FIRST PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION
Currently featured at No.8 Sin Street House, Cape Town.
KALAHARI BUSHMEN_CARL JUNG_THE RELEVANCE
“He wanted to be an analyst. I said to him, ‘Do you know what that means? It means that you must first learn to know yourself. You yourself are the instrument. If you are not right, how can the patient be made right? If you are not convinced, how can you convince him? You yourself must be the real stuff. If you are not, God help you. You will lead the one in need astray. Therefore you must first accept an analysis of yourself.’ ”
– Memories, Dreams, Reflections. The autobiography of Carl G. Jung recorded and edited by Aniela Jaffe. p.134
Carl Gustav Jung proposed and developed the concepts of the extroverted and introverted personality, archetypes, and the collective unconscious. I extensively started analysing myself guided by Jung’s work during my three years of travel through eight African countries. Therefore, I started working through these archetypes, observing my outer world, connecting dots that held relevance to me and turned inward. The result is this exhibition.
Jung was also a student of myths and legend alongside the unconscious. He discovered and named the Collective Unconscious, meaning that part of the psyche that is common to all cultures in all eras and at all times. The Collective Unconscious, Jung said, contains the stored wisdom of the human race, accumulated over thousands of generations. The Collective Unconscious is the software we’re born with. It’s our package of instincts and pre-verbal knowledge. Within this package, Jung discovered what he called the archetypes; universal psychic images that underlie all human thought.
Archetypes are the larger-than-life, supra-personal or mythic-scale personifications of the stages that we pass through as we mature. The youth, the lover, the explorer, the jester, the sage, the magician, the outlaw, the innocent, the caregiver, the everyman/woman and the creator. It makes sense that the identified archetypes in our psyche serve the purpose of guiding us as we grow. A different archetype kicks in at each stage of our lives. It makes the new phase “feel right” and “seem natural.”
Jung’s experience during his trip to Kenya and Uganda in 1925, one year after his trip to New-Mexico where he spent time with the Pueblos Indians aided the overarching goal of Jung’s work. The goal being the reconciliation of the conscious life of the individual with the unconscious world of the supra-personal archetypes. He came to see the individual’s encounter with the unconscious as central to this process. The human experiences the unconscious through symbols encountered in all aspects of life: in dreams, art, religion, and the symbolic dramas we enact in our relationships and life pursuits.
Essential to the encounter with the unconscious, and the reconciliation of the individual’s consciousness with this broader world, is learning this symbolic language. Only through attention and openness to this world (which is quite foreign to the modern Western mind) are individuals able to harmonise their lives with these supra-personal archetypal forces.
This exhibition aims to take a look at the Bushmen as supra-personal archetypes or mythical characters that paradoxically exist in the here and now. My hope is to guide a process – assisted by the Bushmen, their traditional co-existence and Carl Jung’s archetypes – to become aware of the self in all of this. What have we complicated or forgotten, what can we learn? Touching on what we need to develop and shift within us to evolve towards a grander awareness of the SELF.
“We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.” – C. G. Jung.
KALAHARI BUSHMEN_TO CLARIFY
The San people, more commonly known today as Bushmen or Basarwa, are members of various indigenous hunter-gatherer people of Southern Africa. Their territories spanned across Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. These were the original hunter-gather family groups found migrating southern African soil.
To clarify, the term Bushmen refers to the San people. Who, to our knowledge nomadically roamed southern Africa during the Stone Age. The start of their existence dates back 20 000 years before European settlers discovered the land. Stemming from these hunter-gatherers, the Khoi acquired domestic livestock in what is known today as Botswana.
The Khoikhoi herders started migrating into the western half of southern Africa, appearing to have developed a symbiotic relationship with the hunter-gatherers, but continuing to convert individuals to herding livestock. Therefore, weakening the hunter-gatherer social cohesion. The group name, Khoikhoi (or Khoe), means ‘men of men’ or ‘the real people’. This name was chosen to show pride for their past and strong cultural heritage deriving from the San. The Khoikhoi brought a new way of life to southern Africa migrating only in search of new pastures for their cattle to graze. The San, on the other hand, were spread across previously mentioned countries, nomadic by nature and adapted to living in the harsh Kalahari Desert.
