Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Dobe Ju/'Hoansi (Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology) 3rd Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
There is a newer edition of this item:
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $9.99 (Save 50%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
The first half of Lee's ethnography focuses mainly on the past and the "present", circa the 1960s, when Lee himself spent time living with the Ju/'hoansi, a practice known as participant observation. The first major element Lee expounds upon is the harsh environment in which the Ju live. The climate consists of very warm, rainy summers (86-104 degrees Fahrenheit) contrasted against moderate, cool winters with no rainfall at all. Because the amount of precipitation can vary as much as 500 percent (Lee 29), droughts are frequent. The severe weather patterns combined with the unforgiving Kalahari Desert influence all other parts of the Ju/'hoansi way of life.
The Ju people are classified by archeologists as hunters and gatherers, moving around multiple times per year instead of living in permanent settlements. Skilled adults can identify as many as 100 species of edible plants (Lee 43) and can "deduce many kinds of information about the animal he is tracking: its species and sex, its age, how fast it is traveling, etc" (Lee 50). The author discovered that the Ju only have to work about 20 hours per week to hunt or gather enough food to sustain the population (Lee 54). I was amazed at this statistic, having previously thought that hunting and gathering took up many more hours per week to feed an entire band.
Lee moves on in the ethnography to discuss the intricate kinship connections the Ju share.Read more ›
Richard B. Lee's accomplishment here is to balance a scientific and human approach. Realizing how strongly a physical environment can impact a culture, Lee smartly and dispassionately details the basic facts of the Ju/'Hoansi's past and current situation - the geography and ecology of their home in the Kalahari desert, their food supply, etc. On this canvas, he paints a picture of the culture of this people. This sweeps from the physical layout of their camps to their language (including a thorough exposition of those interesting click consonants) to their handling of mortality and sexuality to the privileges and "complaint discourse" of older members of the society. Then Lee qualifies this whole portrait by describing recent developments, including enroachment of other cultures, erosion of the traditional lifestyle, and the dispossession and advocacy that has defined the Ju's recent relationships with the Namibian and Botswanan governments.
What amazed me about all this is that Lee remains tenderly human during this rich exposition. He writes of the Ju with great respect and humbly describes vigniettes of his interaction with his subjects - like when he got his pet name and when he had crushes on various native women. He avoids sentimental exoticism when describing how the culture began to fall apart due to pressures on their territory from Black herders. Instead, he documents the painful transition with precision and observational detail and even finds sources of hope.Read more ›
Throughout the book, Lee portrays accounts referring to his personal experiences in Botswana. The story that is most prominent describes how Lee took a select few of the tribe to a mongongo grove so the people could pick nuts. And they did- they pick enough food to tame the hunger of ten people for fourteen days. This is extremely significant because the action of these individuals is the quintessence of what a hunger-gatherer really is.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It came quick and I have only begun reading it but so far it's very interesting! Highly recomend it.Published 5 months ago by Esperanza
It is a very interesting book. I needed it for my Anthropology class, and it was in great condition. I highly recommend it.Published on March 31, 2014 by Nakita