Kernel [Pähkinänsydän]

Dublin Core


Kernel [Pähkinänsydän]


"Kernel tells about the San (Bushmen) of the western Okavango region of Namibia in the late 1950s and early 1960s - a period when the education system was being extended to include these earliest indigenous inhabitants of southern Africa. As a young teacher in 1949, the author, Tuulikki Jantunen, had moved to Namibia (then known as South West Africa) from her home country, Finland, to teach in the Okavango mission fields - a stint of work which continued for over thirty years. In Kernel we are introduced to a small San community living according to its own rules of behaviour in the settlement of Mpungu in the Okavango region. These people, formerly hunter-gatherers, now face a new cultural phase. Following the example of their neighbours, they have become sedentary farmers and have sown their first seeds. However, they do not want to abandon their nomadic way of life entirely and cannot bear to remain in their fields for long. They have to get back to the forest now and then. Some also want to go to school and the mission station offers them the opportunity to do so. It is this stage in the history of the San community that the author describes. There is no other written information about the San at the applicable time and place, thus Kernel is a new and valuable source for research into the cultures of Namibia. The book is also a fine read. It provides a personal and expressive description of the life of the community and conveys a humane close-up picture of San culture. Through it also the San will lie able to obtain new knowledge about their own background and cultural heritage. The publication of the book in English by the Namibia Scientific Society is a commendable cultural deed."


Tuulikki Jantunen


Namibia Scientific Society






English (translated from Finnish)



Tuulikki Jantunen, “Kernel [Pähkinänsydän],” Namibia Digital Repository, accessed July 29, 2021,

Output Formats