nisa.pdf - Jobi Benjamin Anthropology 2 May 1 2017 Nisa Study Guide Introduction 1 Shostaks own background influenced her own research interests Based

nisa.pdf - Jobi Benjamin Anthropology 2 May 1 2017 Nisa...

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Jobi Benjamin Anthropology 2 May 1, 2017 Nisa Study Guide Introduction 1. Shostak’s own background influenced her own research interests. Based on her background, Shostak spent most of her time speaking with women about topics such as marriage, pregnancies, and family life. According to Shostak, her technique was “straightforward: I would ask someone to ‘enter work’ with me and over the course of about two weeks we would sit together and talk for an hour or more a day. The conversations were taped, recordings could capture the kinds of subtle details invariably missed by note taking, and would reveal how stories were developed and expressed” (18). 2. I believe Shostak made a wise decision by choosing Nisa as an informant. Nisa is clear and precise when describing her experiences within the !Kung San. Shostak even says herself that, “one woman-Nisa-impressed me more than the others with her ability to describe her experiences. I was struck by her gifts as a storyteller; she chose her words carefully, infused her stories with drama, and covered a wide range of experience” (6). 3. The !Kung have adapted to their environment through “adaptability,” (7). They live in semi-permanent villages or camps, personal property is minimal, and the technology involved in the manufacture of tools and implements is relatively simple. Hunting and gathering is also an adaptation because it allows them to gather food based on the harsh weather conditions. Knowing nearly five hundred species of plants and animals is an advantage in which the !Kung can utilize them for “medicinal, toxic, cosmetic, or various other uses” (14). Chapter 1 1. Weaning is the most traumatic experience. It is important because it is essential in order to stop the child from craving the “physical and emotional comfort nursing affords” (44). People remember the pain they felt whenever they were told to forget about nursing because the process of weaning usually occurred between the ages of 3-5. 2. I believe that !Kung family relations are filled with the same amount of tension as my own family. Similarly to the !Kung, I was forced out of breastfeeding and I threw many fits whenever my mother insisted that I walk on my own. Just like the !Kung, my parents
never engaged in physical punishment with me and their efforts to discipline me were also minimal. 3. A dominant theme in Nisa’s earliest memories is the struggle to stop craving her mother’s breast milk. The weaning process was so hard for Nisa that one night, she moved her brother Kumsa away from her mother and drank her mother’s breast milk. Because of this, her father threatened to beat her (53). Another theme is the process of stealing food, which was common amongst many children within the !Kung Stan. Nisa recalls that, “Later, I sat down in the shade of a tree while they gathered nearby. As soon as they had moved far enough away, I climbed the tree where they had left a pouch hanging, full of klaru, and stole the bulbs...I took out more and more and put them all in together” (54). These memories relate to the main features of !Kung social life because

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