Film: 8957

Places + Locations | 1950 | Sound | Colour


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Bushmen of the Kalahari in Africa and their traditional way of life 1950's

Map of South Africa showing movement of Bushmen, in the advent of white settlers and the movement of Bantu tribes, pushing the bushmen to the northern part of Southern Africa, near the Kalahari desert. A group of people in a truck with an open box, it rather looks like a safari but they are looking for bushmen. An abandoned bushman camp, with large grass huts. A bushman smiles, he holds a bow and arrow, and ears a long vest. He nears a herd of springboks, and puts his bag down. The springboks run over the grasslands. The bushman puts his arrow to his bow and creeps slowly, nearer and nearer. He walks on all fours to stay below the grass. He shoots. The antelope jump and run away. The wounded one is behind all the others. The bushman camp, they wear homemade skins. Some of the people in the camp. One blind woman. The witch doctor, with locks of hair hanging from his necklace. The hunter goes out with another man and looks for the wounded springbok, who was hit with a poisoned arrow. The arrow shaft is found and saved. They start to track the wounded animal. The dead animal is found and the arrow removed and re-joined to the shaft.
The two men dig up a large tuber plant which has a very watery root. They scrap off part of the root and squeeze it, letting the water run over their hands and scrubbing with it. Catching a rabbit or hare. One man sticks a long spear into the hole and the other goes to end of the burrow and starts digging. He traps the hare and pulls it out, beating over the head to kill it. They go home with their meal.
Two bushmen start a fire by turning a stick very quickly. The men build up the fire, under a tree hanging with leopard skins and an antelope horn. They pack a pipe with tobacco and puff on it. Treating animals skins, curing and then softening them by hand.
A bushman digs through the sand to an underground well, he wraps grass around a hollow pipe, puts it in the hole and covers the hole over. A sucking well. His wife comes over with ostrich eggs for water. The man begins to suck on the pipe and spits the water out into a tortoise shell. He pours the water into an ostrich egg. A type of watermelon is used for food. It is roasted on the coals of the fire and then broken up in a pounding bowl. One of the children licks the end of the pounding stick used on the water melon, just like licking the spoon. Everyone eats the watermelon. Children breastfeed. Some men cut off the legs of the skinned springbok. A man and a two children eat some of the springbok by cutting bits of meat off it. The men dance while the women watch and sing.

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