Ferraro: Eating Christmas in the Kalahari (Lee) BY Adrienne Elder And J. Mullooly
Eating Christmas in the Kalahari <ul><li>Classic example of cross cultural misunderstanding when people from different cultural operate in a culturally unfamiliar environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e.- Cultural anthropologist Richard Lee (western cultural) and the !Kung (today know as Ju/ ’ hoansi —Bushmen cultural) tribe of southwest Africa </li></ul></ul>
Eating Christmas in the Kalahari <ul><li>Lee attempts to give the !Kung the largest and fattest ox to slaughter and share as a “Christmas feast”. </li></ul><ul><li>The !Kung group taunted Lee with insults about the inadequacy of the gift. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Was this because they were ungrateful to Lee’s kind gesture? Or was it? </li></ul></ul> Molathwe Mokalaka, with his wife Toiwa Setlhobogwe, said they were harassed into leaving Molapo, one of the last traditional Bushmen villages. Photo: By Craig Timberg/The Washington Post
Eating Christmas in the Kalahari <ul><li>Ben!a and others form the group continue to taunts Lee about the ox being to thin, no fat, to old, only bones for soup and that Christmas feast this year would be poor and people would be hungry. </li></ul><ul><li>Lee was unsettled by their reaction of how poorly he choice his ox </li></ul><ul><li>Concerned over serious arguments about lack of food being his fault since he was trying to be kind and show his annual good will gustier </li></ul>
Eating Christmas in the Kalahari <ul><li>When the ox was cut, Lee saw that the ox was nothing but a good fat ox. They laughed at Lee’s frustration and confused relief. It had been a joke. </li></ul><ul><li>Lee questioned Hakekgose and this cultural exchange of this “joke” on Lee and Christmas. </li></ul>
Eating Christmas in the Kalahari <ul><li>Lee- White mans Christmas is supposed to be about friendship and brotherly love. </li></ul><ul><li>Hakekgose - The !Kung always talk belittling and critical to each other. A hunter can not come back and brag to his people, he must should humility by lessening the act of successfully hunting or he could become prideful and kill someone. That is why we(Bushman) speak of the meat as worthless, it “cools his heart and makes him gentle” </li></ul>
Eating Christmas in the Kalahari <ul><li>Lee’s cross cultural lesson from the !Kung was that there is no total generous acts. All “acts” have an element of calculation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One black ox does not cancel out a year of careful manipulation of a gift given to serve a personal gain </li></ul></ul>
Possible Final exam question: <ul><li>How does Lee’s “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” illustrate the Mauss’ principle that there is no such thing as a free gift? </li></ul>
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