Who Are the
In their mythology, God
created all of southern Africa for the San (Bushman).
Then he created the San, then
he created the San's animals for and even from the San. God left
them to guard it all, which they did for eons, until we more 'advanced'
people arrived. These are the world's oldest surviving pragmatic
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The San are some of the last nomadic hunter-gatherers on earth.
We have too soon forgotten that 10,000 years ago, before the start
of the Agricultural (or Neolithic) Revolution, all humans were hunter-gatherers.
Then, the population of our earth was a mere 10 million! The Agriculture
Revolution entailed humans first discovering or being introduced
to the technology of domesticating plants and /or animals. A profound
results was mankind becoming more sedentary vs. nomadic. This led
to the significant increase in our population growth. We reached
250 million by the birth of Christ, 2 billion by 1930, and near
6 billion today. It is estimated that world population will double
to 11 billion by about 2020! As we post-Agricultural Revolution
humans multiplied we took the land from the nomadic family clans
of hunter-gatherers. It happened again and again; Africa, North
and South America, Australia, in recent centuries, earlier in Europe
At the start of
the Agricultural Revolution, the San had all of Africa up to the
southern edge of the Sahara, except for the Pygmies occupying what
is now the Congo (old Belgian Congo, then Zaire), and the Bantu
blacks having only westernmost west Africa (their black cousins
the Nilo-Saharans were then in the eastern Sahara). With the belated
arrival of the Agricultural Revolution technology south of the Sahara,
the blacks expanded East across Africa, and as land demands increased
with population growth, south, along with the Nilo-Saharans.
The majority of
the San were 'ethnically cleansed' for their land in South Africa
by the Dutch who landed in 1652, invading from the south, and by
the Zulus and other blacks migrating from the north. By the time
of Custer's last stand (1876), no later than Wounded Knee (1890),
the last of the San had been exterminated in South Africa, leaving
only their haunting rock paintings, and a few of their genes in
the South African 'coloureds'.
|| The 'last' of the
San survived into the 20th century only in the world's fourth largest
desert, the Kalahari (Botswana, Namibia), despite a bounty on their
heads into the early 1900's. This was simply because it was an inhospitable
thorn-and-thirst land avoided by all others. The San learned to live
there despite there being no surface water. The 70,000 or so Kalahari
San that survive today are in Botswana (40,000), Namibia (30,000),
and a few in Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia. They are landless (except
2,000 in Namibia's Bushmanland), facing despair and 'death by dispossession'.