Cognitive space concerning habitual thought and practice toward animals among the Central San (/Gui and

Based on field research carried out between 1982 and 1996 among the Central San (/Gui and //Gana) hunter-gatherers living in the Xade settlement in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana, the author discusses the diverse forms and patterns in which the Central San think and act with regard to animals. He looks at three different fields: observations and interpretations regarding peculiar morphological and behavioural features of game animals, ethno-ornithology (lexeme analysis of vernacular names, discourses about birds, birds’ messages, folktales explaining the origins of bird habits or their morphology), and food taboos and avoidance (notably according to age and sex). He schematizes /Gui and //Gana knowledge, belief and practice relating to animals in a theoretical model of cognitive space divided by two intersecting coordinates: deictic versus indirect cognition, and prospective versus retrospective intention. He notes that /Gui and //Gana beliefs organizing food tabos and avoidance are based on embodied experience, and as such are beyond both kinds of cognition, suggesting the special significance of taboos on eating the meat of specific animals. Bibliogr., notes, sum.

Title: Cognitive space concerning habitual thought and practice toward animals among the Central San (/Gui and
Author: Sugawara, Kazuyoshi
Year: 2001
Periodical: African Study Monographs: Supplementary Issue
Issue: 27
Pages: 61-98
Language: English
Geographic term: Botswana
External link: http://repository.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/2433/68417/1/ASM_S_27_61.pdf
Abstract: Based on field research carried out between 1982 and 1996 among the Central San (/Gui and //Gana) hunter-gatherers living in the Xade settlement in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana, the author discusses the diverse forms and patterns in which the Central San think and act with regard to animals. He looks at three different fields: observations and interpretations regarding peculiar morphological and behavioural features of game animals, ethno-ornithology (lexeme analysis of vernacular names, discourses about birds, birds’ messages, folktales explaining the origins of bird habits or their morphology), and food taboos and avoidance (notably according to age and sex). He schematizes /Gui and //Gana knowledge, belief and practice relating to animals in a theoretical model of cognitive space divided by two intersecting coordinates: deictic versus indirect cognition, and prospective versus retrospective intention. He notes that /Gui and //Gana beliefs organizing food tabos and avoidance are based on embodied experience, and as such are beyond both kinds of cognition, suggesting the special significance of taboos on eating the meat of specific animals. Bibliogr., notes, sum.