Introduction: “… some subjective identification … which I failed to understand more deeply”

  • Mathias Guenther


The book’s aim—of describing and seeking to understand how San perceive the human–animal relationship—derives from Lorna Marshal’s musings over 50 years ago about a Ju/’hoan giraffe healing dance she observed in the Kalahari, specifically about what seemed to be being—transforming effects on the dancer but which she had trouble grasping, in terms the then available terms of anthropological analysis and understanding. The book’s central terms and concepts for this task—connective cosmology and ontological mutability, mimesis and metamorphosis, anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism—are explained, as is this book’s focus on interdisciplinarity, which has defined and broadened the field of Khoisan studies over the past few decades. Brief outlines of the substance and approach of the two volumes and of the chapters of the present volume are presented.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathias Guenther
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyWilfrid Laurier UniversityOntarioCanada

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