Ghanzi Trail Blazers, Botswana
Stars for generations, keeping the light of humanity burning
Beneath the stars, lies the Kalahari Dessert and within that dessert the Bush people. As the stars and their years of being are countless, so are those of the Bush people, who have been living a culture well beyond the age of empires created and destroyed by other men of lesser longevity.
Here in Botswana, near Ghanzi I have returned to pay them their due respect for their resilience, as other cultures of lesser perseverance come and go.
They are no longer permitted to live as they always have, hunting and gathering. They are now prohibited from hunting, and have to acquire their meat, the new fashion way, through purchase. This modifies the very being of their culture, from being hunters to being shoppers. And having to entertain and guide to earn the monies needed to purchase what they used to capture.
Ironically, people of wealth are permitted to hunt down the game animals that nourished the Bush people, with the latest in technology. Animals once captured in a more courageous way with spear and rope by truly brave men. While the modern man of wealth can tell stories of shooting an unsuspecting animal from hundreds of meters away, with the latest in technological hunting weapon advances, leaving not much to chance or skill on a game preserve. The Bush people tell of the heroics and memories of man versus beast, with the loser the prey of the other.
That being said, they are a sporting bunch. While the rest of the world may enjoy a game of Beach Volleyball, they play Bush Volleyball.
The family of Bush people who had been sharing with me their culture and ways came to join me, at my invitation for the starlight photography session. The first to arrive was the youngest, a girl of 6 who had entertained us with dance around the fire the night before and the lighting of fire earlier in the day. (Things they do to earn money to buy the food they once hunted) I was sharing video of this, to my travel mate Enoch. As Enoch was watching the movie, I was not surprised to see the young Bush girl be enamored by watching herself on the screen, but too the Bush teens and adults. Despite the fact of their almost nightly performances, for years, they had never seen themselves perform. They then proceeded to watch the 15 clips I had taken of the prior eve’s performance with serious looks, and playful laughter, it was their first experience watching movies, let alone of their own performances.
They were their own stars in their own movie.
With the end of the last clip, we went beneath the stars as each took turns and then as a group, they shared in the light of the stars and found themselves pictured in the heavens they have shared with forefathers, well beyond ours.
Herewith, are pictures of my time enjoying the Bush people and culture, who will live well beyond me and my culture. Finishing with a night light of theirs that comes and goes, but that we all share, the Moon.