The San Tribe: Oldest Tribe in Africa


The San Tribe, or Bushmen as they are commonly called, were the first indigenous residents of South Africa over 30,000 years ago. They are believed to be the world’s most ancient race; because they are direct descendants of the first humans on earth. They were originally known for their unique hunting skills. They fed on kills from hunting down envelopes and other animals with their bows and arrows, and their way of life was nomadic as they moved seasonally from one place to another in search of food, water, and game animals. The Bushmen were the original creators of the rock and cave arts and paintings which cut across the region. They used dyes and pigments from plants, minerals, eggs shells, and animal blood to draw and paint images.

There’s usually a form of division of labor in their daily activities; the men go hunting for games, while the women gather food and forage as plant materials are the primary source of consumption. The children, however, had no societal duties other than to play. As a result of their unique and sharp hunting skills, the San people make good trackers. Their intuitions are sharp, precise, and accurate.

Today, the San tribe is still found in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Angola, and Namibia. There are usually four criteria used in identifying and differentiating them from other people of African descent.

-They usually have a history of gathering food and hunting

– Their click languages can help identify them

-Identification by self

-Distinct phenotypic features(not reliable)

In this present day and time, some of the San people have gone into hiding because of the overexploitation from governments and foreigners of their culture and way of life. Others have equally been displaced because of the high demand for wildlife conservation, thereby losing their original homes. All these ultimately destroy their unique way of life.

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