The book deals with the relationship between the government of Botswana and its indigenous minority, known as Bushmen, San, Basarwa, or more recently N/oakwe, and tries to understand why the San people remain a marginalised minority in a country that since Independence in 1966 has committed itself to a democratic and non-racial agenda. The use of the concept 'indigenous' is controversial in Botswana and in the rest of Africa, and the book asks thought-provoking questions about the responsibility of the state, the role of the international community and the need for representative organisations. While there have been dozens of books published on the ethnography of the San, this is the first book that places them in the comparative context of indigenous peoples' struggle for recognition. An in-depth documentation and analysis is given of a series of events in 1992 and 1993 that were crucial in establishing San indigenous organisations and identities, and the emergent San organisations are followed from the communities in Kalahari to international meetings in Geneva.
Sidsel Saugestad is professor at the department of Social Anthropology, University of Troms°, Norway.
Keywords: anthropology, indigenous people