When the Ju/'hoansi of the Kalahari honor an outsider with a bushman name, it comes from a member of their family and with it you receive the same familial relationships. Strictly speaking, then, the beautiful 12-year-old girl !U in this photograph from 1991 is my daughter, for Viv was named for her mother.
I took this photograph at /Aotcha in eastern Namibia where I met this proud, self-possessed girl on the threshold of womanhood who wears the beads that signify she is a child no longer. Her skin is a lustrous golden in the light of late afternoon. !U's portrait with her Mona Lisa smile is my favorite from our years in Africa. It seems to capture the moment in her transition from child to adult when she knew exactly who she was and where she belonged.
!U's grandmother, Viv's Ju/'hoan mother, is !U Dabe, now a venerable woman of 84. When we returned in 1997 to what was formerly called Bushmanland in Namibia, the old woman greeted Viv with "My daughter, my daughter!"
You don't forget family.