You may want to skip this particular blog posting unless you’re a geek or a potential funder for the exciting new project I have in mind.
Estimated number of Ju|hoansi in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy is 2 750 (2014 figs.)
Ju|’hoan is just one of approximately 27 remaining San languages. Many of the San groups cannot understand one another.
Nyae Nyae means broken rock in Ju|’hoan and the powdery grey sand of this area is strewn with white rocky bits. Wish I'd studied geology, then I'd know what lies beneath the Kalahari sand that causes it to change colour so dramatically within a relative small radius. (In areas just 25 km away the sand is red brown.)
Tsumkwe (called Tjum!|kui, poison arrows by the Ju|’hoansi) is the main town with a floating population of around 1500; floating because many of the Ju|’hoansi move constantly between town and one of the 30 -35 bush villages in the area where they have foraging rights. This to and fro is dictated by the availability of bush foods and other socio-economic needs: access to the clinic; (many Ju|'hoan have drug resistant tuberculosis) collection of old age pension, access to food staples likes maize meal, tobacco (an appetite supressant) and alcohol, when they have cash, which is seldom. Nevertheless, shebeen owners do well, allowing hapless Ju|'hoan to drink on credit.
Only half the population of Tsumkwe are Ju|’hoansi, the remainder being members of other Namibian ethnic groups such as the Otjivambos, Oshiherero, Kavango and Damara.
Almost all the jobs and all the businesses in Tsumkwe belong to people from the above groups. This means unemployment among the Ju|’hoansi is the norm.