Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Monday, June 28, 2004

Kalahari Bushmen art exposition

On June 24th the Kitchener City Hall Rotunda hosted the reception of the Kalahari Bushmen art exposition organized by Nharo! (a Kitchener-Waterloo organization dedicated to promoting the connection with San, the Kalahari Bushmen).

The Bushmen are well known for their "clicking" language, considered to be one of the oldest languages. They became more popular once the movies The Gods Must Be Crazy were released. Unfortunately the Bushmen image portrayed by these movies are far from reality as the first presenter at the reception, Mathias Guenther, said. Anthropologist at the local University, Wilfrid Laurier, Mathias Guenther is the leading expert on Nharo culture, art and religion. He discussed his time with the San of D'kar Botswana. Mr. Guenther's recommendation to better understand the Bushmen, was the works of Laurens van der Post.

His presentation was followed by two Bushmen stories told by Adwoa Badoe, a storyteller from Ghana. To warm up, she started with a story from Ghana and asked the audience to interrupt her from time to time with "interruption chants", like: "unbelievable! tell it well! tell it true!" as it is done in Ghana to keep the audience focused and awake:) After the warm up, the audience learned the Bushmen stories of the Sun and the Wind. There was no chance to take a nap as the audience was very eager to practice the "interruption chants" especially in cases when the action in the stories was indeed unbelievable :)

The reception ended with the dance performance of the Acholi Cultural Dance Group, founded by a group of South Sudanese Canadian immigrant families.

Check this for more insights on Bushmen realities.


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