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The Marshall Expeditions

In 1951, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution ad the Harvard Peabody Museum, Laurence and Lorna Marshall and their two children, Elizabeth and John, set out to find, study and document the way of life of the Bushmen who lived by gathering wild bush foods and hunting game with poison arrows. After a week of hard traveling in desert-adapted vehicles, the Marshalls reached Nyae Nyae and made contact with ≠Oma Tsamkxao and his Ju/'hoan band at a waterhole called /Aotcha. Without any formal training in anthropology, the Marshalls would spend almost five years, between 1951 and 1962, with ≠Oma and his family studying and filming the Ju/'hoan way of life in Nyae Nyae. Experts from several disciplines including archaeology, linguistics, and ethno-botany participated in the expeditions.

The notes and files kept on each expedition are extensive, with attention paid to every detail. They include the names and function of each member of the expedition, the equipment and materials used to gather information and a detailed itinerary of each trip Their resulting work is remarkable and their contribution to the field invaluable: The Ju/'hoansi of Nyae Nyae became a textbook people- the work inspired hundreds of anthropologists and became the cornerstone for future studies in Africa. Based on the Marshall expeditions, in the 1960's the Harvard Kalahari Research Group began a multi-disciplinary study of the Ju/'hoansi in eastern Nye Nyae Botswana. Studies of the hunting and gathering economy in Nyae Nyae are now being used to interpret aspects of human evolution. (Jerri Zbiral, Photographic Consultant, The Collected Image.)

While in Nyae Nyae the Marshall family documented everyday life as well as unusual events and activities, producing a massive body of work that continues to define the fields of anthropology and ethnographic filmmaking today.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of the work of the Marshall family and their co-workers among the Ju/'hoansi and other Bushmen of Namibia and Botswana. The detailed research on a variety of topics relating to subsistence, settlement, land use, social organization, sharing and reciprocity, and mechanisms of intra-group problem solving and conflict resolution laid the foundations for subsequent work. The insights gained by the Marshalls have not only enriched anthropology, they have provided the Ju/'hoansi themselves with a wealth of material which they can draw upon in the future. The findings are being incorporated into educational curricula and Ju/'hoansi language lessons. In addition, they provide baseline data against which changes can be measured. (Robert Hitchcock, Communities and Consensus: An Evaluation of the Activities of the Nyae Nyae Farmers Cooperative and the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation in Northeastern Namibia. 1992, 25.)

Lorna Marshall produced a number of articles and wrote The Ju/'hoan of Nyae Nyae which is a basic ethnography of Ju/'hoan society. Elizabeth Marshall wrote her popular book The Harmless People. John Marshall shot over 500,000 feet of 16mm color film recording a broad overview of Ju/'hoan traditional culture. Marshall's early anthropological films including he Hunters (1957), Argument About a Marriage (1969) and Rite of Passage (1972) document a rich variety of Ju/'hoan activities- men hunting, women and children gathering, people marrying, women giving birth, children playing and healers trancing.

The value of the footage as an encyclopedia of Ju/'hoan life is unequaled by any other body of ethnographic footage. (John M. Bishop, "Hot Footage/Cold Storage," The Cinema of John Marshall, 1993, 214.)

Expedition Members

Members of Expedition 1950

Laurence Marshall
John Marshall

Merl La Voy
Colonel Hoogenhout, Administrator of S.W.A.
John Neer, Secretary for S.W.A.
H. J. Allen, Chief Native Commissioner of S.W.A.
Ted Rounds, communications engineer on Allens staff
Other members of Allen’s staff
C. J. Mathias, with expedition between Shakawe and Runtu

Party with Dr. van Zyl of Cape Town. Includes:
   Dr. van Zyl
   Senator van Zyl
   Mr. Malan, farmer and archaeologist, Cape Province
   Dr. Coetze
   Mr. Barry, Director of Rembrandt Cigarette Company
   Mr. Gooch, a mechanic
   Martins Drotzky, guide from Maun to Tsau to Ky Ky to Gum to Tsau to    Runtu to Grootfontein

Petrus, cook
Edward Hartley, guide
Jacob from Upington

Members of Expedition 1951

Laurence Marshall
Lorna Marshall
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
John Marshall

Claude V. McIntyre, Commissioner of Bushman Affairs, S.W.A.
Dr. Charles Koch, Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, S.A., entomologist
Robert Dyson, then at Harvard University, now at the University of Pennsylvania, archaeologist and anthropologist
Eric Williams, then of the University of the Witwatersrand, physical anthropologist
Fritz Metzger, Okarukandovi Omitara, Okahanga, S.W.A., farmer with Bushman laborers, author of Narro and his Clan, acted as interpreter
Dr. A. J. Duarte, Instituto de Investigacao Scientifica de Angola, Luanda, Angola, entomologist
Carey McIntosh
Heiner Kretzschmar, mechanic from Grootfontein through Angola
Solomon Ezias Marais, PMB Orumbo, Windhoek, mechanic
Carl Lowe, a Baster, mechanic
Nicholas Samwaha, cook from Windhoek
Christoph, from Epikuro reservation at Otjinini
Antonius, from Epikuro reservation at Otjinini
Picanin, helper, used a little as interpreter
Sarah, Picanin’s wife
Katugua (or Katuka, or Katukwa), a Bushman known to Metzger, interpreter, spoke Ju/'hoan and Afrikaans
Katambaye (or Katembebe), a headman from a farm, known to Metzger, interpreter, spoke Ju/'hoan and Afrikaans
Simon, helper, in Angola
Andreas, Ovambo boy with expedition only in Angola

