Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman (2020)

Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman Marjorie Shostak Nisa The Life and Words of a Kung Woman This classic paperback is available once again and exclusively from Harvard University Press This book is the story of the life of Nisa a member of the Kung tribe of hunter gatherers from southern Af
  • Title: Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman
  • Author: Marjorie Shostak
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 240
  • Format: Kindle Edition
Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman Marjorie Shostak This classic paperback is available once again and exclusively from Harvard University Press.This book is the story of the life of Nisa, a member of the Kung tribe of hunter gatherers from southern Africa s Kalahari desert Told in her own words earthy, emotional, vivid to Marjorie Shostak, a Harvard anthropologist who succeeded, with Nisa s collaboration, in breaking thrThis classic paperback is available once again and exclusively from Harvard University Press.This book is the story of the life of Nisa, a member of the Kung tribe of hunter gatherers from southern Africa s Kalahari desert Told in her own words earthy, emotional, vivid to Marjorie Shostak, a Harvard anthropologist who succeeded, with Nisa s collaboration, in breaking through the immense barriers of language and culture, the story is a fascinating view of a remarkable woman.
Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman Marjorie Shostak

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    Published :2020-02-22T17:04:23+00:00

One thought on “Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman

  1. Jennifer Boettcher

    Fantastic narrative of a hunter gatherer culture in the Kalahari bush from a female perspective How rare How lucky we are to have this Nisa s story was gathered just as the traditional Kung culture was beginning to change by encroaching farmer rancher types and Europeans This chronicles from birth to death the Kung life, mostly of women What I like about this as opposed to some dry abstract is how the way they felt about their daily lives and interaction with others and their environment were so [...]

  2. Audrey

    I don t usually put books I have to read for school on here but this one is a great read for anyone interested in cultures of Africa Just finished this for one of my Anthropology courses and was astounded by Shostak s intimate portrayal of the Kung and Kung women in particular The book reveals Kung women s personal issues concerning transitioning from childhood into adulthood Issues such as trying to find and create an identity, to coping with marriage and the responsibility that it brings, to g [...]

  3. Talia

    This book was really interesting and an easy read I m fascinated by the Khoisan people I have been since I saw their rock carvings at Wildebeest Kuil and the rock paintings at Giant s Castle four years ago They really are quite sophisticated Last fall, I took a world civilization class and ended up doing my final paper on the San Finding sources and information was a pain This book never came up in my searches At Wildebeest Kuil, I watched some videos about the trance dance they talked about eve [...]

  4. Natalie

    Nisa is as enigmatic and charming asMarjorie Shostak suggests each chapter features an anthropological view of the Kung people, focusing on topics ranging from birth to marriage to aging and death, as well as a narrative from Nisa s point of view on the same topic By writing this way, Shostak crafted a generalization of Kung life that meshes beautifully with Nisa s personal experiences that sometimes match the generalization but often than not depart from it, providing readers with a rich under [...]

  5. Mary

    I don t read a lot of non fiction but I m glad that when I do it s as good as Nisa I read this for a cultural anthropology class so the addition of lectures with the book really gave me a further understanding and clearer perspective of what goes on in the book It was a very interesting glimpse at the hunting and gathering lifestyle in that it gives us, the readers, an idea of life before agriculture and shows us that really we are not sophisticated or better than our ancestors in a lot of fund [...]

  6. Ann

    Marjorie Shostak was an anthropologist studying the women of the Kung hunter gatherers on the edge of the Kalahari in the 1960 s and 1970 s.This book is the result of her interviews with one of those women, Nisa It is Nisa s life story as told to Marjorie in conversations that took place over a period of many years, left off, to be taken up again during Marjorie s next visit.What I liked best about this book is that the translation seemed to me to capture Nisa s voice and the rhythms of African [...]

  7. Robert Greenberger

    Nisa is infuriating and endlessly fascinating because her life, spanning the 1950s 1970s, is completely alien to my own The subject of Shostak s anthropological study, Nisa s biography is a tale full of sadness and experience She outlives her children and goes through several husbands while also juggling a seemingly endless supply of lovers The simple life of the Kung tribe in Botswana is an eye into another reality, where most of our diseases and problems don t exist Instead, they hunt, eat, da [...]

