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The African Bushmen: Driven out of the Bush and into the Industrial Era?

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The African Bushmen: Driven Out of the Bush and into the Industrial Era?

4.) Technology and Culture have both influenced each other equally. Technology has been directed as an improvement in our lives, but on the other hand, Culture has been present in every invention, noticeable or not, and advancement in our evolving society. Technology is becoming focused upon more and more everyday, but culture is the determining factor that decides if there is a necessity for an improvement. There are endless views and perspectives that this situation can be viewed from, but without a doubt, technology and culture shape one another. Culture has been a part of our society, and way of life, forever. It is almost impossible to come up with an idea that isn't influenced by culture. Picture our lives without cars, television, and computers. This would be an example of everyday life without technology. People could function happily in that type of atmosphere, but technology has changed our lives forever. Technology has also changed our pace and perspective on education. Students previously would have to go to libraries and spend a lot of time researching to find out information for class assignments, but with technology students can find almost anything on their home computers and by accessing the internet. Technology has definitely become the authoritative factor in our lives, but culture has shaped technology. Technology is made and used in such a variety of ways because many people who use the technology of today come from all walks of life and have different necessities, so to compensate for that, technology must adapt to all different cultures.

Technology in all of its forms, and in recent times with its rapid improvement and advancement, seems to push itself upon us and our culture, and the same can be said for the rest of the world. Cultures that have never been exposed to technology are now using it in small forms, or have adapted to it quite fondly. These cultures realize the supposed importance of technology in their lives, or may enjoy the simplicity of a new tool that frees up spare time and can get objectives accomplished faster and possibly in a better way than previous endeavors.

Of course, there are cultures than ours who do not so easily embrace technology. This decision on a culture's part may represent its wish to retain customs, or may just as easily represent its fear. The Bushmen of Africa are one a handful of cultures that remain in the world without most of today's modern technology.

The African Bushmen are several distinguished groups of aborigines (the term aborigine means a member of the indigenous or earliest known population of a region; or a native, usually of Africa) that reside mostly in the South and Southwestern parts of the African continent. The Bushmen make up about eighty-five thousand people in Africa's total population.

The first documentation of the African Bushmen was done by John Jourdain in 1608: "They could come to eat man's flesh, they would not make any scruple of it, for I think the world does not yield a more heathenish people and more beastile". Jourdain's documentation shows his fear of a culture with far less technology than his. As more travelers came and viewed their simple way of life, the fear seemed to grow: James Kicherer, in 1799: "The Bushmen are total strangers to domestic happiness, and will kill their children without remorse as when they are ill-shaed, when they are in the want of food... there are instances of parents throuwing their tender offspring to the hungry lion... many of these wild people live by plunder and murder, and are guilty of the most horrid and atrocious actions." John Campbell, in 1813: "The name Bushmen perhaps originated first from their country, being almost destitute of trees, but much of it being covered with bushes. The name may also stem from their method of assault, as they never attack man or best openly but from behind bushes." Barnabas Shaw, in 1820: "The race of people called Bushmen, are thus designated from the place of their residence, which is among the bushes; or from the concealed manner in which they make an attack either to kill or plunder." It is evident, yet not altogether surprising, that the Bushmen were feared by early travelers.

Though the Bushmen have an easily recognizable English name, there are complexities in it: there are several groups within the Bushmen name boundary: There are the San, who are persons without livestock. There are the Khoekhoen, or KhoiKhoi, or Kwena, who are somewhat separate from the rest of the Bushmen because they herd animals and have domestic animals. The last grouping will be covered later.

The Bushmen were aptly named by the Dutch settlers in the 1600's. The settling of a white race in Africa would prove most unfavorable for the Bushmen. The white people saw the Bushmen as a threat and drove them to the southern part of the continent. Some of the settlers, following the white man's tradition of xenophobia and mistreating humans of a different color than them, put some of the bushmen to work on their farms. That tradition has continued to today, and now half of all of the Bushmen work on farms. The remaining Bushmen / hunters are the Ju'hoansi and the Haiom.

Why have the Jo'hoansi and Haiom not embraced technology as most other cultures have? One of the reasons may stem from the African Bushmen creation myth. In this myth, there was a great master and lord of all life, Kaang. All the inhabitants of the earth,



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