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
This video depicts traditional Ju/'hoan life by using vignettes from longer films in the !Kung San series. Footage selected shows tool-making technology, hunting and gathering, social life and children at play, and gives the viewer a feel for the vastness and beauty of the Nyae Nyae region of the Kalahari…
N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman
This film provides a broad overview of Ju/'hoan life, both past and present, and an intimate portrait of N!ai, a Ju/'hoan woman who in 1978 was in her mid-thirties. N!ai tells her own story, and in so doing, the story of Ju/'hoan life over a thirty year period. "Before the…
!Kung Bushmen Hunting Equipment
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
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…
First Film
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
First Film was edited and narrated by Lorna Marshall and is comprised of footage shot in 1951 on the second Marshall family expedition to the Kalahari Desert. It is intimate in style, very carefully filmed, with a wealth of practical information about the material culture and structure of Ju/'hoan (!Kung…
A Far Country
Part of the Series: Kalahari Family Collection
In 1951, the Marshall family set out to document the life of the Bushmen of the Kalahari. After a week of hard travel in desert-adapted vehicles, they met Toma Tsamkxao and his Ju/'hoan band in Nyae Nyae. In their own words, Toma's extended family describes how they survive by gathering…
!Kung Series Collection
Over the course of his career, filmmaker John Marshall shot more than one million feet of film and video (722 hours) of the Ju/'hoansi (!Kung Bushmen) of Namibia's Kalahari Desert. This body of work is unrivalled as a long-term visual study of a single group of people. Contained in Marshall's…
Yanomamo Shorts
This playlist collects ts eight previously unreleased short films from the series. They only exist as what Asch called "slopticals," duplicated workprints with optical tracks that he assembled in order to receive feedback from fellow filmmakers. Although they lack narration or translated subtitles, they show many interesting aspects of social…
To Hold Our Ground: A Field Report
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
For thousands of years Ju/'hoansi have lived in the Nyae Nyae region in northeastern Namibia. In the 1950s, most Ju/'hoansi had been exterminated or were dispossessed by white colonists and black farmers, but in Nyae Nyae Ju/'hoansi were still the only permanent inhabitants. Waterless approaches isolated their ancient communal land…
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Stash 94
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