The Khoikhoi were the first native people to come into contact with the Dutch settlers in the mid 17th century. Initially the Dutch didn’t intend to enslave the Khoikhoi, as they wanted to keep good faith, in order to barter for livestock and knowledge of the lay of the land. It was only later, after the power dynamic shifted that the Dutch took over land for farms, the Khoikhoi were dispossessed, exterminated, or enslaved and therefore their numbers dwindled. Not long thereafter the colonists came into contact with the San which then faced the same disposition; permits available to hunt Bushmen and Khoikhoi were available in southern Africa until 1936.
The confusion that arises with the term Khoisan is that many of those whom the colonists called Bushmen were, in fact, Khoikhoi and vice verse. For this reason, most find it convenient to refer to hunters and herders alike as Khoisan.
KALAHARI BUSHMEN_IN CONTEXT TO BOTSWANA
On March 25, 1957, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg signed a treaty in Rome establishing the European Common Market currently known as the European Economic Community (EEC). The EEC, in the 21st Century, offered a high price for Botswana’s beef as long as they instituted major disease control measures to eliminate foot & mouth, anthrax and a few other endemic ailments. This resulted in an extensive game control fencing operation to separate the cattle from the diseases commonly found with wildlife. Unfenced ranges with moderate levels of wildlife became fenced-in lands with a catastrophic drop in game numbers due to a cut of the herds’ migration routes to cope with drought. The EEC were pleased and paid the massively inflated prices, while subsistence game hunting became meaningless. The cattle monoculture further destroyed the availability of the Bushmen’s plant resources, severely impacting their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
The Gana (G//ana) and Gwi (G/wi) tribes in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve are among the most persecuted. Ownership disputes of the rights over the land they have lived on for thousands of years has been a cause for great concern. Botswana’s government reallocated almost all of the Bushmen. In the early 1980s, diamonds were discovered in the reserve where the Gope community (South East in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve) resided. In the year 2011 Debswana produced 22,900,000 carats. Debswana is a joint venture between the government of Botswana and the South African diamond company De Beers; each party owns 50% of the company. In three big clearances, in 1997, 2002 and 2005, virtually all the Bushmen were forced out. Available schools and health posts were closed, they were prevented access to water and the Bushmen were trucked out of their homeland.
After winning the right in court to go back to their ancestral lands in 2016, a large number have since returned, with many more desperate to do so. They now live in resettlement camps outside the reserve. They are mainly dependent on government handouts. Statistics show that many Bushmen are now gripped by alcoholism, boredom, depression, and illnesses such as TB and HIV/AIDS.
In 2014, Botswana introduced a nationwide hunting ban, but before 2014 the government gave a special dispensation to fee-paying big game hunters, who flock to the northern Kalahari and the Okavango Delta in the extreme north of the country to shoot animals for sport. The Bushmen hunt for survival and aim to prevent the exhaustion of an environment for self-gain, yet the government deemed that money and sport should drive the financial injection gained. The increasingly authoritarian government of General Ian Khama sees the Bushmen as an “extinct form of life, a very backward form of life.” It wishes to see them integrated with mainstream society in the name of ‘progress’, yet fails to provide for an educated and considerate integration.
Their uncommon societies, way of life and moral decline is a cause for humanitarian concern.
“The most dangerous psychological mistake is the projection of the shadow self onto others: the root of almost all conflict.” – C. G. Jung.
