Question 1

What kind of San culture and traditions survive today and what has changed in your daily life after your experience together with Bushmen?
The above question leads me first to qualify my thinking on the calling of these people San or Bushmen.
San, for me, is nothing more than a convenient anthropological generic. In the South African context it is the same as calling all black people ‘Bantu’. I believe that this is an inappropriate insult … these people’s have names, tribal names, and I insist that we learn what they are and use them accordingly.
The last Bushman tribe that I lived with for three years in the early 1980’s called themselves /Gwikwe. In their own language /Gwi means ‘bush’, and kwe means ‘people’, and so I correctly call them Bushmen. If I lived amongst the /Aiekwe who have been academically and wrongly labeled as the Naro, I would correctly call them /Aiekwe – ‘the people who walk on stones’.
These simple respects are a beginning to building a relationship of understanding.

Question 2

Is it correct to consider the todays Bushmen as the descendants of ancient San people who left the great rock art paintings in the Drakensberg?

It is correct to assume that the people’s we collectively call Bushman today are directly descended from the ancient race before them, a stream of humanity changing and evolving through it’s time on earth.  The ‘ancient race’ may be understood as those who came before the ‘first people’, and who were, if anything, the archetypal human, still bound to the animal nature within.  This is the time when ‘the animals were people’, the time of animal-man, and one hears in many of the stories told of the ancient race of how they gradually extricated the animal nature out of themselves, out of the ‘rising’ human being, and of how they finally banished the animal nature out of themselves so that they could become fully human, the First People . . . the first Self-conscious humans. The stories told by the elders bear witness to this relationship with the animal kingdom.

I refer to stories relayed in my book regarding The Ancient Race as well as the animal nature in the evolving human being; ‘The Bushman Winter Has Come’ on pg. 73, 74, 75.

Open Talk and Conversation

 Tsamkwa /tge?

You are invited to a conversation with paul john myburgh, about the Bushmen and his time with them.

Living with the Bushmen

Paul is an award winning documentary film maker, anthropologist and author, who has had a life-long commitment to Africa that transcends the boundaries of politics and ideologies.

This became evident years ago when he spent seven years of his life living amongst the !Gwi Kalahari Bushmen, becoming an integral part of this archetypal culture.

A result of this dedication was an internationally acclaimed documentary, ‘People of the Great Sandface’, and his recently published book “The Bushman Winter Has Come”.

Paul will be sharing his knowledge of this ancient race, and their story-pictures left as a record for humanity, and how knowing them is critical to the sustainability of life going forward.  Never before has it been more important to understand and contextualize the First People, their place in world evolution, and our place in the world as modern humans.

Event Details

Date: Thursday 14 May, 2015

Time: 18:00 for 18:15 start, till 19:30

Venue: Steiner Centre, Michael Mount Waldorf School, Culross Road, Bryanston, Johannesburg

Cost: R100 pp

Please RSVP by emailing Telana on as we have limited seating.

Book and Film

The following will be available for cash purchase at the event:

  • Paul’s Book, “The Bushman Winter Has Come” (R240.00)
  • His dvd of his documentary “People of the Great Sand Face” (R100).

(cash only please.)

About paul john myburgh

Paul is a multiple award winning documentary film maker, anthropologist and author.

Apart from many years shared with the First People, he has spent the last nineteen years working on the story of the excavation of the Little Foot fossil apewoman skeleton in the Cradle of Humankind

Intrepid Explorer

The Intrepid Explorer Cover Picture

I was asked by The Intrepid Explorer magazine to write of that which I most remember of my life within this ancient stream of humanity, which memory prevails over all others? But I cannot, I can find no single day, no single memory that is more significant than any other. This is how it is in a fundamental world where everything is seen only as different in quality, but never as better or worse, as more or less important. It is the incidental world of modern humanity which so insists that we compare, name and number everything that lives, and by this process separate ourselves from that which we measure, and ourselves from life itself. And so I have written of my memories as they flow one through the other, through that time to this time, of them and of me as if we are still joined one to the other to all.
And so it continues even now as ongoing living memory . . .

