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The San People of the Past and Present

The San People of the Past and Present

By on Jul 14, 2019 in Blog |

The Southern regions of Africa are a paragon of historical cultures and clues to our past.

Artifacts and findings have offered us glimpses of what life was like a hundred thousand years ago. The Khoisan language is a sequence of clicks that are used to communicate by the San Tribes. Finger snapping and other distinct sounds contribute to its fluidity and consistency. The San cultures that speak the click language are mainly concentrated in Africa. Due to migration, there are a few countries that hold a small amount of Khoisan speaking communities. The San people or Bushmen, are the umbrella of indigenous tribes that share the same Khoisan language.

San People of the Past

Hunters and gatherers are groups who live strictly off of the land. They do not farm or create a permanent residence. This Semi Nomadic way of life brought them to different areas throughout the year. Where they lived largely depended on the resources available. DNA testing of bones that were unearthed have been compared to the genome patterns of modern humans. The data presented indicates the San people are directly descendant from the first generation class of humans that lived in Africa. Archaic species or forms of modern man included two main groups. Denisovans and Neanderthals are still somewhat of a mystery that is continually researched for new information. Homo Sapiens are thought to be either a third and distinct type, a mix of one archaic with an unknown marker or an interesting mingling of both. The San tribes are linked to the oldest line of Homo Sapiens or mankind from at least 80,000 years ago that are still in existence today.

The Present Day San

With strong deforestation and property claims, the San are unable to live traditionally as they used to. They are a peaceful people who avoid conflict unless it is absolutely necessary. Their lifestyle did not require markers or patches of farmland making it easy for neighboring regions to claim the territory. Governments did not support the Sans ancient traditions and opposed requests for them to remain on the land. A modernized climate as forced them to abandon their true spirit of nature and become a working part of the system. Discrimination and poverty has pushed them forward into a confusing time. With a little over 100,000 San remaining in Africa, adaption became a necessity.

The Present Day San
The Present Day San

Without the ability to live as they would prefer, many have opted to share their culture with others. You can find San cultural centers and museums in Africa to learn more about their history. Rock Art Sites are an account of San lives throughout the centuries. There are 14,000 locations to explore and an anticipated thousands more waiting to be discovered. Rock art depicts the journey of the San people, what they saw and how they interacted with nature around them. It is certain the San Tribes have a stake in the circle of life. Their integrity and strength are a deep part of who they are as a people. From their intrinsic history to the new world that surrounds them, the San have kept their home close to their heart.