After having read Richard Lee’s book about the Dobe Ju/’hoansi, insights can be drawn and applied to other societies. Several connections can be made between some of the Original American, better known as Native American, tribes of North America and the Dobe Ju. Firstly, both societies were classified as “hunters and gatherers” or “primitive societies,” even though using the word “primitive” has a negative connotation. The two societies lived on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean in different environments, yet we can see similarities in how they lived, social organization, and even medical and spiritual aspects.
The social structures appear to be somewhat similar. Original Americans were usually led by a head chief, or as some early settlers referred to them as “kings,” and this in not unlike the Dobe Ju headmen. Lee explained the concept of the headman, stating:
Some early observers of the Ju/’hoansi reported the existence of chiefs or headman, who held political power among the Ju/’hoan as a first among equals. Lorna Marshall in her earlier writings spoke of a Ju/’hoan headman in whom resided the ownership of the group’s resources and who inherited his position patrilineally. (2013: 122)…show more content… It wasn’t until he spoke to a senior /Xai/xai that he found the information he had been searching for. The man had claimed that the San didn’t have chiefs. Instead, he told Lee that the San had no one set apart like a chief and that they all lived on the land. Lee concluded that the headman concept was something created because of the resulting contact with the Blacks “who wanted to incorporate the Ju/’hoansi into their hierarchical system.” (2013: 124). However, he does mention that the Ju living groups do, in fact, have leaders who may have influence in the decisions of the group, much like the chiefs of the Original