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Witchcraft in Africa- the !Kung

            The Functions of Witchcraft in African Societies.
             For the purpose of this essay I will look at the belief systems of various African cultures and by reference to the cultural diversity of morality, social systems, and the basic ways of life I will try to understand why different ideas about the supernatural and the occult have evolved, what functions these ideas perform and what effect they have on society.
             The Ju/"hoansi or !Kung san of the Kalahari Desert.
             The Ju/"hoansi have no witch craft beliefs but I think it is important to mention them in this essay firstly as a comparison to other societies and secondly to analyse a wonderful activity which is particular to the Ju. .
             The activity could be likened to some form of shamanism and comes in the form of a healing dance in which !Kia (trance) state is achieved. .
             The san language is characterised by unusual sounds called "clicks".
             These sounds are represented by the following symbols:.
             / Dental click. One can hear this sound being made to show disapproval. The sound is sometimes spelt "tsk, tsk". / Alveolar click! Alveopalatal click// Lateral click. (The sound one makes to make a horse trot on).
             Brief History.
             The San are a cluster of indigenous peoples in southern Africa who speak click language and have a tradition of living by hunting and gathering. They are a proud people who enjoy their own independence.
             In my research I have focused primarily on the !kung of Dobe. Dobe has been a hunting and gathering ground for literally thousands of years. Ancestors of contempory !Kung arrived at least one thousand years ago and probably several thousand.
             Ju/"hoansi belief system.
             The belief system developed by the Ju to make sense of their world involves forces beyond the natural order.

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