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San People - Research Paper Example

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This paper focuses on the San people. Previously known as Bushmen, the San people are believed to be the oldest human race. Lessons to be learned from them include their democratic form of leadership that emphasized group consensus…
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San People
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San People

Download file to see previous pages... This research will begin with the statement that widely believed to be the first inhabitants of South Africa, the San people were traditionally hunters and gatherers who did not domesticate animals other than hunting dogs. Their language- Khoisan, which is characterized by a click sound, is among some of their distinguishing attributes. They moved around in small family units of approximately 25 to 35 people where well-defined territories were maintained. There were no chiefs or any type of hierarchical leadership and decisions were reached at through group consent. They were a highly mobile community owing to the fact that they had no possessions, crops or animals; whatever they needed, they carried it along with them. At the start, the Sans were able to evade conquest and control due to their social flexibility. However, as time went on, larger communities with huge herds of livestock and intentions to take up farming, wanted to occupy their land and this gave rise to conflicts. This is because the San wanted to maintain their nomadic lifestyle, over large tracts of land, yet other tribes wanted to utilize this for farming. The majority of them, approximately 60%, are presently found in Botswana and the rest are spread out across Namibia, Lesotho, and South Africa. Their physical appearance also made them different from the other black races, as they were short, less built with a skin color ranging from yellow to light brown. Besides that, their eyes were slightly slanted and their hair was thick and a little clumped....
In mid-16th century, the San faced oppression from the Dutch with the derogatory term Bosjieman, meaning outlaws, being coined to their reference. Regardless of their harmless nature, the Afrikaneers made an effort of genocide against them, and the missionaries called them dogs terming them as a threat to civilization. This did not deter them, nonetheless, as they were able to evolve and master the use of fire, create decorations from natural pigments and advance their tools. During the Microlithic Revolution, they had more time for artistic and recreational activities using bone, stone, ostrich eggshells and wood. Further on, the San people began undertaking pottery and doing rock paintings in caves and shelters, and these have been used as evidence for their existence and way of life. These paintings depict hunting and gathering scenes and are currently famous in Botswana, South Africa and Namibia (Osseo-Asare 51-52). Previously known as Bushmen, the San people are believed to be the oldest human race. Lessons to be learnt from them include their democratic form of leadership that emphasized group consensus. Whenever time to migrate came up, people would convene to discuss and agree upon where to move to next while considering food security for each person. If one band or family unit used up resources in their territory, they would seek permission from the neighboring group to hunt and search for edible plants in their area. Most admirable was their willingness to allow a territory to replenish itself when they had used up its resources. This ensured the environment was protected from exhaustion of resources. In addition, land was owned and shared communally. However, their lifestyle was detrimental concerning their unwillingness to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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