Who are the San?

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Who Are the SAN?


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 environmentalists.

 

 

 

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What's His Future With Out Land?
HE NEEDS YOUR HELP!
 
 

The San are some of the last nomadic hunter-gatherers or on earth. We have too soon forgotten that 12,000 years ago, before the start of the Agricultural (or Neolithic) Revolution, all humans were forager-gatherers. Then, the human population of our Earth was a mere 10 million! The Agricultural Revolution entailed humans first discovering the way and 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 2000 years ago, but then 2 billion by 1930, and nearly 8 billion today. It is estimated that the world population of people 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 forager-gatherers and hunter-gatherers. It happened again and again; Africa, North and South America, Australia, in recent centuries, earlier in Europe and Asia.

At the start of the Agricultural Revolution, the San had all of Africa up to the southern edge of the Sahara, together with the pygmoid forest people occupying what is now the Congo (old Belgian Congo, then Zaire), and the Bantu speaking people were living only in the westernmost parts of West Africa, while their cousins the Nilo-Saharans were by then living in the eastern Sahara). With the belated arrival of the Agricultural Revolution ideas and technology south of the Sahara, the Bantu-speaking people expanded East across Africa with slash-and-burn type agro-business, and as land demands increased with population growth, south, along with the livestock herding 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 black communities migrating from the north. By the time of Custer's last stand (1876), no later than Wounded Knee (1890), almost all 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'.

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The 'last' of the San survived into the 20th century in larger numbers 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 that there is hardly any 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, Zambia and South Africa. They are landless (except 2,000 in Namibia's Bushmanland), facing despair and 'death by dispossession'.
   
       
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ECOTERRA International is a worldwide organisation supporting Indigenous Peoples. The organization stands for their right to decide their own future and helps them protect their lives, lands and human rights. ECOTERRA is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1968, which receives no funds from any national government.  

 

We are also working with other groups to raise funds to repossess, lease or secure ancestral lands in southern Africa, where communities of San can redefine their traditional way of life. Please join us!