Wednesday, May 15, 2013

pursuit of man

Excerpt from the book The Wayfinders by Wade Davis

The hunt is the metaphor that brings us into the very heart of San life. A man who does not hunt remains a child. To marry, a man must bring meat to the parents of the bride. A first antelope kill is the high point of youth, a moment recorded for all time in the skin of the hunter by his father, who makes a shallow incision with bone, and rubs into the wound a compound of meat and fat, scarring the right side of the body if the kill is a buck, the left if a doe. The tattoo marks the boy with the heart of a hunter - a potent source of magic, for the San do not simply kill game. They engage in a dance with the prey, a ritual exchange that ends with the creature literally making of itself an offering, a sacrifice. Every hunt ends in exhaustion, as the antelope realizes that whatever it does it cannot escape the pursuit of man. It then stops and turns, and the arrow flies. 


It is very interesting to read about evolution and it is even more interesting to know that San were the first people in what became the family tree of humanity. San is quite possibly the oldest culture in the world. When the rest of us decided to travel, the San elected to stay home. 


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