the bush in Bushmanland
a Herero woman
"traditional" San women
around my neighborhood
those Western ways
Now, who's crazy?
TSUMKWE............Hardly anyone ever visited Bushmanland, where
the San people lived.
Part of the reason was the San had accepted the Western lifestyle.
It wasn't easy to find the vanishing traditions of their
culture. So, only die-hards like me had to come to Bushmanland.
But, I'd wanted to see this ever since seeing the movie "The Gods
Must Be Crazy". And,
I was going to do it!
Something happened overnight -- only Allah know what -- but my Herero hostess didn't know where to find the traditional San people even though she did the day before. She took us to a few places on the outskirts of Tsumkwe where some San lived in squalor -- but 21st century squalor. Nobody was willing to dress in traditional clothing (if they owned any). In a remote village, we did find some people who, for a fee, said they would change clothes in order to be photographed. I got the pictures I wanted but it was not a comfortable experience.
In the afternoon Chris took me to this little man in Tsumkwe whom we'd seen earlier. Glao Goma said he'd pose for me. As it turned out, this charming little man changed my whole Bushman experience. He was friendly, warm, ready to pose, and the star of "The Gods Must Be Crazy!" He talked of how he was selected and his travels. Originally there was a San from Botswana chosen for the part. But, after two days of filming, he disapperaed back into the bush. So, after a search was made in Tusmkwe, he was brought to South Africa (where he couldn't escape) for filming, and the rest was history. THe producers built Glao a house, a humble little home but certainly one of the nicest in Tsumkwe, and took him on a world premiere tour which included Hong Kong, Beijing and Japan.
|Copyright 2000 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.