A Resilient Peoples: An Introduction To The San

2520 words - 10 pages

According to the widely accepted, Out of Africa Theory, the first appearance of the anatomically modern human originated 200,000 years in Africa. Modern humanity exists today as the species Homo sapiens sapiens, whom are generally characterized by bipedal and upright movement, the use of tools, and a complex brain structure as compared to their ancestral counterparts. All modern humans evolved from fourteen specific “ancestral population clusters” and from 100,000 to 50,000 years ago migrated and hybridized or interbred throughout the world in waves replacing archaic species and populating the world. These migrations defined as diasporic movements, consist of a group of people with a common origin that travel and populate regions outside of their original homeland. The African diasporic movement encapsulates one of the largest Diasporas of all time, and these first waves of diasporic movement mark the beginnings of humankind.
This paper will consider the progress of humanity, the quest for longevity and survival, by examining the historical experiences of one of the oldest populations of humans on earth, the San. If progress, is the survival of the species, then evolution is the goal, and the San people have achieved progression by surviving and ultimately evolving throughout the complete span of humanity’s existence on earth. The San make one of the most genetically diverse people since their genetic lineage has had the longest to evolve. The San have overcome an onslaught of obstacles, such as cultural transformations, war, and ethnocide and still survive to this day in a state almost similar to the origin of time, making them one of the most resilient people on earth. One may argue that progression is to change, but the San have proved that resilience and preservation is important for history and ultimate human survival.
The San, also referred to as “Bushmen”, are the collection of individual nations localized by the indigenous inhabitants of Southern Africa. It is important to note that the term, “Bushman”, is also linked to the term Khoisan. Khoisan is a term that groups the San and Khoi people together because of their similar language and physical characteristics. The San, instead of Khoisan, are singled out due to their earlier origin and longer history. The San are the first modern humans in Southern Africa and originally existed as a hunter gather or foraging people, and have their own unique and sophisticated cultures. The San use very intricate languages, have complex social roles and developed an expertise in art, music and theology. The San were people that lived in harmony with nature for millennia have represented an “unspoiled and natural humanity”. At first sight one may view the San culture as simple or “primitive”, but after deeper exploration, it is easier to see that the San culture is deeply complex and has answers and circumventions to dilemmas our own modern society has forgotten. The San...

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