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 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
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'.
|| 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'.