More Human than Human

Unfortunately, even Google yields very little about the San Persistence Hunt. Kalahari Bushmen (the San) still practise this very ancient form of hunting where the hunter will run his, usually antelope, prey to exhaustion.

David Attenborough documented this in one of his “The Life of Mammals” programs. (Thanks Martin!) From this programme synopsis:

There are only four men on Earth who can run a kudu antelope to its death. They are Kalahari bushmen, and this persistence hunt is thought to link modern humans to the earliest form of human hunting.

If you have any idea what a Kudu looks like or how far and fast it can run, you’ll realise that this is a feat of singular superhumanity. I cannot imagine what kind of mental and physical effort it has to involve running to exhaustion a creature which is clearly physically better evolved. Do you believe that you’ll be able to run for days on end in the Kalahari Desert?

If you come across any other information regarding the persistence hunt of the San (maybe a transcript of that episode of the Life of Mammals) please let me know!

5 thoughts on “More Human than Human”

  1. Remember that once you’ve plugged a few darts of some seriously distilled Marula extract into its butt, that Kudu is gonna hobble like the front row of a Bles Bridges concert.

    On a lighter note. Some farmers are using San trackers to find cattle rustlers and maize thieves with alarming success. Without fail they can track to perp’ to his front door and recover the half eaten cow.

  2. During the persistence hunt, no weapons are used by the hunter. The idea is literally that he lasts longer than the prey without “artificially” swinging the competition in his favour.

    The San did make use of weapons for hunting, but NOT during the Persistence Hunt.

  3. Sounds stupid. What else do we have opposable thumbs for apart from making weapons and rolling balls of snot?

    Why do people make life hard for themselves……

  4. THE EPISODE OF LIFE OF MAMMALS WAS ‘FOOD FOR THOUGHT’ THE CLOSING WORDS AFTER DOCUMENTING NASAS TALK OF COLONISING MARS IN 2008 WERE “WE CONTROL THE ENVIRONMENT TO KEEP THE POPULATION. SHOULDN’T WE CONTROL THE POPULATION TO KEEP THE ENVIRONMENT!

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