Tarai |Amos (Klein Namutoni)
- Bush food -
The diet of the Hai||om consisted mainly of bush food and meat. Bush food could not be gathered with equal ease everywhere; some vegetal resources could only be found in specific areas, and there were also hotspots of relatively intense abundance, such as the ||Khumub and |Nuaiseb hills. The Hai||om also recall the area around Namutoni as being particularly abundant in bush food. The most important bush foods were various sorts of berries, bulbs and corms, and certain leaves that grew after the rainy season.
The descriptions of plants that follow are intended to give some insight into the Hai||om’s knowledge of plants. No pretence is made of their being exhaustive botanical descriptions; despite consultation with several expert botanists, some botanical identifications remain tentative, and subject to correction. The plants described below could all be found in the Namutoni area.
The various Grewia species (raisin bushes) are fairly common in the region, and are all regarded as valuable bush food resources. ‡Âun, sabiron and ||naraka||nain (see below) are all members of the same plant family (Tiliaceae). The berries have a sweet and refreshing taste and can be eaten immediately or be stored for some months. The stored berries were important when other bush food became scarce in late winter.