Indigeneity and mobility: dynamics of residential moves and land rights among the Central Kalahari San
Junko Maruyama (Tsuda College)
Paper short abstract:
Examining a legal battle over land rights and contemporary residential practices of the San in Central Kalahari, this paper discusses dilemmas and possibilities of indigenous land claims of mobile foraging communities in Africa.
Paper long abstract:
A growing number of marginalized groups in Africa recently began to use the term 'indigenous' to describe their situation, in attempts to draw international attention to the reality that dominant African groups and post-colonial African states have also been repressed these groups. The San known as nomadic hunter-gatherers of Southern Africa have also been involved in this global indigenous peoples' movement, and become one of the best-known "indigenous peoples" of Africa. In 2006, Central Kalahari San were allowed to return to their lands in a game reserve, after a long legal battle that followed the relocation of the 1997. They have been displaced and impoverished for long time, and successfully acquired land rights with the support of the global indigenous peoples' movement. However many challenges are still remaining. In particular, current legal and institutional frameworks of land rights are inconvenient for the San communities where the mobility and flexibility of land use play important role for the social life. Examining the legal battle over land rights and the contemporary residential practices of the Central Kalahari San, this paper discusses dilemmas and possibilities of indigenous land claims of mobile foraging communities in Africa.
On being "indigenous peoples": connecting local practices with global context