Since time immemorial, the San have claimed custodianship of their environment, using it for hunting and gathering. The environment has always been used in such a way that it was conserved. They hunt in different seasons and for different animals.
When there is a successful hunt, they share among the camp, because each person in the camp lives in connection with the other. This tradition has been so until today. However, it has become problematic in Botswana, as hunting, a source of livelihood among the San, is banned. These efforts not only violate the culture of the San but further plunge them into poverty.
Gathering has also become a problem in Botswana, since a license is now required in order to gather some plants. Gathering is the main source of San peoples’ livelihood. 70% of their food is sourced through gathering. Although gathering is mainly done by women, men also gather while they trek through the Kalahari to hunt and on their way back home. They sometimes carry the fruits and vegetables to the camp in order to share.
It is important that these traditions are maintained so that people can define themselves. If they are prevented from legally exercising their traditions, this will perpetrate the extinction of San culture.
I’m a native speaker of Naro from Botswana’s Ghanzi District. I’m a defender of of Indigenous rights and a strong supporter of inclusive social policy. As a young person from a very marginalized group, I have grown to understand the importance of culture in todays society. Whereas I know that change is inevitable, without the knowledge of where you come from and ideals that you represent, can bring harm to the very fight of the right to self-determination. I support all those who advocate towards them.