Lost Lands?

(Land) Rights of the San in Botswana and the Legal Concept of Indigeneity in Africa

By Manuela Zips-Mairitsch

Images can be deceiving. The San bushmen in Botswana are a remnant from a time when hunters and gatherers still roamed vast areas of land in southern Africa. However, in present reality, they are oftentimes actors paid to re-enact the way they once lived. In the Kalahari town of Ghanzi, Botswana, tourists can book so-called "authentic Bushman Walks." More than anything, however, such performances of a foraging lifestyle offer "authentic" accounts of the current legal and political living conditions for Botswana's indigenous population. Displaced from their land and left without any economic assets, they have to depend on the rampant commodification of their culture. Now that San communities have joined forces in the international arena of indigenous rights struggles, their voices are getting louder and call for at least some degree of self-determination on the lands they once owned. In many ways, the legal dispute over (land) rights in the Kalahari epitomizes this global justice movement. This book examines the land rights struggle of the indigenous San people. (Series: Legal Anthropology - Vol. 1)

432 pages

Publication Date: 7/11/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9783643902443