"Jewels of the Kalahari" San Women
This image received third prize in the 2012 World Footprints Travel Photography Contest.
It was also one of the top ten images displayed at the Central Library, Atlanta, Georgia, as part of the 2012 Women in Focus International Women's Exhibit.
This is one of my favorite images and graces my living room wall. While volunteering in Botswana in 2011, I was afforded the opportunity to partake in a San Bushman walk accompanying a small band of bushmen and women out into the bushveld of the Kalahari. With the aid of a translator, the walk provided a unique glimpse of how the San adapted to the Kalahari Desert, by gathering an astounding array of edible foods, medicinal roots and other veld products.
The San people are believed to be the earliest inhabitants of southern Africa. They have lived for 80,000 years as hunter-gatherers in the Kalahari Desert, and are well-known for their expert survival skills in a harsh environment. Their unique clicking language and their astonishing method of healing through trance dancing have made them a source of worldwide fascination. But these peaceful people are not immune from the problems of modern society and have faced oppression and eviction from their homelands for years. Unfortunately, the hunter-gatherer life of the San/Bushman has all but disappeared with very few remaining bushmen who still retain the survival skills of their ancient way of life.
These two San women and a baby was taken as the sun was setting, casting a lovely golden light on their beautiful, smiling faces. They exuded such beauty and grace in spite of the challenges they face.