In light of the terrible AIDS tragedy unfolding in southern Africa, onegets an enormous sense of sadness and loss when reading The HambukushuRainmakers of the Okavango. Tom J. Larson was one of the lastanthropologists to experience and record their ancient culture before itwas so radically impacted by modernization and the ravages of the AIDSepidemic. Over the course of many years, he earned the trust of theHambukushu and was allowed the kind of access needed to painstakinglyrecord the minutiae of every aspect of their daily lives. What emergedis a portrait of a complex, distinctive African culture defined by theabundance of their homeland, the vast and wild Okavango River delta, andby the powerful Rainmaker chiefs who controlled the very fabric of theirexistence. To read Larson's extraordinary book is to understand how thebelief systems that worked so well for them for centuries wreak suchhavoc on them today.
About Thomas Larson
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Published May 29, 2001
Political & Social Sciences.