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The John Marshall Ju/'hoan Bushman Film and Video Collection contains:
  • 767 hours of original film and video
  • 23 published films and videos, 1 video series, and 29 unpublished films and videos
  • 309 hours of audiotape
  • 13.7 linear feet of papers and photographs
  • 4 original maps, over 100 additional maps

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This material comprises Marshall's long term documentary record of the Ju/'hoansi of the Nyae Nyae region of the Kalahari desert in Namibia. A great deal of the film and video footage focuses on one particular extended family, that of ≠Oma Tsamko, whose ancestral home is at /Gautcha, an area with a large salt pan and a permanent waterhole. The life stories of some family members are captured in the footage; appearing as children in the 1950's, middle-aged parents in the 1980's, and pensioners in the final years of visual documentation. Beginning in 1978, Marshall often conducted lengthy and in depth interviews with many family members in which they reflect on past, present, and future, and often comment on specific film footage from earlier years which was shown to them during the interviews. The collection is not limited to the /Gautcha family, however; it also documents other Ju/'hoansi living in Nyae Nyae and elsewhere, their relationships with neighboring ethnic groups, and national politics that affected Ju/'hoansi. Marshall also documented the local political body (the Nyae Nyae Farmers' Cooperative, or NNFC), the foundation he started (the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia, or NNDFN), and the ways in which both groups worked with and were affected by international development organizations and foreign aid during the 1990's. The collection also documents changes to the landscape and wildlife of the Nyae Nyae region.
Film and Video Footage
Filming with synchronous sound, 1955
767 hours of original film and video. The unedited footage is an unparalleled documentary record of the changes experienced by one group of people over a fifty-year period. This footage is invaluable for research on the history, language, and culture of the Ju/'hoansi, as well as current issues facing the San and other indigenous groups around the world. Browse the online catalog records and footage logs.
Edited Films and Video

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23 published films and videos, 1 video series, and 29 unpublished films and videos. These edited films and videos were largely created for educational use and contain a great deal of information about traditional and contemporary Ju/'hoan life. They also show the sensitivity, skill, and creative vision of the filmmaker. Browse the online catalog records and preview some of the published titles.



Audio Recordings

Lorna Marshall conducts an interview, 1959

Click to hear an audio recording.
309 hours of audiotape. The audio recordings include: ethnographic interviews and linguistic studies; storytelling and folklore; music, dance, and games; conversation and ambient domestic sounds; and wildlife and ambient natural sounds. Read more about these audiotapes in the John Marshall Collection finding aid.

Papers and Photographs
Editing notes, Marshall Family, 1951-52

13.7 linear feet of papers and photographs. The paper records include: field notebooks, footage logs, and translations; production records; correspondence; files relating to Marshall's advocacy work; and more. These records are important to understanding the rest of the collection, and are necessary for locating specific footage. The photographs offer glimpses of Marshall and others at work. Read more about these materials in the John Marshall Collection finding aid.
Maps

Map of n!ores (traditional lands), Nyae Nyae, c 1989

4 original maps, over 100 additional maps. Four of the maps were created based on information gathered by John Marshall, his family, and their colleagues; the others were used for research and to plan the Marshalls' first trips to the Kalahari Desert in the early 1950's. The map pictured above was used to support Ju/'hoan landrights at the 1991 Namibian Lands Conference. See a complete list of the maps in the John Marshall Collection finding aid.
Related Collections
One of a pair of cocoon dance rattles, !Kung Bushmen, Nyae Nyae, South West Africa

53 objects from the Department of Anthropology's ethnology collections. These objects were traditionally used by the Ju/'hoansi in their daily life; they include articles of clothing, jewelry, hunting equipment, toys, and items used in rites and ceremonies. John Marshall's parents, Lorna and Laurence Marshall, donated these to the National Museum of Natural History in the 1960's. The film footage shows how many of these objects were made and used. Browse the Anthropology Department's collection of Ju/'hoan objects.

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