Two individuals that have aided Bushmen on their innocent quest to regain their ancestral land and to tell their story is lawyer Gordon Bennett and Patricia Glyn. In 2006, England based lawyer, Mr Bennett, found himself on the winning side in the longest and most expensive court battle in the history of Botswana, as he helped a group of more than 200 Basarwa Kalahari Bushmen win a two-year fight over historic land the state had taken from them. However, since then the Botswana government imposed visa restrictions on Basarwa lawyer Gordon Bennett and over the Basarwa issue in 2013. Reported in the Sunday Standard, Baroness Warsi of the Conservatives said the British government regularly discusses with the Government of Botswana the situation of Basarwa. Sunday Standard, 19 May 2014. “There are many lawyers accessible in Botswana so Basarwa have a choice of using any other lawyer in the country. Why should they take someone from that far?” Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said in a statement, “this is yet another calculated move by President Khama to thwart the Bushmen’s access to justice”. Sunday Standard, 19 May 2014 In 2011 Patricia Glyn, South African eco-adventurer, writer and inspirational speaker, spent two months in the Kalahari with a family of !Khomani Bushmen, taking them back to places where they lived and roamed before they were evicted from what is now the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. It was a moving and memorable expedition during which the two elders of the family taught their youngsters about important heritage sites and rituals. Patricia learned a great deal about their traumatic history and fast-disappearing culture.
THE HERO ~ ARCHETYPE
Also known as the Crusader. The Hero archetype wishes to prove their worth or the worth of a cause, and return home to the ordinary world they know. However, this archetype is often forced into action by external forces, good or bad. Frodo’s journey in Lord of the Rings is an apt example.
Once the Hero archetype starts to develop and you take on the responsibility of the task, you practice immense focus, and willingness to fight for only what really matters.
Though the Hero archetype prompts courageous, determined, and disciplined actions he is quite susceptible to the shadow split. Often restoring peace for everyone but himself. Sometimes this results in the individual leaving the ‘fight’ with both an incurable wound and a weapon or tool that gives him an advantage over the opposition.
Apathy, stoicism, rejecting help, and especially arrogance are all vices this archetype development has a hard time balancing.
THE DIVINE CHILD
Traditionally, Bushmen adhere to a fairly relaxed approach concerning their kinship. There is no formal authoritative figure or chief, rather the family govern themselves through group consensus. Disputes are resolved through lengthy discussions. All involved have a chance to have their thoughts heard until some agreement is reached. Certain individuals may assume leadership in the spheres which they excel, such as hunting or healing rituals, but they cannot achieve positions of absolute or general authoritative power. When aiming to establish treaties with the Bushmen during the mid 17th Century, white colonists (Dutch and German) found the lack of authoritative hierarchy very confusing. The insight gained here is that an individual’s opinion is weighed in accordance with their skill level and experience with the particular field discussed. However, a child or a seemingly inexperienced individual could be granted the opportunity to voice an opinion on certain matters. If it is considered a feasible solution, meaning for the greater good, it will most definitely be taken into consideration and even implemented. This decision is left to the aforementioned skilled individuals in the family group to contemplate and execute.
THE INNOCENT/DIVINE CHILD ~ ARCHETYPE
Every era has myths of a golden age or of a promised land where life has been or will be perfect. The promise within our Innocent archetype is that life need not be hard. Within each of us, the Innocent is the spontaneous, trusting child that, while a bit dependent, has the optimism to take the journey.
The Innocent, fearing abandonment and non-acceptance, seeks safety. This could result in stimulating thought patterns feeding the shadow elements of that archetype and compromising behaviour. If not balanced, one can question what the promise of compromised safety holds for us, in comparison to the risk taken with the innocent archetype as our intent.
Expanding a purpose/vision from thìs seed within the psyche extends our greatest individual strength; trust and optimism, a child-like purity, that endears us to others. This innocent intent gains the help and support needed on our personal quest if you fully harness the belief of your purpose. Should this part of ourselves be compromised for acceptance and security? What is your definition of security?
What did you do as a child that made hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits. ~ C. G. Jung ~
The Bushmen’s ability to understand what they have is more than enough for them to purposefully give and therein purposefully live. They appreciate the gifts bestowed upon them and the land that they are allowed to live on, though they may ache remembrance of a time their ancestors roamed freely. Addictions, boredom, depression and societal pressures are all symptoms of feeling disconnected.
Yet, I believe the Bushmen that I met no longer choose to focus their energy on what current reality lacks compared to how circumstances were. Although, purposefully illustrating to tourists what addictions have been fatal to them, they invest their lives continuing to share their knowledge with any who are interested, corrupt or not. Portrayed in Westernised myths as simple, childlike people without a problem in the world, caused considerable damage. This could not be further from the truth. Their kind-hearted spirits and child-like enthusiasm are remarkable. The endurance of the caregiver, to me, is what the Bushmen harness. Young children have no social duties, besides playing and observing. They are allowed to be present when tasks are executed.
