I have conducted ethnographic research with San communities in Namibia and Botswana since 2008. My main fieldsite is the Omaheke region in east central Namibia, where I have worked with the Ju|’hoansi and published on topics related to formal and traditional education, state development, animism and relational ontology, and ethics.
I am a co-founding member of the Research and Advocacy Group for Hunter Gatherer Education (HG-Edu), established under the International Society for Hunter Gatherer Research (ISHGR). HG-Edu focuses on identifying scientifically informed approaches to issues relating to education and communicating these findings to relevant institutions.
I am currently leading a project for the documentation of the material culture of the Omaheke Ju|’hoansi, funded by the Endangered Material Knowledge Project, hosted by the British Museum.
Fields of study
Ethnography Indigenous peoples International, comparative education Indigenous rights Ontology Indigenous peoples' research Ontologies Indigenous languages Critical Multicultural Education Indigenous issues Teaching about Indigenous Indigenous Studies Hunter-gatherers San
Ninkova, Velina; Abels, Monika; Kilale, Andrew Martin
Playing, Working, and Learning in Flux: Perspectives from African Post-forager Childhoods.
Utsa, Mukherjee (Ed.).
Childhoods & Leisure. Cross-Cultural and Inter-Disciplinary Dialogues. p. 235-253.
Abels, Monika; Ninkova, Velina
Conducting Fieldwork with San and Hadza (Post-)Hunter-Gatherer Communities in Africa: Regulatory and Ethical Issues.
Trends in Psychology.
Mother-tongue education for the Omaheke Ju|'hoansi in Namibia: Between policy and practice.
Olsen, Torjer Andreas; Sollid, Hilde (Ed.).
Indigenising Education and Citizenship: Perspectives on Policies
and Practices from Sápmi and beyond. p. 237-254.
The state as a whiteman, the whiteman as a /’hun: personhood, recognition, and the politics of knowability in the Kalahari.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
Ninkova, Velina; Paksi, Attila
Learning to aspire, aspiring to subvert: Namibian San youths' narratives about the future as mimetic work of resistance.
Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education.
Perpetuating the myth of the "wild Bushman": Inclusive multicultural education for the Omaheke Ju|'hoansi in Namibia.
Comparative Education Review.
Hays, Jennifer; Ninkova, Velina; Dounias, Edmond
Hunter-gatherers and education: Towards a recognition of extreme local diversity and common global challenges.
Hays, Jennifer; Ninkova, Velina (2018). Vertical and Horizontal Mobility among the Ju|’hoansi of Namibia. Simonsen, Jan Ketil; Larsen, Kjersti; Engebrigtsen, Ada I. (Ed.). Movement and Connectivity: Configurations of Belonging. p. 99-130. Peter Lang Publishing Group.
Not foragers, not not-foragers: The case of the Omaheke Ju/'hoansi.
Senri Ethnological Studies.
Ninkova, Velina; Hays, Jennifer (2017). "Walking in your grandfather's footsteps": Kinship and knowledge transmission among the Ju/'hoansi (Namibia). AnthropoChildren.
Ninkova, Velina (2017). "Now that we have development": Change, resilience and education for the Omaheke Ju/'hoansi. 251 p. UiT Norges arktiske universitet.
Ninkova, Velina (2015). Evaluation of the Namas-supported San Education Project in Tsumkwe, Otjozondjupa, Namibia. Evaluation for Namibiaforeningen. 67 p. NAMAS.
Ninkova, Velina (2022). Hunter-gatherers (with Velina Ninkova).
Ninkova, Velina; Hays, Jennifer; Lavi, Noa; Ali, Aishah; da Silva Macedo, Silvia Lopes; Davis, Helen; Lew-Levy, Sheina
Hunter-gatherer children at school: A view from the Global South.
Ninkova, Velina (2022). Colonial encounters from an animist perspective in the Western Kalahari. Kalahari Basin Area Network online seminar series. Kalahari Basin Area Network.
Ninkova, Velina (2022). Ju|'hoansi dress as protection. CHAGS13. International Society for Hunter Gatherer Research.
Ninkova, Velina (2022). Hunter-gatherer and formal education: Challenges and opportunities. CHAGS13. International Society for Hunter Gatherer Research.
Viestad, Vibeke Maria; Ninkova, Velina (2022). !’Hurasi – Ju/’hoansi beaded tortoise shell boxes from past and present in the Omaheke, Namibia. Weaving Histories from Below in the Global South. Needlework, Gender and Empowerment.. IFAS recherche and University of the Witwatersrand.
Viestad, Vibeke Maria; Ninkova, Velina (2022). San tortoise-shell boxes, past and present. San tortoise-shell boxes, past and present. KwaZulu-Natal Museum.
Abels, Monika; Ninkova, Velina (2022). Children’s work and play in two sub-Saharan (post-)hunter-gatherer societies. Conference for International Research on Early Childhood Education (IRECE):Diversity in early childhood education - global and local arctic perspectives .
Ninkova, Velina (2021). When culture becomes nature: Observations from the Namibian context. Årskonferanse i Norsk antropologisk forening . Norsk antropologisk forening .