Women Like Meat

Women Like Meat : The Folklore and Foraging Ideology of the Kalahari Ju/'hoan

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"Women like meat" is an illuminating quote from a Ju/'hoan informant which succinctly embodies the antithesis of the male and female roles in Ju/'hoan society. Traditionally, the women gathered only plant foods and relied on their husbands to hunt and provide meat. The women are also likened symbolically to meat in that they themselves must be pursued as prey - a simile that is colourfully portrayed in Ju/'hoan folklore. In this study of the cognitive opposition of men and women in Ju/'hoan culture, Dr Biesele draws on a large collection of oral literature, gathered over many years. In particular, being a female researcher, she has acquired access to a variety of women's stories, which offer insights into the interrelationship of the sexes. The significance of an oral tradition to a foraging society (the most ancient and long-lived form of human organization) is examined from anthropological, ethnographical and historical perspectives. This text should be of interrest to all students and scholars in the field, and should also be of considerable interest to non-specialists.
This book is intended for students and scholars of archaeology, anthropology, folklore, ethnography, African history, linguistics, and the general reader.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 149 x 220 x 25.4mm | 476g
  • Wits University Press
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • English
  • line drawings, b&w photographs, bibliography
  • 0253315654
  • 9780253315656

Table of contents

PART I Sapience and survival: The Ju/'hoansi and their folklore; Folklore and foraging; Oral systems of communication. PART II Ju/'hoan expressive life: Tradition and creativity in Ju/'hoan religion and folklore; Understanding Ju/'hoan tales; Selected tales and analysis; Technology and metaphor.
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