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The Ju'Hoansi of the Kalahari: Ox Dinner Problem

1. Why is the anthropologist's gift of an ox dinner considered a problem by the Ju/'hoansi and how do they solve the problem?

2. Why do the Ju/'huansi ridicule and denigrate people who have been successful hunters or who have provided them with a Christmas ox?

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Dear Student,
Hello. I am going to assume that you have read and have access to the original ethnography by R.B. Lee on the subject. The solution below then is very specific and concise but should get you started. An overview is provided before specific answers in the Q&A section. For further expansion, use Lee's material to cite passages that indicate the answer. Thank you for using Brainmass. Good luck!

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

The Ox Dinner Problem Review

Anthropologist and ethnographer Richard Borsay Lee went to immerse and interact among the Kalahari Bushmen to learn more about them - their culture, their traditions, their social structure, and their beliefs. As he indicated in his ethnography, he came to the African desert "to the Kalahari to study the hunting and gathering subsistence economy of the !Kung Bushmen" (Lee, pp1.). To establish a communication channel and encourage sharing and trust, Lee shared provisions and provided such materials as tobacco and medical supplies although for Lee, this did not help in discouraging the difference in the social capacity of the Bushmen with him, a foreign anthropologist who had a generous supply of canned food and other essentials as the !Kung Bushmen struggled to find food and basic needs in a day-to-day basis. Thus, when the event of ...

Solution Summary

The solution, based on the work by anthropologist R.B. Lee, "Eating Christmas on the Kalahari" provides an analysis and review of the cultural practices of the Ju'hoansi tribe of the Kalahari, particularly the conflict raised by a gifted Ox (from the richer anthropologist) for a special dinner event for the tribe and the solution the tribe has used to solve the conflict. Additionally, the Ju'hoansi practice/tradition of ridicule and denigration of successful tribe members, particularly hunters, is also analysed and explained to provide an understanding of this practice from the viewpoint of the Ju'hoansi. The solution is in the form of an essay following the APA-format. References are listed for expansion.