Gubi Family

The !Gubi family are a group of traditional musicians and dancers from the San people of The Kalahari Desert in Namibia. Ranging in age from 18-80 years old, they keep the ancient musical traditions of their culture and are among the last thousand speakers of their language.

The San are one of the originators of trance dance and their music is specifically designed to evoke an altered state of consciousness through the rhythms and beats; enabling the musician to enter into trance, commune with their ancestors and with the spirits of the animals with whom they share their desert home and perform healing on both individuals and the tribe.

The family group members are:

Gubi Tietie!Gubi Tietie, patriarch of the !Gubi Family of San musicians and dancers from the Namibian Kalahari.

!GUBI was born in Botswana in 1929 and is a member of the /Noa (Ncoa) tribe. !Gubi is a highly respected traditional healer who begun his initiation into the healing arts as a young man of twenty. He begun by acquiring knowledge of the plants and then learnt how to go into trance and heal people through trance dancing and raising his n/um energy. As a young man, he was able to wander between the two countries freely and it was only after Namibian Independence that border control started to become an issue. Three of his sons still live in Botswana and it is not as easy for him to visit his family as it used to be.

Anna Mungabapute is the daughter of !Gubi and is a singer, and an accomplished traditional healer who uses her chanting to heal and is extremely knowledgeable about herbs and medicines of the bush.

Maria Berse is also the daughter of !Gubi and sister to Anna. She is an extremely talented singer and is quite a new addition to the family group. She is also an expert craftswoman and spends her spare time making exquisite pieces of jewellery from ostrich eggs and beads.

Johannes Tietie is the youngest of !Gubi’s children in the group.  As a musician, Johannes is an outstanding all-rounder, as a dancer and multi-instrumentalist.  He plays the Mouthbow and the Gau Gau and is the one following in his father’s footsteps with a wish to learn more about passing on the musical knowledge from !Gubi.

John and Magnus Barse are Anna’s sons. They are both extremely talented dancers and delight audiences with their exuberant dances impersonating Lions, Ostriches. They represent the passing on of traditional musical knowledge down from their grandfather and on to future generations.

Recently the group has been joined by younger members of the family who are grandchildren of !Gubi namely Agnes Barse and Jacob Cornelius,


Indigenous People. 2019. !Gubi Tietie. Available at: