The Digital Aboriginal

Although the words Bush and Technology seem incompatible in so many ways, members of the illiterate, hunter-gatherer society known as the San Bushmen of Africa’s Kalahari Desert have begun using handheld Personal Digital Assistants equipped with Global Position System cards to map animal tracks and droppings. When these 21st Century aborigines find tracks or spoor, they punch an animal’s icon on their PDA, which records and maps the find. For millennia, the San Bushmen have been renown for their abilities to track animals, which is one of the longest continuous traditions of systematic human knowledge in existence today. But this is the first year in which they’ve done it digitally.