THE CAREGIVER ~ ARCHETYPE
The Caregiver, also known as the Mother. This is the archetype within us that is an altruist, moved by compassion, generosity and selflessness, to help for a greater cause than ourselves. To give to that which is in need.
Although prone to martyrdom and enabling behaviours when out of balance, the inner Caregiver helps us raise our children, aid those in need, and build structures to sustain life and health. Caregivers first seek to help others or a cause for the greater good. They do this with compassion and generosity while expecting nothing in return.
Though selfishness, in others or the self, is the greatest fear associated with this archetype development, over-extending your energies into those that would take advantage of this generosity, can lead to resentment and bitterness if not recognised for their sacrifices.
Unfortunately, the risk involved in the pursuit of the altruist is the vulnerability of one’s self.
The Bushmen used urine, gallbladder extract, and Hematite to create an acidic substance that etched their art into the rocks and helped preserve it for thousands of years. Hematite is a reddish-black mineral consisting of ferric oxide. It is an important ore of iron. It is coloured black to steel or silver-gray, brown to reddish brown, or red.
These Bushmen drawings depict an array of animals that were present within the Matopos National Park in Zimbabwe, many moons ago. Now their National park is struggling to get rhino numbers up due to poachers and the vast amount of wildlife depicted has been pushed out or killed due to historic movements, you are welcome to research. The large square and rectangular shapes are depictions of various realms and what the Bushmen saw as a fitting resemblance for their connection to the divine.
Traditionally the Bushmen only bathe twice in their lifetime. Once, when they are born and then again, just before death. Being a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer group in the Kalahari Desert they believe water to be one of the most sacred of commodities; Respecting the vital importance it carries in the creation of life. Harmonious balance with the earth has been their purpose in preserving both their own lives and that of their surroundings.
This purpose, amongst the other habits mentioned, is what makes the Bushmen masters of co-existence; Perfecting the art of gratitude throughout the ages.
THE CREATOR ~ ARCHETYPE
If it can be imagined, it can be created. This Jungian archetype is driven by the need to see a dream become reality while providing structure to the world. They are the great architects: the artists, the musicians, the scientists, the innovators and inventors. Their minds are always questioning, tinkering, and entertaining new theorems. When presented as a mortal character in a reality-based world, this archetype is often portrayed as a man ahead of his time, like Mozart, Einstein or Galileo. Ingenuity is their hallmark.
The Creator archetype fosters all imaginative endeavours, from the elaborate arts to the smallest innovation in one’s lifestyle or work. This archetype is solely focused on examining the boundaries of our reality and perception.
The Creator within wishes to be an authentic voice in a world of white noise. Adverse to being inactive, it can cause us to constantly overload our lives with new projects; yet, properly channelled, it helps us express ourselves in beautiful ways. Developing the Creator archetype presents the shadow split. Fears manifest that all is an illusion or our creations are mediocre as we seek to prove reality outside of the mind. A critical part in the balancing of this development is about finding and accepting yourself, discovering your true identity in relation to the external world.
The Kalahari Bushmen belief system generally observes the supremacy of one powerful ‘Greater’ being and a few ‘Lesser’ Supreme beings. The spirits of the dead also come into play quite often. The most important spiritual being to the Bushmen is /Kaggen, the trickster-deity. He created many things and appears in numerous myths told.
He can be foolish or wise, tiresome or helpful. The word ‘/Kaggen’ can be translated as ‘mantis’, this led to the belief that the Bushmen worshipped the praying mantis. However, /Kaggen is not always a praying mantis, as 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 as an ordinary Bushman. The ‘Lesser deity’ is regarded as bad and/or evil, a black magician, a destroyer rather than a builder, and a bearer of bad luck and disease. Just like the ‘Supreme being’, he is called by various names. They believe bad luck and disease is caused by the spirits of the dead who have been wronged.
Similar to the Xhosa and Zulu tribes in South Africa, the Bushmen have a strong believe that the ancestral spirits play an important role in the fate of the living, but they don’t use the same rituals to appease them.
THE MAGICIAN ARCHETYPE
Also known as the visionary, catalyst, charismatic leader, healer, or inventor, the Magician is the archetype that seeks transformation, and a deep connection to the cosmos. Developed Magician archetype operates on a plane above most, able to conjure outcomes and affect change in ways that hoist them from mortal to mystic in the eyes of the populace.
The Magician within searches out the fundamental laws of science and/or metaphysics to understand how to transform situations, influence people, and make visions into realities. Unlike the Sage, knowledge isn’t enough. Unlike the Creator, who uses the rules of the physical world, the Magician seems to draw his power from supernatural skill or resources.
“If you wish to understand the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”.
~ Tesla ~
If the shadow split can balance the temptation to use power manipulatively, it galvanises energies for the greater good. The Magician’s quest is not to ‘do magic’ but to aid as a catalyst for transformation or to change something or someone in some way.
Perhaps the ultimate goal is to transform the self, achieving a higher plane of awareness. One of the reasons that a Magician might not be willing to risk life and limb for this cause is because his power is born of ego. Hence to be corrupted or otherwise consumed by “evil” is one of his greatest fears. The Magician has an extreme duty to his own self-preservation. The Magician can often return after a fall from grace as a galvanising force depending on self-awareness.
Tourism is Botswana’s primary market after their chief export, diamonds. The Bushmen believe that they were evicted because their ancestral land is rich in diamonds. The Bushman community of Gope (South East in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve) is a reserve that lies in the middle of the richest diamond-producing area in the world. There is known to be at least one major diamond deposit in the reserve. Images of Bushmen hunters are used by Botswana’s Tourism Board to promote tourism to the country, while government authorities did everything they can to limit this way of life. Botswana’s president General Ian Seretse Khama said that Kalahari Bushmen live lives “of backwardness,” “a primitive life of deprivation” and “a primeval life of a bygone era,” calling into question the legitimacy of the Bushmen’s existence and suggesting that they are lower down on the evolutionary ladder than others. In an interview in 2014, Khama further stated that the Bushmen have an “extinct form of life, a very backward form of life.”
Tourists are openly encouraged to enjoy a ‘Bushman experience’, taking trips with Bushmen to learn about their hunting and gathering survival techniques and watch them perform ‘trance-dances’. At the same time, the Bushmen have been prevented from hunting and the majority are forced to live outside their ancestral land.
Survival International, a tribal rights NGO, called for a tourism boycott in 2013. Reaction to the tourism boycott in 2013 include: Former Robben Island prisoner, Michael Dingake, accuses President Khama of despotism, calling on him to stop the ‘genocidal’ war against the Bushmen.
Mmegi, 12 November 2013.
Christopher Booker describes the ‘ruthless persecution’ of southern Africa’s original inhabitants. The Spectator, 26 October 2013 The BBC’s John Simpson asks why an otherwise enlightened government treats its Bushmen so obscenely.
The Independent, 25 October 2013
THE JESTER ARCHETYPE
The Jester archetype urges us to enjoy the process of our lives. Also known as the clown, trickster, comedian, practical joker or the fool, the Jester is an archetype that is at peace with the paradoxes of the world. He uses humour to illuminate hypocrisy, and also level the playing field between those of power and those without.
Taking into consideration that each archetype has both a pinnacle, which represents the fullness of the archetype and a bipolar shadow split. The positive Jester invites us all out to play, to seek the now, inviting others to partake in creating a self-depreciating form of satire. The shadow split involves humor being raised as a shield to deflect inquiries about personal trauma.
The goal of the Jester is perhaps the wisest goal of all. Enjoy life as it is, with all its paradoxes and dilemmas.
What causes most dread with the development of this archetype is a lack of stimulation and not striving towards being ALIVE. They must seek to develop an understanding of what it is to just be, perhaps turning to the Sage archetype for reflective development.
