Being a nomadic culture, the !Kung have very few possessions or needs for them.
Because of this, crimes like stealing are very rare. In fact, the !Kung are
afraid of angry words and violence, so the occasional dispute is worked out
long before it becomes a major
There is an emphasis on modesty in the !Kung culture which helps enforce the
egalitarian nature of the !Kung society. Creating a cooperative atmosphere is
imperative for a culture living in such harsh conditions. They make sure that
no one act can cause differentiation between people, everyone shares in
everything brought into the
village.4 Gift-giving and
selflessness are emphasized in the group to help create an environment where
everyone is able to trust in each other.
Without a formal authority figure, the !Kung govern themselves through group
consensus. Disputes are resolved through lengthy discussions where everyone
involved has a chance to make their thoughts heard until an agreement can be
Gift-giving, modesty, and selflessness all strive towards one purpose in the
!Kung culture, creating and keeping a cohesive group that not only needs to work
together but wants to work together. Discussion functions as one of the primary
tools in keeping the bond within the community.
Conflicts in the !Kung culture are handled quickly through group involvement.
Because of their fear of violence and anger, the majority of any conflict is
dealt with long before it becomes anything major.
Because of the importance placed on gift-giving and selflessness, more
emphasis is placed on the symbols dealing with the whole group, rather than
anything individualistic. Discussion is the primary tool used, symbolizing the
!Kung's need for everyone to be involved and given a voice in the dispute.