As some of you may recall, I recently took an evening class in Human Ecology and Environmental History. One of the things that most struck me about this was the lifestyle of the San (Bushmen) people in southern Africa. Our tutor described the San as being the original leisure society.
Traditionally the San people lived very much in tune with their environment and had a very relaxed and healthy work - life balance. The men spent what time they needed to hunt for animals and would rest between hunting trips, the women spent what time they needed to forage for herbs. The rest of their time was spent socially.
I'm not qualified to give a full assessment of the San lifestyle and we were only given an introduction in our course, but I do think that here could be a model of a much more environmentally aware lifestyle that has been marginalised. You can read more about the San and why their traditional lifestyles have more or less disappeared by following the links below:
Bushmen on Survival International Site
San on Working Group for Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa
San Bushmen on Tribes Travel
Bushmen on Wikipedia
Rethabile has written poetry about the San on his blog Poefrika. You can read some of them by following the links below:
The San of the Sand
The San's Promise