Hollywood big shots got a taste of reality as their plans for building a Hollywood-style studio in the northern part of South Africa were blocked by the local Khoi-San community, tribes commonly known in the West as Bushmen.
The local population is preserving their culture, with some families practicing the traditional hunting and gathering lifestyle, and others herding cattle and goats, or farming desert crops. These ways of life would be threatened or destroyed by the presence of such large-scale commercial development.
“No money in the world can buy this land,” says Ina Basson, secretary of the Pella Community Forum. “It is ours and has sentimental value. Our forefathers fought the Germans for this land and had to battle to keep it. They have spilled blood for the land and for us, and it is not for sale.
“[The producers] said Mel Gibson and Halle Berry would fly in to do movies, and that Tiger Woods would design the golf course,” adds Ms. Basson. “We don’t care about them. We want to live here.”
“Not even a handful will I sell to them,” says farmer Piet Eiman, one of the area’s oldest residents, holding pieces of soil in his hands. “We are part of the land, it can support you from a baby, to a young child, to a man. It is part of us.”
More at the Times website, with some interesting comments too…
This story really drives home the incredible difference in world-view between people who live in the real world and those who can only imagine big sheds, private jets and golf courses.
“We feel that the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere can continue to contribute to the survival potential of the human species. The majority of our peoples still live in accordance with the traditions which find their roots in the Mother Earth. But the Native peoples have need of a forum in which our voice can be heard. And we need alliances with the other peoples of the world to assist in our struggle to regain and maintain our ancestral lands and to protect the Way of Life we follow.”
A Basic Call to Consciousness, Akwesasne Notes, Mohawk Nation, 1978 (revised edition, 1981, third printing 1986).