This and That

In the area of Botswana we explored, some animals became quite familiar. The graceful impala was common

as were the red lechwe. It was easy to get the two confused because of their similar coloring, so one had to pay attention to horn and body shape.

dsc03070-2Thanks to its white stripes, it was no problem identifying the kudu.

The tsessebe’s humped back was a give away.

The cape buffalo with its drooping horns and hangdog face was distinctive

as were the wildebeests.

Though each of these animals has its own characteristics, they have something in common. They are all members of the antelope family. Surprised? So was I, and even more so learning that the awkward looking tsessebe is the fastest of all the antelopes. What connects them is that they all have hollow horns and are cud chewing.

As interesting as any of the animals were the bushmen of the desert.

Though living differently than in the past, they keep their traditions alive. Women retain their knowledge of foraging for what the environment provides for sustenance.

Nothing goes to waste in this culture. Dried elephant dung has healing qualities.

Zebra dung, dried grass and sticks are used to start a fire.  It takes several pairs of hands working fiercely to get a blaze going.

The sharp end of a wildebeest horn serves as a pipe.

Grandmothers are very involved in caring for children.

As in other countries, things have changed in Africa and people adapt to new ways while clinging to old traditions that define them. I appreciate the opportunity to witness that.

One of our guides told of another tradition that has to do with getting married. To receive permission to marry a daughter, a man sends an uncle to negotiate with the intended bride’s family to determine the number of cows she is worth. A typical dowry is between eight and thirteen cows. This fella’s uncle, he said, was a very good negotiator. His now wife was only eight cows plus an extra one for his having gone in through the back door, meaning she was pregnant. My response to this story was that daughters need to keep the back door closed and that it would pay to have several daughters in order to amass many cows which are a measure of a family’s wealth!

So it goes every day when there is so much to take in.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

14 thoughts on “This and That

  1. Such an interesting post Linda. I enjoyed it all but especially about the San Bushmen. I loved all the interesting bead work that many of them were wearing.

  2. Very interesting, Linda. You have learned so much on this trip. Now you know what it takes to get married!🤓

  3. Sherleen Zehner May 14, 2019 — 10:24 pm

    Wow Linda! What an educational trip! Good for you two. Glad you are having such an interesting time.

    1. Yes, Sherleen, it is a most wonderful experience, and I love learning new things.

  4. Bonnie Morgan May 14, 2019 — 6:39 pm

    Thanks for all the lessons. I’ve learned a number of things I did not know.
    Very interesting pictures and stories.

    1. Learning new things is one of the many gifts of travel.

  5. Interesting betrothal customs!

    1. Yep, it could be a little humbling to be worth only 8 cows!

  6. You have showed me animals I’ve never heard of, amazing photography and I am fascinated by the bushmen and astounded that they still exist in such a primitive life style…the marriage story is unreal! Stay safe,

    1. I’m glad you’ve traveled along and enjoyed the experience with me.

  7. Beautiful images and a glimpse into a culture so unlike ours. Very interesting, Linda!

    1. When I travel it is the culture I like to explore.

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