The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman
Routledge – 1990 – 412 pages
Series: Exploited Earth
Married at twelve, then separated, divorced and widowed, Nisa is the mother of four children, none of whom survived. She is strong, capable of foraging on her own in one of the world's most hostile environments, not dependent on any man for her daily sustenance and ready to talk to anyone as her equal. Wise, full of humour at the absurdities of life and courageous in the face of its defeats, she is bawdy, practical and incurably romantic. She is a woman of the !Khung people who live by means of humanity's oldest survival strategy - gathering and hunting. This book is the remarkable story of Nisa's life, told in her own words to Marjorie Shostak. It is a story full of echoes from a female past that we can never know directly. But it is also Nisa's unique story, her own voice, her own dignity. In anyone's culture, she is a remarkable woman.
Earliest Memories * Family Life * Life in the Bush * Discovering Sex * Trial Marriages * Marriage * Wives and Co-Wives * First Birth * Motherhood and Loss * Change * Women and Men * Taking Lovers * A Healing Ritual * Further Losses * Growing Older * Epilogue *
Marjorie Shostak is an anthropoligist who lived for two years with the !Khung in the Kalahari desert.