View Full Version : !Kung hunting rituals/dances?

07-10-2019, 07:12 PM
For years as a hobby Iíve read about and studied various cultures, with a particular focus on hunter-gatherers. Early on in this hobby, the !Kung piqued my interest, given the wealth of information about them and their status as one of, if not the, oldest continuous cultures on the planet. Iíve read just about everything about them that I could get my hands on over the past few years, and am using that information now to create a game based on their way of life. Specifically, a card game where each player controls a small !Kung band during the dry season in the Kalahari. Iím trying to make it as realistic as possible while still feeling like a game, but one specific aspect is giving me trouble, and I was hoping that maybe someone here could help point me toward a definitive answer.

One aspect of the game is a card each player starts with that is tentatively titled ďHunting Dance,Ē whereby if you assign a hunter to that card on a turn, on the following turn he gets a bonus to his hunting skills for that turn. However, in all my studies of the !Kung, Iíve been unable to find any instance of any rituals/ceremonies/dances that hunters would do prior to going hunting. Iíve read about rituals for boysí first eland kill, girlsí first menstruation, the womenís drum dance, the giraffe dance and countless other trance dance variations, but no dances that are meant to increase a hunterís ability or chances of successfully killing an animal. It seems that nearly all of their dances are centered on the concept of healing, be it physical illness or social discord, but I canít seem to find anything about dances held before men set out on a hunt. Is this because the !Kung do not have such dances/ceremonies, or has the information simply eluded me so far? Iím really trying to keep this game factually accurate, and donít want to misrepresent their culture and traditions, especially since my ultimate goal is to get this game published and direct some of the profits toward an organization helping the !Kung such as the Nyae Nyae Foundation. However, on the other hand, thereís a lot of evidence showing that they regularly create new dances and that specific beliefs related to rituals and dances and the ďsupernaturalĒ in general can vary between groups and change over time. My game takes place in the past, before European settlement, so is it possible that a ďhunting danceĒ could have existed at some point in the near or distant past?

Thank you for any help or advice you can give me with regards to this.