ABSTRACT

The !Kung “Bushman” people of the Kalahari desert in Africa occupy an anomalous position in the world of science. They have been selected for intensive study precisely because they are geographically, socially, and economically removed from modern, industrialized society, living in a sparsely settled and remote portion of an enormous semidesert. The !Kung maintain the language and culture of a fully developed hunting and gathering society with (until very recently) no dependence on cultivated plants, no domesticated animals other than the dog, no stratification system based on kinship or occupation, no power or authority structure extending further than the local bands composed of a few related families, no wage labor, no use of money, and no settled sites of occupation.