J.D. Lewis-Williams, one of the well-known South African archaeologists and ethnographers, excavates meaning from the complex mythological stories of the San-Bushmen to make a larger theory of how myth is used in culture. He extracts their “nuggets,” the far-reaching but rarely unspoken words and concepts of language and understanding that are opaque to outsiders, to build a more nuanced theory of the role of these myths in the thought-world and social circumstances of the San. Myth and Meaning: San-Bushman Folklore in Global Context, (PDF) draws from the exceptional 19th century Bleek/Lloyd archives, more current ethnographic work, and San rock art;-includes well-known San stories such as The Broken String, Mantis Dreams, and Creation of the Eland;-extrapolates from our understanding of San mythology into a larger model of how people create meaning from myth.
“J.D. Lewis-Williams gathers encyclopaedic knowledge of recorded /Xam San symbolism so readers can journey to a comprehensive understanding of the /Xam world. This ebook provides a programmatic start to a new era in San studies–one where readers can float freely above the tedium of “…theoretical”… concerns toward humane sharing and discovery.” — Megan Biesele, Director, Kalahari Peoples Fund
“David Lewis-Williams transformed rock art research worldwide with his ethnographically-based interpretations of southern San (Bushmen) rock paintings. His latest ebook, on San mythology and belief, promises to have the same influence on studies of myth and folklore. By identifying and explaining the symbolic keys (“nuggets” as he calls them) to the San mythological corpus, he discloses for the first time its rich texture and logic, thereby placing it in its rightful position as one of the world’s great cognitive achievements.” — David S. Whitley
NOTE: The product includes the ebook, Myth, and Meaning: San-Bushman Folklore in Global Context in PDF. No access codes are included.