www.africancraftsmarket.com - (Producers and suppliers of fine African handcrafted
Arts and crafts shipped to the international market)
& PEOPLE - BUSHMAN
The 'Bushmen' are the oldest inhabitants of southern
Africa, where they are commonly known as Bushmen, San, Khwe or as the Basarwa.
They have been resident in and around the Kalahari Desert for at least 20,000
years. Which spans areas of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Angola. The terms
San, Khwe, Bushmen, and Basarwa have all been used to refer to hunter-gatherer
peoples of southern Africa. They speak a variety of languages, all of which incorporate
'click' sounds represented in writing by symbols such as! or /. Genetic evidence
suggests they are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, peoples in the world
were hunter-gatherers, hunting with bows and arrows, trapping small animals and
eating edible roots and berries. They lived in rock shelters, in the open or in
crude shelters of twigs and grass or animal skins. They made no pottery, rather
using ostrich eggshells or animal parts for storing and holding liquids. For these
reasons, animals and nature are central features in the Bushman's religious tradition,
folklore, art and rituals.
The Bushman are small in statue and usually have large bottoms hence
the term "Bushman bum"
most important southern Bushmen spiritual being was /Kaggen, the trickster-deity.
He created many things, and appears in numerous myths where he can be foolish
or wise, tiresome or helpful.
word '/Kaggen' can be translated as 'mantis', this lead to the belief that the
Bushmen worshipped the praying mantis. However, /Kaggen is not a praying mantis:
the mantis is only one of his manifestations. He can also turn into an eland,
a hare, a snake or a vulture; he can assume many forms. When he is not in one
of his animal forms, /Kaggen lives his life of an ordinary Bushman, hunting, fighting
and getting into scraps
The Bushmen's beliefs go beyond that. The eland
is their most spiritual animal and appears in four rituals:
ritual is held where the boy is told how to track an eland and how the eland will
fall once shot with an arrow. He becomes an adult when he kills his first large
antelope, preferably an eland. The eland
is skinned and the fat from the eland's' throat and collar bone is made into a
broth. This broth has great potency.
In the girls' puberty rituals, a young
girl is isolated in her hut at her first menstruation. The women of the tribe
perform the Eland Bull Dance where they imitate the mating behavior of the eland
cows. A man will play the part of the eland bull, usually with horns on his head.
This ritual will keep the girl beautiful, free from hunger and thirst and
As part of the marriage ritual, the man gives the fat from the
eland's' heart to the girls' parents. At a later stage the girl is anointed with
In the trance dance, the eland is considered the most potent of
all animals, and the shamans aspire to possess eland potency
The modern Bushmen of the Kalahari believe in two gods: one who lives in
the east and one from the west.
'Medicine People' or shamans protect everyone
from these spirits and sickness.
A shaman is someone who enters a trance
in order to heal people, protect them from evil spirits and sickness, foretell
the future, control the weather, ensure good hunting and generally try to look
after the well being of their group
The Bushmen are well known for their
rock art paintings of stickmen figure hunting and gathering. These bushman paintings
have become important historical finds as they have given historians key data
in the lives and times that the Bushman has been around. As well as the movement
of African people.
The bushman are not notorious for their craft but are
more known for their paintings and rock art. They do however make traditional
arts and crafts today such as eggshell jewelry, bows and arrows, dancing and fire
sticks and dancing skirts. They are also making exquisite textiles and ceramics
that have been hand painted with traditional images.
A selection of a few Bushman choices available from African Crafts Market.
Click here Learn about more African
tribes and traditions
CRAFTS MARKET is a company situated in South Africa that has many
African pieces of art available for sale, from the lovely Ashanti Fertility
dolls and Talking drums through the traditional Masks and cloth. To view the items that may be of interests to you go to our gallery
pages on our website at www.africancraftsmarket.com
Abstract art~ African
figures ~ African busts ~ animal
skins ~ Tribal Zulu / Ndebele bead work ~ candles ~ candle holders ~ African canes ~ chessboards ~ clay art ~ cooking
utensil ~ cushions ~ Tribal
drums ~ footwear ~ furniture ~ gemstones ~ hats ~ animal
horns ~ handmade jewelry ~ lights
& lamp shades ~leather ~ African
tribal masks ~ decoupage ostrich eggs ~ paintings ~ postcards ~ Zulu shields ~ stone
animals ~ stone eggs ~ tablecloths ~ tableware ~
~ wire art ~ wood animals ~ wood tableware ~ Zulu