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The San

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Final Report The San where the first people who lived in South Africa. Their culture stretches back more than 15 years and their origin 100 000 years, these are people are our ancestors. They lived on the land for nearly 20 000 years, taking from it in such a way that they never had to cultivate it or change the environment in which they lived. The San have left archaeological evidence; this includes their toolkits and rock art, but life for the San was not always this peaceful as they had to undergo heavy amounts of change. This essay will focus on how the San have been able to survive the impact of colonialism and safeguard/preserve their heritage, customs, traditional life and indigenous knowledge. The San language is varied but is very ancient and contains clicking sounds. The San were nomadic hunter-gatherers in certain areas in southern Africa, mainly the in the south-west. They lived on the land (Veldkos) gathered by the women and every few days the men would go out to hunt for meat. ...read more.


Years later, the Department of Nature Conservation took over large sections of their hunting lands, this was turned into nature reserves. The San were frequently used as props, tools and fundraisers for various shows, crusades and missions. Because of this, few know how to gather and hunt now days or even use a bow and arrow. Many of the San are still exploited, live in small groups and hardly have any land to hunt and gather, some even turn to alcoholism. The San people in Angola still suffer starvation and instillation imposed by 27 years of civil war, which ended in 2002. It impacted the San communities in a number of ways. Many of them have been displaced from their represented places of origin. Substantial numbers of the San joined, then, the South African Defence Force and re-settled with their families in Namibia and in 1990, South Africa. In South Africa they lived in army tents and were not allowed to hunt or fish in the nearby rivers. ...read more.


In my opinion the San have not really been able to survive the impact colonialism had on them, as there are very little of their people left. They cannot live there traditional lifestyle as there is no land. Therefore it is hard for them to collect ostrich eggs, Veldkos and make honey. They also cannot hunt the way they did. There is little money available to be spent on safeguarding their heritage and culture. There is still a lot of conflicts between the San and the governments over their land rights. The San knowledge has been greatly exploited over time by greedy people and the San are sadly not recognised in what they have done. In another sense, the San have also managed to keep there heritage and culture by surviving the colonialism, speaking their own language, practicing their own religion and living according to their own customs and traditions. There are still descendants of the San living today, so let us hope that we can preserve what these ingenious people have brought to our world. I hope that in 10 years time, that the San don't become just myths that we find only in books. ...read more.

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