Dorothea Bleek

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Dorothea Bleek_table_infobox_0

Dorothy F. BleekDorothea Bleek_header_cell_0_0_0
BornDorothea Bleek_header_cell_0_1_0 Dorothea Frances Bleek

(1873-03-26)26 March 1873 Mowbray, Cape TownDorothea Bleek_cell_0_1_1

DiedDorothea Bleek_header_cell_0_2_0 27 July 1948(1948-07-27) (aged 75)Dorothea Bleek_cell_0_2_1
NationalityDorothea Bleek_header_cell_0_3_0 South AfricanDorothea Bleek_cell_0_3_1
CitizenshipDorothea Bleek_header_cell_0_4_0 Dorothea Bleek_cell_0_4_1
OccupationDorothea Bleek_header_cell_0_5_0 Anthropologist and philologistDorothea Bleek_cell_0_5_1
Parent(s)Dorothea Bleek_header_cell_0_6_0 Wilhelm BleekDorothea Bleek_cell_0_6_1

Dorothea Frances Bleek (later Dorothy F. Bleek; born 26 March 1873, Mowbray, Cape Town – died 27 June 1948, Newlands, Cape Town) was a South African-born German anthropologist and philologist known for her research on the Bushmen (the San people) of southern Africa. Dorothea Bleek_sentence_0

Life and work Dorothea Bleek_section_0

Dorothea Bleek was the fifth daughter of Wilhelm Bleek, a pioneering philologist studying the languages and cultures of southern Africa in the late 1800s. Dorothea Bleek_sentence_1

Much of his work was done in partnership with his sister-in-law (Dorothy Bleek's aunt, Lucy Lloyd). Dorothea Bleek_sentence_2

The work of Dorothy Bleek was largely a continuation of her father and aunt's research, but she also made numerous notable contributions of her own to the field. Dorothea Bleek_sentence_3

Her culminating work, published after death, was the book A Bushman Dictionary, still referenced today. Dorothea Bleek_sentence_4

Laurens van der Post, who liked to think of himself as "a white Bushman", credited her book Mantis and His Hunter (along with Specimens of Bushman Folklore by her father and aunt) as "a sort of Stone Age Bible". Dorothea Bleek_sentence_5

This is in the introduction to The Heart of the Hunter (1961), a follow-up to The Lost World of the Kalahari, the book based on the BBC series that brought the Bushmen to international attention. Dorothea Bleek_sentence_6

Bleek's research and findings are often overshadowed by the work of her father, and she has been criticised for lacking the empathy and intuition of him and her aunt. Dorothea Bleek_sentence_7

This has led to a misperception of her as a racist. Dorothea Bleek_sentence_8

Despite this, Bleek's research on the language, customs, and especially rock art of southern Africa (present-day South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, and Namibia) stands as a vital contribution to scholarship on the region. Dorothea Bleek_sentence_9

Her photographs and audio recordings were especially important to later researchers. Dorothea Bleek_sentence_10


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea Bleek.