Visit your nearest Cape Union Mart for a complimentary hard copy of the magazine
Download the article on below link;

Intrepid Explorer magazine article Paul Myburgh;


I had the gift of an encounter with two students from Rhodes University, Raphaela and Jacek, who set about doing a filmed conversation with me as a final year film project.  The end result is an honest delight.  Of course I would like to sound wiser than I do, and of course I would like to look nicer than I do, but that’s the nature of us.  I am grateful for their earnest and sincere interpretation, and can ask no more than that.  Thank you my friends.

The Little One’s

Another morning surrounded by shining eyes in faces beaming upwards.

Seven to eight years old.  A class full of movement and imagination . . . they do not want information, hard cold facts of dead information, they do not want the intellectual . . . they live in a world of imagination, and they want living pictures of a world-story that brings to life in them that which inspires them forwards in growth and wonder.

They live in that place of awe from which we all rise and fall, and in their formative years they must not be hurried out of that space, they must not be forced into a quantified reality which makes no allowance for Spirit.

They ask for words that they can turn into living reality by their own doings . . . so we spoke of food, shelter and companionship . . . the fundamental human needs.  I told them how to build shelters out of sticks and grass, how to make fires from male and female pieces of wood.  I told them of a world without water, but filled with everything that anyone could need . . . a world not cluttered with incidental ‘things’ which they do not ask about . . . their questions are all to do with what is essential to life.

And standing afterwards, surrounded by  these endless excited questions, I am struck by how in every way they look up to us


 Physically they look ‘up’ to us, spiritually they look ‘up’ to us . . . in their whole relationship with the world of the adult and parent, the children look and ask ‘upwards’.  And so, from this raised, bigger place . . . we adults and teachers must, for them, be there.


More Children

This last morning, I again spoke with a group of children, and am utterly taken with the absolute sincerity of their quest for the truth of things . . . their deep inner need to know that that which they are hearing is true.  It is only the certainty of that which comes towards them that binds them to themselves, that gives them anchor in this world.

Their security comes from no other place, and so I am compelled to reconsider my own place between certainty and doubt as an adult . . . do I stand in a place in which they can find sanctity?

These too, were twelve year olds’.  I shared with them two stories . . . one of how we humans first came to fire, to Light . . . this is the story in my book of how man, in the purging of the animal nature out of himself, comes towards fullness as a human Being . . . in finding the light of Spirit we are able to stand as human between heaven and earth.

The second story, and the one they loved the most, was of course about Lions and Magic!  It is the story of an ancient race in an ancient land, a story of relationships between the visible and the invisible, of shape-shifting and the possibilities of life.  To stand before their shining Souls questing for this knowledge is a verification for all of us who might think that the world of imagination in children is a world of fantasy . . . it is not!  It is a world of truth . . . a truth, which we the adult have forgotten to remember, and so by default have come to deny.


This old relationship with life must and will return in new and conscious form.


B537Final2I have given a number of talks over the last month or so, and am grateful for the platform granted by this book.  Last night I had the privilege of speaking to a group of children aged around eleven and twelve years . . . and it was that and more . . . I am left with a picture of open hearts and eyes that shine for the ring of truth. They are of that age where they stand so comfortably positioned between the physical and spiritual realms . . . one foot in each realm . . . like the First People.   In this manner of being, one may correctly perceive the people of the early races as human beings at an adolescent stage of development on the long time-line between then and now . . . humans as yet unspoiled.  Whether being told of some physical endeavor or equally of some deep esoteric truth, they are so able to hear and understand exactly what is being said . . . they immediately grasp without prejudice what is spoken.  Their openness and understanding is not yet pre-determined by what they have learned in this life, but more by an inherent disposition of Soul, standing between innocence and wisdom . . . like a Grail cup waiting to be filled.  And we, as the adult humans on this long journey, must take great care with how we fill this cup.


The Bushman Winter Has Come

IMG_9466dI was asked what I hoped people would take away from this book . . . well . . . my hope is to add to a deeper understanding of who these ‘first people’ really are, so that we come to know more of what this ancient race has brought into the context of our lives on earth, and know what they have contributed towards the spiritual evolution of humanity.

