DER Documentary

N!owa T'ama: The Melon Tossing Game

From the !Kung series
by John Marshall
color, 15 min, 1970




Non-profit and K-12 pricing also available
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Women from three separate Ju/'hoan bands have gathered at a mangetti grove at !O to play an intense game in which under-tones of social and personal tensions become apparent. The game itself is simple: women form a semi-circle which moves counter-clockwise as each woman, in turn, runs to the center of the circle where she dances several steps and tosses the melon to the next woman at the proper moment in the song. Men intrude and dance spectacularly and an old woman, N/aoka, goes into a trance-like state. The game begins to disintegrate when N!ai, the wife of the male dancer /Gunda, taunts and teases N/aoka.

This film is also available as part of the !Kung Short Films 2-disc set.

Other films in the series:
An Argument about Marriage
Baobab Play
Bitter Melons
Children Throw Toy Assegais
A Curing Ceremony
Debe's Tantrum
First Film
A Group of Women
The Hunters
A Joking Relationship
A Kalahari Family
!Kung Bushmen Hunting Equipment
The !Kung San: Traditional Life
The !Kung San: Resettlement
Lion Game
The Meat Fight
Men Bathing
N!ai, The Story of a !Kung Woman
N/um Tchai: the Ceremonial Dance of the !Kung Bushmen
Playing with Scorpions
Pull Ourselves Up or Die Out
A Rite of Passage
To Hold Our Own Ground: A Field Report
Tug-Of-War, Bushmen
The Wasp Nest



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