Falling in love, for the Bushmen, entails a small sacrificial ritual; when a bushman has his eye on a girl, he uses a small bow and arrow. He shoots the girl in the backside, making his intentions clear. She then has the option of placing the small arrow over her heart to accept his love, or she can break the arrow, dispelling any further interest. The beauty within this ritual is; the man carries no animosity when rejected. He will also never attempt to approach the same girl again. Among most Bushmen, a wedding is a private event between the groom and the bride. Only in exceptional cases, a guest or the close family group may be invited, but there is no celebration or other ritual, as we understand it, only a private agreement between the two people involved.
THE LOVER ARCHETYPE
The Lover archetype governs all kinds of love, from parental love, to friendship, to spiritual love, but we possibly learn to understand its power best through romance. The Lover is attuned to the mysterious forces underlying our everyday existence; this is the archetype that fuels spirituality and being attuned to the synchronicities that occur in life. When we get those ashes of inspiration or sparks of creativity, that’s the Lover energy manifesting itself in our lives. Although it can bring all sorts of heartache and drama, it helps us experience pleasure, achieve intimacy, make commitments and follow our bliss.
The Lover within us all seeks the bliss of true love and the synergy of the divine couple. We often show the passion that we seek in a relationship through the energy and commitment we invest in gaining the reciprocal love of that other. Constantly sustaining the love relationships.
Remember that each archetype has both a pinnacle, which represents the fullness of the archetype and a bipolar shadow split. This could result in shadow elements surfacing such as the addicted lover or the impotent lover.
The archetype of youthful idealism and excitement is one the first of the archetypes to develop during our teens. Those who invest time to balance and focus this archetype, find they magnify their appreciation for the effort, those they love exude. In return they are blessed with strong relations, built on trust and mutually beneficial support.
‘Human-like creatures’; are the earlier impressions of the Bushmen. Their greatest intrigue remains their definitive understanding and connection with all that surrounds them. The Bushmen stress the immense value of natural resources, co-existence and harnessing a continual balance between the two.
Their characteristically small stature, accompanied by a proportionally large rear and animated expressions present the promise of mischievous adventures. Yet, expressing their humble wisdom in a uniquely animated way while wearing nothing but skins, seemed all too irregular and revealing to the 17th Century European.
Traditionally Bushmen can eat between 15-20kg’s of meat in one sitting. This once-o gluttonous indulgence is stored in their rears and provides sustenance for weeks at a time in the scarce Kalahari Desert. Bushmen metabolism is genetically adapted to ingest large quantities of meat at a time, and then slowly release energy therefrom over an extended period of time.
Renowned for their tracking skills, the Bushmen evolved these skills from an inherent ethos, whereby any one area would never be exhausted, or stripped of its resources. This skill derives directly from generations dedicated to co-existence and sustaining life.
Bushmen, being a hunter-gatherer tribe, would traditionally live on seasonal roots and berries collected, and meat tracked and hunted. All food and water collected would be shared equally amongst the family group.
THE WARRIOR ARCHETYPE
As soldiers, we have been taught discipline. As the Warrior, we teach ourselves self-discipline.
Modern interpretations associate the Warrior with being tough and courageous. According to Jung, each archetype serves the purpose of guiding us as we grow. This archetype helps us set and achieve goals, overcome obstacles, and persist in difficult times.
Could your initial concept for this sense of survival be to see others as enemies and to think in either/or terms? The Warrior archetype within us all feeds relatively basic thought patterns, seeking simply to overcome whatever adversary confronts us as we aim towards a goal.
An underlying fear of weakness that none truly wishes to invite, feed the shadow side of the Warrior. These fears are projected outward into our conscious state. What are the fears or weaknesses you surround yourself with?
What can the Warrior within your psyche remember from a collective consciousness dedicated to a purpose of co-existence and sustaining life? The Warrior’s challenge is to bring meaning to what we do, perhaps choosing our battles more wisely, utilising our deep rooted courage and the Warrior’s self-discipline.
The term, ‘Bushman’ came from the Dutch term ‘bossiesman’, which meant ‘bandit’, ‘outlaw’ or simply put, one which does not abide by the law of man and lives in the bush. A community believed to embody qualities of the animal kingdom, by earlier British and Dutch colonists. Bushmen never deplete any of their available resources.
