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Title: Spatial Proximity and Bodily Contact among the Central Kalahari San
Authors: SUGAWARA, Kazuyoshi
Issue Date: Mar-1984
Publisher: The Research Committee for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 3
Start page: 1
End page: 43
Abstract: Interpersonal spacing and bodily contact in public situations, were observed within the camps of the G/wi San. In an isolated camp composed of one family, the mother was in close proximity with all other members. In the mixed camps, the San were in far more frequent proximity with the same sex than with the opposite sex. The mode of distance between persons of the same sex was 0.1-1.3 m, while it was far longer between males and females other than ones' spouse. Of the body parts, the foot was most frequently involved in unintentional contact-states. Grooming behavior was usually performed by females toward juveniles or other females, while males never groomed females. The primary function of grooming toward juveniles was maternal care or reassurance, while between females, it functioned as a sociable transaction; particularly as a 'service' by the younger toward the elder. Males were in proximity with each other irrespective of kinship, while proximity and contact preferentially occurred between females, or between males and females of consanguineous kin. Proximity and physical contact were avoided between siblings or siblings-in-law of the opposite sex. Physical contact was strongly avoided between in-laws belonging to adjacent generations. However, proximity and contact generally occurred irrespectively of the relationship between generations.
DOI: 10.14989/68323
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/68323
Appears in Collections:3 (Study on Human Behavior and Adaptation in Arid Areas of Africa)

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