  8. Maryann Pasda DiEdwardo

    Nisa is by a second wave feminist, Marjorie Shostak Raised in the secular humanistic tradition of JudaismHer personal philosophy combined insights from African cultures, her own Judaism, and other spiritual sources Diagnosed with breast cancer in April 1988, she resolved to return to the Kalahari to see Nisa once again, and did so in 1989 She recorded another series of interviews that form the basis of Nisa Revisited, a manuscript that Shostak had almost completed before her death.

  9. Margaret Rowley

    This is a classic anthropological text, and has received probably citations than there were words in my own thesis, so I wanted to read it over the summer What I like about the book Nisa speaking in her own words, even if there is no dialogic editing I appreciated the candid attitude with which Shostak confronted her own feelings about being in the field, talking with Nisa, and engaging with the Kung It s helpful to get a baseline of another set of social s especially one that, say, doesn t inc [...]

  10. Greg Torres

    I have mixed feeling about this book I read it for class and liked some parts than others I enjoy reading about other cultures and found Shostak s accounting of the Kung to be interesting One of the eye opening things is that you think of cultures like these of being oppressive to women, but the Kung, while not equal are probably better than many We have a tendency to judge cultures based on things we find important abnd can look down on cultures like the Kung But they have survived for thousa [...]

  11. Bob Lamothe

    I read this in college for an anthropology class The thing that sticks with me was how annoying Nisa was She was selfish, ungrateful, and entitled I remember how she would whine about not getting enough meat It was unclear to me what she contributed, but she certainly expected much from her father, her lovers, and her husbands If you have to read this for college make sure you give your SJW professor everything they expect in your reports I you don t have to read this don t bother, just read an [...]

  12. Kayleigh

    3 stars.I read this for my Anthropology class, so I m not going to review it It was a lot interesting than I thought it would be, but I really didn t love it I m definitely using it towards my 2018 reading challenge, though.

  13. Daniel

    I thought that this book told a good story Makes you want to read Anthropological memoirs, if you haven t already gotten the bug Emphasizes that we can transcend cultural differences on a deep level if we so choose written in a way that does not require professional training to appreciate.

  14. Mandi

    this is the kind of ethnography I would want to write, where the informant speaks for herself what a master work I was really inspired by learning about the Kung as well as Nisa herself.

  15. Nathalie

    I read it a long time ago so I can t recall so much of it, I just remember that I was intrigued and interested while I read it The relatively low rating is only because of that.

  16. Lauren

    overall a very interesting book Love seeing other people s way of lives so I enjoyed it very very much Would love a follow up to see how things are going

  17. Oriyah Nitkin

    This was one of those books I d been looking forward to reading for a while around a decade and oftentimes it s hard for the book to live up to the hype Not so in this case It was fascinating both as an ethnography and as a personal story Also, as feminism is a topic that has always been on my radar but in recent years increasingly so, this was the perfect time for ME to read this book and I found certain parts of it surprisingly relevant to my own life and the lives of women around me, both in [...]

  18. Jurij Fedorov

    A great read and highly recommended for everyone.Pro Nisa is a very down to earth book It is one of the few good hunter gatherer books out there and this is very different as this one is about life, feelings and how they themselves see the social world Interviews instead of observations, very interesting stuff for me This is about a woman obsessed by sex and men and always talking about it As a man finding out what makes women tick is only possible for me thru books like this one where the real [...]

  19. Jennifer Boyce

    After hearing that Jared Diamond recommended this book, I knew that I really wanted to read it Once I finally got my hands on a copy, I was pleased with this book.This book is incredibly interesting I had never heard of the Kung peoples before reading this book, so everything in this book was new information to me The life that Nisa lived was incredibly fascinating, I found myself marveling at the people and what was normal for their culture throughout the book Some of the things that Nisa, and [...]