A bush of berries is never stripped completely nor any hunt scavenged entirely. The bushmen ethos is to always leave enough to replenish any man or animal passing by. When the Bushmen come across an unsupervised kill by a predator they cease the opportunity to take a small amount of the available meat. They will leave roughly 80% of the kill for the predator that killed the prey, believing the one who does the work deserves the most reward. Hunters carry a sling bag, also known as a quiver. Hunting equipment ranged from a bow and arrow, clubs and a long stick or spear. Bushmen gather natural poisons and medicines, used in different team coordinated efforts whilst hunting to track and capture their prey.
Compared to modern methods of hunting which involve the brutal killings of animals for egotistical gain, such as trophy hunting with assisted tracking, caged hunting and poaching have steered the concept of co-existence and survival towards a gluttonous crime. To counterbalance Botswana’s hunting ban is the result of Western animal rights activism.
Unfortunately, the valuable lesson the Bushmen teach has been twisted through the lens of the western world. With relevance to this, an article in the New York Times casts ‘Botswana’s hunting ban as the disastrous move of a nation acting under the spell of Western animal rights activism’. This raises a point for debate and brings us back to the Bushmen’s awareness on co-existence and the harmonious balance between giving and taking. Traditionally, not hunting for egotistical reasons, they have been the ones arrested and accused of hunting and blamed for poaching by the government.
THE OUTLAW ARCHETYPE
Rules are made to be broken, by the individuals ready to test the status quo. Also known as the rebel, revolutionary, iconoclast, and misfit, the Outlaw is the archetype that lives for revolution. This archetype speaks to a base human desire to break free of the rules and constraints of regular conditioning. Drawing insight from revolutionary artist-musicians like Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and the like, we can sense how the rebel within us awaken when listening to their music and understanding their lyrics. Robin Hood reminds us of this archetype and Ernesto “Che” Guevara is a reality-based example.
Though often motivated by a need to better the world through somewhat questionable means, it has a shadow split that can also have a desire for revenge against atrocities committed against them. Stimulus to the rising of this archetype can lead to dogmatic behaviour regarding their own perspective, easily casting out those who do not fit their definition of good. Thus, repeating the cycle of society they are trying to break out of. Independent and radical, employing outrageous or disruptive, shocking subconscious habits to shake those they interact with out of complacency. It is not uncommon to turn to crime or dependencies that harm the innocent motive. In the process you could lose your way, as well as sense of morality. This could lead to alienation from friends or potential allies who would otherwise support the cause.
Though the Outlaw can also be a strong advocate for change, the methods they often employ to get the attention of their oppressor can be radical and disruptive to general social acceptance.
Traditionally, Bushmen women spent 3-4 days a week in the veld gathering wild plants, herbs and roots, often going out in groups to search for edible or medicinal plants. Furthermore, before the advent of trade with Bantu tribes (Xhosa and Zulu) or European settlers, all tools, temporary structures, hunting weapons or clothes were made of plants or animal skin and bone.
They are not wasteful and every part of the animal is used. As an example, the hides are tanned for blankets and the bones are cracked for the marrow. While the men hunt, the women, are experts in foraging for edible mushrooms, bulbs, berries and melons. Children stay at home, to be watched over by those remaining in camp, but nursing children are carried on these gathering trips, adding to the load the women must carry.
Gender roles are not traditionally guarded in the Bushmen society. Women sometimes assist in the hunt and the men sometimes help gather plant foods. The bushmen make use of over 100 edible species of plant. About 400-500 local plants and their uses were known to bushmen, along with the places where they grew, not only providing a balanced nutrition, but moisture from roots even in time of drought. Plants were used in ways similar to western phytomedicine to treat wounds and heal illnesses; other plants were rather part of healing ceremonies in which a healer would burn plants to make rain, trance to heal an ailment, or perform a charm to bring fertility.
Water is hard to come by, as the Bushmen are constantly on the move. Usually, during the dry season, these migrants would collect their moisture by scraping and squeezing roots. If they are out hunting or traveling, they would dig holes in the sand to find water. They also carry water in an ostrich eggshell.
