“We are at a crucial crossroads of human history. We are losing traditional cultures with their ancient ways of life and spiritual beliefs at catastrophic rates … With my photography of the First Peoples of our fragile planet, I hope to show spiritual traditions from our past in the present, and become part of the process in some small way of helping prefer life for future generations. I believe photography plays a crucial role in helping sustain and revitalize cultures on the edge.” – Chris Rainier
The San people are the first people of Africa, they are descendants of the original Homo sapiens, who occupied Southern Africa, for at least 150 000 years. The San already have been forced to abandon their traditions. Some people are working to preserve the culture, but the last remaining areas were they could live as hunter-gatherers are slowly being converted to commercial farmland.
We met the people featured in the German movie called Ghostland about the life of the Bushmen in the 21’st century. Life in the vast Kalahari desert has changed for one of the most ancient cultures on our planet: the lifesaving and nurturing hunt has been forbidden by law by the Namibian government in 1990. Fences are now dividing the former endless open land of the dry savannah. The former nomads are now pressed into an unused life in fixed housing and are forced to live of spare gifts from the government or, if so, adventurous tourists.
They graciously welcomed us to the area in their village called the living museum and showed us some of their traditions and the plants they used as food and medicines in the forest.