Through this understanding, I hope people will gain more truth with regard to our own nature, to understand how we modern humans stand in this world.  I think it is a vital part of human evolution to carry, in knowledge, the truth of that which came before us, of those who walked before us  . . . the absence or presence of that knowledge reflects clearly in who we are now.

I would like to know that I have made it a little more possible for people to acknowledge the invisible world, and to live within the world of Spirit . . . to develop the certainty that it is acceptable to believe in that which you cannot see . . . to know, that what is unknown, is also true.

I hope that with this book I have strengthened the bridge between the ancient race and us, that the memory lines are extended from their archetypal dreaming consciousness to our wide awake modern human consciousness . . . and that we can, through this knowledge, do more than we have done.

Talking with people

I was invited by Prof Boonzaier to give a seminar at the University of Pretoria last week, and embraced the opportunity with an appropriate measure of doubt . . .

Many years ago I had shied away from the academic world, mainly because of it’s mandated refusal to include study of the aspect of Spirit in the human sciences.  Evolution however, both physical and spiritual, is slow but certain . . . life continues, people change as they follow the questions that arise in their Being, and sooner or later, they come to live those changes into the world . . . for all of us, it is the activity of our ‘doubt striving for certainty’ that fuels much of our human endeavour on this earth.

So anyway, I did a one and a half hour talk to a receptive group of people, some accomplished academics amongst them.  The response was extremely gratifying, and I am thankful for the affirmation of my thinking and of my work . . . I was then asked by the head of the Anthropological faculty, a delightful human evolved out of scottish geography called Fraser McNeill, to immediately give a second lecture to the entire anthropological student body.  We drank a coffee, and sallied forth to face three hundred young minds questing for wisdom in a world hardened by re-synthesized information.

I gave another hour to the insistence that future anthropology includes full consideration for the spiritual component of the living human . . . the response was magnificent.  Of course in the audience there were some that still slept, and others that still dreamed, but the wide-awake amongst them are asking the right questions.

It is my hope that my book finds it’s way into those corridors, and that I can contribute to future thinking with regard to the human journey in this world.

The very fact of Spirit, is the entire reason that we gather in various groups around our earth in search of a wisdom that will serve as guide for humanity in these challenged times . . . and few are exempt from this need.  My question to any thinking human remains . . . Tsamkwa /tge? . . . are your eyes nicely open?

Seven years in the desert

In response to Jean’s question . . . Was it difficult to integrate back into modern society after seven years in the Kalahari Desert?

The first year was difficult . . . I sat on my stoep with not much reason to get up and do anything . . . it all seemed so purposeless, there were no men to hunt with, no snares to check . . . it was like living in a five star hotel with all the expenses paid. It was also funny . . . I remember running my first bath, and keeping, and re-using the water for three weeks, simply because I could not bring myself to waste it.  Where I had lived, that much water would have brought joy to many people. Anyway, after repeatedly washing in the same water for three weeks, without soap, I scooped the water out of the bath with a bucket and watered the trees.  I went to London to edit the film, People of the Great Sand Face, and that was a real culture shock . . . I was not only from a different continent, but from a different planet!  I was given a luxury apartment to live in, in Park Lane, by Lord Aubrey Buxton . . . he found me to be quite a curiosity, and seemed to enjoy my company . . . no doubt because I was not in awe of him in the way that all his English minions were .  . . I came from a world in which all things and all people were different, but equal.

I recall walking down Park Lane one day with my gemsbok skin cloak over my shoulders for warmth . . . it was snowing, and I was barefoot . . . I had not worn shoes for many years.  Anyway, two dear old ladies stopped me and politely told me that I should be careful not to cut my feet on broken glass or any other sharp thing. Equally politely, I thanked them for their concern and told them with complete conviction not to worry, because ‘my feet could see’. They believed that I was sincere, because I really was, and went off about their English day with something odd to think about. It took me a while to realize just how different I had become . . . not only in outer mannerisms and doings, but more on the inside, as if through some deep osmosis of spirit, my whole being had taken something else into itself.

So, it was very difficult integrating back into modern society, and it is perhaps something that, fortunately, I shall never entirely do. The difficulty lay mostly in the fact that I was trying to reconcile my journey from a fundamental existence into a largely incidental one. So much of what had become within me, had no place of recognition in the modern world.