I SAW YOU FROM AFAR"": A Visit to the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert by Carol Morse & Marlin Perkins
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I SAW YOU FROM AFAR"": A Visit to the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert

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The title indicates the sensitivity and graciousness of these small people. It is one of their traditional greetings to each other and imputes stature. Another greeting is ""I was dead, but now that you have come I am alive again."" On the basis of just these two examples, it will come as no surprise that the Kalahari Bushmen have a rich storytelling heritage. Some of their stories are introduced together with descriptions of their unusual graphic art, music and dancing. Part of the ability to survive depends upon courtesy as a way of life for these people. Another is their total knowledge of even the smallest facets of their surroundings. Their training begins at the toddler stage and every recreation during boyhood is pointed toward the skills and speed required of hunters. Theirs is a minimal existence in terms of material comfort but, with restraint and understatement the authors show that it is not an unsatisfying life; that the world will have lost something, and the Bushmen too, when Western civilization encroaches upon them. It is unfortunate that of all the many photographs of the Kalahari Bushmen, none have a familiar object or an average adult figure to provide a clear image of the Bushmen's small stature. This is, however, a minor reservation about a very strong book.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1965
Publisher: Atheneum