What do they eat?
The Bushmen will eat anything that is available, both
animal and vegetable.
Their selection of food ranges from buck- large and
small, zebras, porcupines, hares, lions, giraffes, fish,
insects, tortoises, flying ants, snakes- venemous and
non-venemous, hyenas, eggs and wild honey. They roast
or boil the meat on a fire.
The men are responsible for providing the meat, although
women might occasionally kill small mammals. Game is
not plentiful and the hunters sometimes must travel
great distances. Expert archers, the men hunt with bone
tipped poisoned arrows. They can run for hours at a
time, following a herd of eland or other antelope. See
Tracking and Hunting
Every part of the animal is used; hides are tanned for
blankets and bones are cracked for the marrow. The men
provide household tools and maintain a supply of poison
tipped arrows and spears for hunting.
The women provide the majority of the food, spending
two to three days a week foraging varying distances
from the camp, and are also responsible for child care,
gathering wood for fires, carrying water, and cooking.
Typical foods they might return with are mongongo nuts,
baobab fruits, water roots, bitter melon, or berries.
They have over 100 edible plants that they eat. Children
are left at home to be watched over by those remaining
in camp, but nursing children are carried on these foraging
trips, adding to the load the women must carry.
Water is hard to find, as there are no permanent water
holes. Usually during the dry season these nomads collect
their moisture by scraping and squeezing roots.
They dig holes in the sand to find water when they are
out hunting or travelling. They will carry water in
an ostrich egg-shell.