Hunting Day. Desert of Skeletons

The Bushmen always walk in single file when they are out hunting and have an assigned task, in a chase that can go on for several days.

Planet Doc

The group again sets off. When they are out hunting, the Bushmen always walk in single file. Tuka is the best hunter, and will kill the animal. He is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the hunt. From this moment on, he will be in charge of the operation. Once they have chosen the arrows with the freshest poison, Tuka moves to the front of the line.  

The hunt has begun. They have hit a male oryx. If the arrow has hit a sensitive area, such as the neck or the lungs, the oryx will fall down dead in a matter of hours, but if not, the slow chase can go on for several days. The arrow punctured the oryx's left lung, resulting in a slow, painful death.

The Bushmen are, in fact, extremely respectful of their natural environment, as many anthropologists have pointed out. When hunting, they are careful not to wound the females or the young. They gather only what is strictly necessary in order to eat, and they use the minimum amount of wood for their fires. For thousands of years, they have lived in perfect harmony with these extremely marginal lands.

This meat will provide enough food for a couple of weeks. They preserve it by smoking, and it belongs to the community as a whole. When meat is taken back to the village, a taster, normally an old man, must test it before anyone else can start to eat.

In the village of Chonwati, Kushai, Samgao, Tuka and Bo relax with their families around the sacred fire. With this dance, they give thanks to the good spirits for the success of the hunt and the abundance of food.

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