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Manuela Zips-Mairitsch
(Land)Rights of the San in Botswana and the Legal Concept of Indigeneity in Africa
Reihe: Legal Anthropology and Indigenous Rights
Bd. 1, 2013, 432 S., 29.90 EUR, 29.90 CHF, br., ISBN 978-3-643-90244-3

Images can be deceiving. The San portrayed on the cover seem to be a remnant from a time when hunters and gatherers still roamed vast areas of land in southern Africa. In reality they are actors paid to re-enact the way they once lived. In the Kalahari town of Ghanzi, Botswana, tourists can book so-called "authentic Bushman Walks". More than anything, however, such performances of a foraging lifestyle offer "authentic" accounts of current legal and political living conditions for Botswana's indigenous population: displaced from their land and left without any economic assets, they have to depend on the rampant commodification of their culture.

Now that San communities have joined forces in the international arena of indigenous rights struggles, their voices are getting louder and call for at least some degree of self-determination on the lands they once owned. In many ways, the legal dispute over (land) rights in the Kalahari epitomizes this global justice movement.

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