*** Updated with Eleanor’s favourite video 🙂 ***
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Today we had a very interesting morning at the living museum of San Bushmen. Mummy asked, and the man told us there are 450 people living in the village. But only 70 work in the living museum.
The first thing the man did was make a fire. He used 2 sticks, not matches! First he put some sand in a hole in the first stick lying on some dry grass. Then he put the second stick on top. Then he rubbed the stick between his hands. He had to call out to the Gods, to make the fire come. It sounded like “koo, koo”. He rubbed his hands very fast and after a while the grass started to smoke. He blew on the grass and got flames. He used this to light stome sticks. It looked hard work!
Then we went for a walk. On the walk we saw some plants that the Bushmen use for medicine. There were some that you made tea from the leaves and some that you used the bark and some that you used the roots. If you had a headache then they cut your head and rubbed the cut with the root of a tree! Whatever ached, you would cut and rub with the root! One of the trees was used by the Shaman to go into a trance. A Shaman is like a witch doctor.
On the walk he showed us his quiver, which was made from the root of an Acacia tree. He called it his Bushmen’s Wallet, because he kept all his important things in it. He showed us a tree where they get their poison for the arrows. The poison comes from the larvae of the ladybird. The larvae is like little caterpillars. He also showed us a snare where they catch guinea fowl.
When we got back, Mummy, Genevieve and I helped make some ostrich egg shell jewellery. They used seeds as well as the ostrich shell. It was fun and I got to keep my bracelet. Daddy also bought me a matching necklace.
Then Daddy and I helped to make a bow. We had to scrape the bark off some wood. Then he tied string to it. We saw them make the string too, by scraping a reed with a knife. Then we got to shoot the bow. It was very hard. We pretended to be a hunting party chasing an antelope. There were 4 of us. If one missed then hopefully someone else would hit the target. Daddy and I were very noisy in our hiking boots, the bushmen had bare feet and were very stealthy. Daddy shot over the target and my arrow landed before the target. But the bushmen were very good. Then we had to search for our arrows. It was very hard!
After that the women sang us some songs. The first song was about friends and they held hands and looped around each other. The second song was my favourite and was about the rain. They were hopping and had one foot lifted up and made a square with 4 people. The last song had a man come and pretend to be the Shaman in a trance.
I enjoyed it, but I would not like to be a bushman. It would be a hard life, as you have to hunt all your food.