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The Beautiful People – The San Past and Present

The gallery juxtaposes the difference of the Ju/’Hoansi-San of the San people then and now. In Grashoek’s Living Museum, I captured images of the community’s modern life as well as of their old traditions displayed through an reenactment by the San themselves.

The Past

Thus part one of the gallery gives you an insight into the Ju/’Hoansi-San’s past. These are images, the San themselves choose to share with visitors. Their performances are partially reenactment, partially taken from today’s life. But particularly their traditional clothes, made out of animals skin are reserved for the show today.

In this attire the Ju/’Hoansi-San of Grashoek’s living museum perform traditional dances, healing ceremonies, games, and show how to make fire or how to use plants for medicine.

The Now

In contrast to the past, the San have settled down as they are prohibited from living a nomadic lifestyle. Therefore, their shelter no longer consist of thin sticks and straw but sometimes resemble houses from other cultures like the Oshiwambo tribe: Thick wooden sticks or a mud-mix. Some houses are made out of congregated steel, others even have concrete-like textures.

Today, the Ju/’Hoansi-San dress mostly in Western clothes or African inspired prints.