Traditional Life
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection

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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…
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…
Bitter Roots - The Ends of a Kalahari Myth
Part of the Series: Anthropology 101 Collection
Bitter Roots: The Ends of a Kalahari Myth is set in Nyae-Nyae, a region of Namibia located in southern Africa's Kalahari desert, traditional home of the Ju/'hoansi. It updates the ethnographic film record begun in the 1950s by John Marshall, whose films documented 50 years of change, and who together…
!Kung Short Films Series
Between 1950 and 1958, John Marshall made four expeditions to film the Ju/'hoansi (a group of !Kung Bushmen) of the Nyae Nyae region of Namibia (then South West Africa). Marshall and his family, who together undertook an extensive multi-disciplinary study of Ju/'hoansi, spent the greatest amount of time with the…
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 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…
!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…
The Nuer
"Portrays the Nuer, Nilotic herdsmen of the Nile basin. Shows how their daily lives revolve about their cattle, and depicts the psychological bonds between them. Includes extensive use of Nuer music and poetry." "A poetic film concentrating on evocative images of life among a group of Nuer living in Ethiopia.…
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…
Bitter Melons
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
This film, shot in 1955, focuses on a small band of /Gwi San living in the arid landscape of the central Kalahari Desert in present-day Botswana. The hardships of their everyday survival are woven into the songs of a blind musician, Ukxone, who composes music on a hunting bow. His…
Resettlement
Part of the Series: !Kung Series Collection
In comparison to !Kung San: Traditional Life, this video shows some of the dramatic changes in life-style that Ju/'hoansi had experienced by 1986. No longer able to rely on hunting and gathering for subsistence, Ju/'hoansi collect mealie meal welfare, spend money earned from army jobs on alcohol and consumer goods,…
Bushman's Secret
When South African filmmaker Rehad Desai travels to the Kalahari to investigate global interest in ancient Bushmen knowledge, he meets Jan van der Westhuizen, a fascinating Khomani San traditional healer. Jan's struggle to live close to nature is hampered by centuries of colonial exploitation of the San Bushmen and of…