The Kalahan !Kung's method of healing may seem strange to most people livingin North america because itg is not what we would typically think as a way of healing, but to the Kung, this is the only way. From the time a Kung is born, it is taught about the importance of this healing ritual. The many aspects of this healing dance is what makes the method so effective and important. This is their way of life.
The hunting and gathering lifestyle of the 50,000 Kung of the southern Africa's Desert is very important in how they choose to live their lives. Although not all of the Kung still continue to follow this, 5,000 of them still follow the traditional ways of their ancestors. The Kung's religion and tradition are amongst the oldest of time and because their economic patterns are so representively of early living, their spiritual patterns are a way of seeing what their ancestors practiced too. Although the Kung are very devoted to saving the sick, the dead Kung are often the cause of the illness. Known as the Gauwasi, the ancestors are thought to be the ones who send the sickness. It usually is not out of anger but becuase they are feeling lonely and miss them. The ancestors send the sickness so that maybe the person would be able to join them. They do this because they are not content. Therefore, when one becomes ill, a healing dance is arranged and anyone who wishes to take part or attend does so. "Dances occur perhaps two or three times a month, and then usually to treat a specific illness" ( ). A dance may also be arranged for other occasions such as a special event, the killing of a large animal, visits from an important person, or sometimes they just feel the need to dance and bring themselves back to life. A healing dance varies with time, depending on the seriousness of the illness and also if the people of the dance wish to continue for any other reason. It usually begins later in the evening and continues until sunrise.