  20. Matt

    The first thing I learned from this book is how racist the typical person s understanding is of African languages that feature clicks The typical idiot will pretend that the entire language consists of clicks, but of course that is not true You learn that for the Kung click Kung , clicks just provide 3 additional phonetic sounds to their language I am sure that is not unique for languages with clicks.Reading this book leaves you with a profound feeling of connection to the entire human race We s [...]

  21. Heather

    This book is a fascinating look into the disappearing culture of the Kung hunter gatherers of the Kalahari the people aren t disappearing just the way of life.Shostak, an anthropologist, spent a great deal of time interviewing Nisa, a Kung woman who confided in her about many intimate details of her life From husbands to lovers to children dying, the book shows Nisa s raw emotion and reads a bit like a Kung soap opera If ever a people had a good sense of humor about sex, it would be the Kung.Bey [...]

  22. Hilary

    Nisa is an interesting collection of writings The bulk of the book is made up of stories told to the anthropologist Marjorie from the Kung lady Nisa The rest of the book consists of Marjorie s ethnographic observations of the Kung s people life and beliefs The book is paced very well, and oftentimes Marjorie s observations prove to be just as interesting as Nisa s life is The information is presented in a non biased way and the points in Nisa s life that are exceptional are dutifully explained a [...]

  23. John Wiswell

    Marjorie Shostak takes us into the oldest culture on earth by living with a hunter gatherer tribe in southern Africa It s very fortunate that she made her trips to interview them before their way of life was further damaged by careless governments Reflexively collecting interviews and anecdotes, Shostak explains their morals, architecture, tribal politics, spirituality, games, marriage rituals and subsistence lifestyle, giving us one of the best looks at how human society began all those thousan [...]

  24. Patrick Stackpoole

    This was required reading for my last semester in college but I enjoyed it much than I expected to I did skip some chapters in the middle, but still, it was a great book, clearly showing the differences in life between people of the bush and our own lives here at home Some things discussed include the time spent hunting gathering, the division of labor between genders, the treatment of tribe members and their relationship to one another, each person s self perception, a nomadic way of life, sto [...]

  25. Deb

    A classic, but by the end of the book I m frustrated with Nisa as a narrator Somewhat unreliable, self aggrandizing, and very self centered, and not that analytical or reflective though definitely a vivid storyteller Shostak s intros to the chapters do present an accessible account of Kung lifeways But I wouldn t use it again in a beginning anthro course the order of presentation is too confusing, it doesn t chunk nicely into topics, and it gives an unbalanced depiction of Kung life I think And [...]

  26. Rachel

    It was interesting and I did learn a lot about the San culture from the eyes of a Kung woman I gave it a low rating because I found it exhaustingly repetative and found myself skimming chapters and wishing the book would hurry up and finish I thought it was interesting that though Nisa and her husband had this idea of marriage involving one man and wife, they both had lovers and yet were jealous of these lovers In several other instances when Nisa was younger and stole food or fought with her br [...]

  27. Kirstie Ellen

    Nisa is a wonderful narrative about the lives of the Kung people in Africa I don t often read books like this, and I read this one for study purposes, but I m definitely glad I did.I won t go into too deep a review, but basically the book begins each chapter with a summary by the author, and then the main part of that chapter is the narrative of these peoples lives told through the Kung woman, Nisa It s an incredibly interesting read, and I don t know a lot about hunter gatherer tribes so this h [...]

  28. HM

    I read this in an anthropology class in college and remembered liking it My reason for re reading it is that I moved this past weekend, and it was the book that was on the top of the first and only box of books that I attempted to unpack sidebar all other books in that box are STILL in there I m not that far into itbut here s the description This book is the story of the life of Nisa, a member of the Kung tribe of hunter gatherers from southern Africa s Kalahari desert Told in her own words eart [...]

  29. Erin

    I was worried when I first picked this book up that it was going to be tough to get through, as most ethonographies are But it was surprisingly easy to read The author, an anthropologist, separates the book by stage of life The first half of the section is her own research followed by a part of the life of Nisa, a Kung woman I was hooked to her life People always think of the traditional cultures in a very particular way, but I think this book and Nisa s life prove that we are all dealing with t [...]

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