Strong food

On the hunt for abundance

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  • Published 20221101
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-74-0
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE ELEPHANT BREATHED its last some five miles from the sand track that snaked its way between the small Ju/’hoansi Bushmen villages of G/aqo!oma and Denu/ui in the Nyae-Nyae Conservancy. This area lies adjacent to Namibia’s border with Botswana, north-west of the vast, semi-arid Kalahari Desert that dominates much of central southern Africa.

When this particular hunt took place I had already been documenting the Ju/’hoansi’s often traumatic encounter with the rapidly expanding global economy for twenty-five years. Over this period, I had followed numerous hunts. But this time the hunters were not Ju/’hoansi. Nor did they use traditional poison-tipped reed-shafted arrows or small, stiff bows fashioned from grewia wood. This time the hunters were a middle-aged married couple from Austria: he a dentist and she the manager of their dental practice back in Vienna. They had paid in the region of US$80,000 to kill this elephant and had done so using custom-built large-calibre rifles.

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About the author

James Suzman

James Suzman is an anthropologist who has been documenting the often traumatic encounter between the remnants of Southern Africa’s last Khoisan hunter-gatherer societies and...

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