THE SEEKER ARCHETYPE
Also known as the explorer, wanderer, pilgrim and iconoclast, the development of the Seeker is an archetype that, familiarly, seeks to escape the confines of an unfulfilled life by traveling the world or exploring its many mysteries. Those that seek are moved by the possibility of a more fulfilling and authentic life, by being more true to him-/herself, and unlike the Hero archetype, needs no inciting incident to try and find it on their own.
We know them within our daydreamers. They are in the eyes of the imaginative child and in the heart of some of our favourite fictional characters, such as James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, Jasmine in Aladdin and Belle in Beauty & The Beast brought to life by Walt Disney. The Seeker has its shadow split as with all the archetypes. They are self-suficient, but sometimes so much so that they become misfits, or actively repel others because group mentalities seem to equal conformity. In their quest to be more fulfilled, the Seeker within may become an aimless wanderer, or even a thrill-seeker.
We are exposed to this archetype first, most likely because of its significance to exploring our world and learning, each day, how much wider it is than we thought the day before. The explorer is a self-fulfilling character. They are self-motivated, self-driven, and self-suficient. Independence is their hallmark. Balance, however, is prevalent.
Few modern Bushmen are able to continue as hunter-gatherers, and most live at the very bottom of the social scale, in unacceptable conditions of poverty due to being ostracised from their ancestral land. In 2002 the Bushmen took the Botswana government to court. They wanted the court to rule that their eviction from their land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve was illegal. Due to procedural wrangling, findings was not heard until 2004. Although the Bushmen are Botswana’s poorest citizens, the case became the longest and most expensive in the country’s history. The Bushmen won the right in court to go back to their lands in 2006.
According to Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, the government did everything it could to make their return a harrowing experience, including cementing over their only water borehole. Without it, the Bushmen struggled to find enough water to survive on their lands. The Bushmen launched further litigation against the government in a bid to gain access to their borehole. During this time, a safari camp entered into a lease with the government.
The lease, however, made no provisions for the rights of the Bushmen on whose ancestral lands the camp resides, nor were they consulted about the venture. At the same time as the Bushmen were prevented from accessing water, the government drilled new boreholes for wildlife only. In addition, the government refused to issue a single permit for the Bushmen to hunt on their land (despite Botswana’s High Court ruling that its refusal to issue permits was unlawful), they arrested more than 50 Bushmen for hunting to feed their families and enforced restricted access to the reserve for the majority of Bushmen, who needed to apply for a one-month permit to visit their families.
Although the Bushmen’s application was initially dismissed, in January 2011 Botswana’s Court of Appeal ruled that the Bushmen can use their old borehole and sink new boreholes in the reserve as well. The court also ruled that the Bushmen have the right to hunt and gather in the reserve, and should not have to apply for permits to enter it. Survivalinternational, 2016.
THE SAGE ARCHETYPE
Benevolent mentors and custodians of wisdom. The Sage archetype seeks the truths that will set us free. Especially if the Sage overcomes the temptation of dogma, it can help us become wise, to see the world and ourselves objectively, and to course-correct based on objective analyses of the results of our actions and choices.
The Sage is a seeker of truth and enlightenment and journeys far in search of the next golden nugget of knowledge. The danger in the development of the sage is their deep fear that their hard-won wisdom is built on the sand of falsehood. Their best hope is that they play from a position of objective honesty and learn to see with a clarity that knows truth and untruth.
Part mystic, part genius, the Sage is an essential driver of the Hero archetype journey, delegating the changing of the world to their often younger, more naive and eager fellows.
The Sage diers from the Creator archetype in that they do not always use their knowledge to change the world, and very rarely do they desire to create something new. Their goal is the accumulation of truth and through those truths harness the guidance to change the self. In this, the Sage might be closer to the Seeker Archetype.
While the Seeker’s goals are outward, the Sage’s are inward.
THE OPENING OF THE KALAHARI_BUSHMEN/SAN EXHIBITION AT No.8 SPIN STREET HOUSE, CAPE TOEN, SOUTH AFRICA.