1) After viewing the video of one traveller’s experience among the Kung San about the way that the !Kung hunt and forage for subsistence, analyze and sort the technological strategies into the categories of knowledge, skills, and tools….i.e. what exactly is the skill set the !Kung employ to find and process food What are they comfronting today – now that their traditional ways are no longer available to them??
MAke this distinction as you create your analysis – How much of it is cultural knowledge, versus actual tools for gaining subsistence? Be clear about this distinction. Make sure you understand it allowing us to see the complexities of cultural knowledge and adaptation.
2) Now evaluate this in comparison to what is required to procure food in the memoir Hillbilly Elegy, for example, or for us. Remember we need money to procure food because most of us do not produce food ourselves. We don’t grow it or raise animals, we don’t forage in the wild for it either, but we do require it and there are various jobs we do to be able to buy food that someone else has grown or raised. There are also relationships we maintain for this purpose. How much of what we do to subsist is cultural knowledge versus actual tools for getting food?
So what do we need to know? what kind of knowledge is it?
And what happens to people in our culture who have less access to this type of knowledge?
The history of the Appalachian farmers, turned first coal miner or steel worker, then turned rural and urban poor, is the story of self reliant agrarian (living off the land) people losing their attachment to the land. In Appalachia the land was bought up by US companies to mine coal and then displaced farmers were used to mine the coal or found work in the steel industries. The Appalachian natives’ knowledge of their land became obsolete, useless, and their subsistence pattern challenged. What does this tell us about the likely future for the Kung?