Etosha: Hai//om Heartland
Ancient hunter-gatherers and their environment
by Reinhard Friedrich and Horst Lempp (Editor)
468 p. • 2014 • ISBN 978-99916-2-859-2 • 160 x 225 mm • Namibia Publishing House
The Etosha Oan with its teeming fauna is one of Namibia’s main attractions and is visited by tens of thousands of tourists annually. However, only very few visitors know that this area was also the home of the Hai//om bush people – a tribe that will have disappeared within a few decades, having lost their cultural heritage and independence. Reinhard Friedrich, who grew up with them, has an intimate knowledge of their way of life, their culture and their habits. He speaks the Hai//om language fluently and was thus able to document many oral accounts of their life histories, experiences and the vast and intimate knowledge of their natural environment. His book is thus a valuable source for ethnological as well as biological studies but at the same time also an excellent introduction into the fascinating ecosystem that the Etosha Pan represents and for those touring Namibia. Among the numerous books which have been written about Namibia, Reinhard Friedrich’s book fills a gap and draws our attention to the almost forgotten world of the Hai//om.
Prof. Dietrich Mebs/University of Frankfurt