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The Okavango People of Botswana, Africa - Essay Example
Known as one of the world's largest inland deltas, the Okavango Delta is surrounded by the Kalahari Desert. Crocodiles and hippopotami dwell here, while buffalo and elephants visit seasonally. The African animal kingdom is plentiful, and fish abound in this tropical wetland.
The Dxeriku, Wayeyi, and Hambukushu are Bantus engaged in fishing, hunting, and raising livestock (pastoralism). The Xanekwe and Bugakwe are Bushmen, practicing hunting, fishing, and gathering wild plant foods.
Some members of these groups also live outside of Botswana in the north of Namibia, the south of Angola, and the southwestern part of Zambia. Due to the civil war of Angola and the Namibian war, the ethnic groups in these geographic areas have grown apart. The Angolan civil war has resulted with Angolan members in relative isolation.
The Bushmen (Bugakwe and Xanekwe) are also known as the San people and are the South African dwellers residing in small nomadic groups as gatherers and hunters. The other three ethnic groups are Bantus speaking the Bantu-related languages.
Subsistence strategies differ between the five ethnic groups. Xanekwe and Bugakwe are gatherers and hunters; the Bugakwe also scavenge in the swamps and the desert. The Wayeyi, Dxeriku, and Hambukushu engage in a mixture of hunting, fishing, farming, and gathering plant foods, and herding goats and cattle.
The Bugakwe males hunted with bow and poison darts, requiring great skill, and taking many days to track and hunt their prey. The hunter had to have complete familiarity with the environment and the behavior of the hunted. Children are taught to track each other at an early age, and this skill is enhanced as adults.
The male Xanakwe also hunted ...