Members of Expedition 1952-3

Laurence Marshall
Lorna Marshall
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
John Marshall

Dr. Charles O. Handley, Jr., Smithsonian Institution – zoologist (Sept. – Dec., 1952)
Dr. J. O. Brew, Peabody Museum, Harvard University (Aug. – Sept., 1952)
Brian Maguire, Natonal Botanic Gardens, Kirstenbosch – botanist (Dec., 1952 – Feb.,1953)
Dr. Ernst Westphal, then of School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, now at University of Cape Town – linguist (May, 1953)
Mrs. Anneliese Scherz, Windhoek – photographer (from June, 1953)
Frank Hesse, sound recorder (April – May, 1953)
Hans Ernst, sound recorder (from May, 1953)
Lots de Biers, camp manager and mechanic (Sept. – Oct., 1952)
Brian Enslin, mechanic (July – Sept., 1952)
Ernest (Baikie) Miller, camp manager (Dec., 1952 – Jan., 1953)
Heiner Kretzschmar, mechanic (from Jan., 1953)
Ivan, mechanic (Feb. – April, 1953)
Carl Lowe, driver and mechanic (July, 1952 – Jan., 1953)
Glass (Klas?) Kaukob, driver (unitl Jan., 1953)
Cleophus, mechanic (Feb. – March, 1953)
Adua, mechanic (April – May, 1953)
Heinrich Neumann, mechanic (from May, 1953)
Philip Hameva – cook
David, helper for Philip (Aug., 1952 – Feb., 1953)
Franz Rudolph, helper (from Jan., 1953)
Jim, brother of Franz, helper (from Feb., 1953)
Constantine, helper (from April, 1953)
Thorea, a Bushman helper, some interpreting (short time in 1952)
Frederick !Gaeb, interpreter, a Bergdama from Okambahe (until Dec., 1952)
G/ao, a Ju/'hoan Bushman from Gam who could work with Frederick – interpreter (unitl Dec., 1952)
Ngani, a Bushman, interpreter (from July, 1952)
Ebson Kopuuo, interpreter (Oct. – Dec., 1952)
Joseph Tsanigab, interpreter (short time in Dec., 1952)
Cavasitue, briefly
Picanin, briefly

Members of Expedition 1955

Laurence Marshall
Lorna Marshall
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
John Marshall

Dr. Robert Story, then Dept. of Agriculture, Division of Botany, Pretoria, now CSIRO, Canberra, Australia – botanist
Professor F. L. Maingard, University of the Witwatersrand – linguist (end of March – June 10, 1955)
Dr. William Donnellan
Daniel Blitz, Sanders Associates, Nashua, NH – photographer
Theunis Berger, guide
Casper Kruger, Universal Motors – mechanic
Heinrich Neumann – mechanic
Philip Hameva – cook
Simon, an Ovambo – lorry boy
Kerelwe Ledimo – chief interpreter
Wilhelm Camm – interpreter
Dabe, Bushman from Ghanzi – interpreter
Gishay, a //Ganakwe Bushman who had been Theunis Berger’s guide when he crossed Bechuanaland (Botswana) on trip to control bubonic plague

Members of Expedition 1956

Laurence Marshall
Dr. N. J. van Warmelo, Department of Native Affairs, Pretoria, Chief Ethnologist
Mr. and Mrs. van Koenen, photographers, at Grootfontein
Kurt Ahrens, mechanic
Heinrich Neumann, mechanic
Philip Hameva, cook

In the Kaokaveld the expedition met another party led by Mr. Visser, which included the following people:
Mr. Visser
Charles Koch
Rene Koch
Attila Port

Members of Expedition 1957-8

Laurence Marshall
John Marshall
Dr. Charles Koch
Dr. Robert Story
Nicholas England, ethnomusicologist
Robert Gardner, photographer
Robert Gesteland, photographer
Foppe Hoogheimstra, mechanic
Kurt Ahrens, mechanic
Louis, helper
Manuel, helper
Kerelwe Ledimo, interpreter
Ngani, interpreter
Wilhelm Camm, interpreter

Members of Expedition 1959

Laurence Marshall
Lorna Marshall
Deborah Marshall
Nicholas England, ethnomusicologist
Foppe Hoogheimstra, mechanic
Kerelwe Ledimo, interpreter
John Nambahu, cook
Pedro Imilho, guide in Angola
Bela, who worked for Imilho
Jao, a Gangela, interpreter in Angola

Members of Expedition 1961

Laurence Marshall
Lorna Marshall
Nicholas England, ethnomusicologist
O.P.M. Prozesky, Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, ornithologist
Wulf Haake, Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, zoologist
C.J. Mathias
Kurt Ahrens, mechanic
Wilhelm (William) Camm, interpreter
Ngani, interpreter
Philip Hameva, cook
Gebhardt Watonda, driver
Jacob Mokoena, assistant to Prozesky – skinner of birds
Sampson Maseko, assistant to Prozesky – skinner of mammals
Matthew Romanageng Mathabathe
Paul Heikos, helper
Metsapha, a Mukalagadi, guide from Hukuntsi
Edward Mutihimuno, assistant cook

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