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Khoisan

Page history last edited by Barbara Allen 12 years, 4 months ago

´╗┐The San people are known for rock art.  This is an engraving on rock found in South Africa, depicting a giant buffalo which became extinct 6000 years ago. That makes this particular engraving at least 6000 years old.

Name  San, Khoikhoi, Khoisan
Location  Botswana, Namibia (Kalahari Desert), South Africa
Population

93000 San

http://www.aaanet.org/committees/cfhr/san.htm (2003)

55000 Khoikhoi

http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0827555.html (2007)

Language  Khoisan family of language
Type of Culture  Hunter-gatherer (San), Pastoralist (Khoikhoi)
Timeline  Existing in Africa for the last 150,000 years, in South Africa for 25,000 years
History

The San are genetically the oldest people in the world and have genetic markers that the rest of us in the world don't have. http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/rari/bushman.php

The San originated in East Africa and migrated to South Africa 140,000 years ago.

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/journey/

The Khoikhoi only appeared in San areas about 2000 years ago. Before advances in genetics, it was postulated that the Khoikhoi were from outside Africa. However, Khoikhoi and San are very closely related both genetically and linguistically.

 

Current status

Most San work for low wages on the farms of Blacks or whites in Southern Africa, a few still hunt and forage at least part-time.

A continual problem is that hunter-gatherers don't need (or want) to own land, they only want land-use rights. The San who want a traditional lifestyle have had mixed success gaining land use rights from governments intent on land ownership.

The San in Namibia and Botswana have a lower AIDS rate than the general population (3%-6% HIV positive as compared to Botswana's 38% and Namibia's 22.5%) This has been partly attributed to the San people mostly living in small out of the way villages. However, part is also attributed to the higher status of women in the egalitarian San culture.

http://www.aaanet.org/committees/cfhr/san.htm (2003)

Artwork most prevalent  Rock art
Artwork's distinguishing characteristics

Images of animals, people and scenes with magical significance. Most San rock art is directly related to the trance dances of the San. The khoikhoi also produced rock paintings which depict events from everyday life, such as sheepherding or confrontations with Eurpeans armed with guns. San shaman entered a trance state induced by hyperventilation, rhythmic movement, music and intense concentration.  In the trance state they see a variety of patterns ( RockArtGeometricPatterns.doc), some of which are familiar to migraine suffers. That phenomena interpreted with San beliefs about the world produces the scenes that they paint.

http://www.rockart.wits.ac.za/origins/external_pages/publications/files/Lewis-Williams%201988%20Reality%20and%20non-reality%20in%20San%20rock%20art.pdf

Traditional foods Game, fish, insects, flying ants, snakes, eggs, wild honey, mongongo nuts, baobab fruits, bitter melon, berries.  The San know of over 100 edible wild plants that they can use as food source. 

 

Links

http://www.theartofafrica.co.za/serv/food.jsp (Food)

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