Bantu People And Mound Builders Essay

1546 words - 6 pages

Evan SandersAP World HistoryMagistra3 October 2014Comparing Bantu Civilizations and Mound BuildersAlthough the movement of the Bantu-speaking people helped create a measure of cultural and linguistic commonality south if the Equator of Africa. Gradual migration of Bantu-speaking people from their homeland in what is now southern Nigeria and the Cameroons into most of eastern and Southern Africa, it was a process that began around 3000 B.C.E and continued for several millennia. Although the first people entered what is now the Mississippi about 12,000 years ago, the earliest major phase of earthen mound construction in this area did not begin until some 2100 years ago, the Mound Builders.The agricultural techniques and iron working technology of Bantu-speaking farmers gave them an advantage over the gathering and hunting peoples they encountered, along with disease. Although the process of both civilizations occurred about the same time, there were differences in societies, culture, and religion, along with similarities of trade, agriculture, and spread of diseases.In these encounters, Bantu-speaking farmers had various advantages. One was numerical, as agriculture generated a more productive economy, enabling larger numbers to live in a smaller area than was possible with a gathering and hunting way of life. Another advantage was disease, for the farmers brought with them both parasitic and infectious diseases, such as Malaria, to which foraging people had little immunity. A third advantage was iron, so useful for tools and weapons, which Bantu migrants brought to many of their interactions with peoples still operating with stone-age technology. Thus, gathering and hunting peoples were displaced, absorbed, or largely eliminated in most parts of Africa around 400 C.E. They also brought iron, which was useful for tools and weapons. Many Bantu languages of southern Africa retain to this day distinctive "clicks" in their local dialects that they adopted from the now vanished gathering and hunting peoples that preceded them in the region. Bantu-speaking peoples participated in networks of exchange with forest-dwelling Batwa (Pygmy) peoples.Bantu farmers in East Africa increasingly adopted grains as well as domesticated sheep and cattle from the already-established people of the region. They also acquired a variety of food crops from Southeast Asia, including coconuts, sugarcane, and especially bananas, which were brought to East Africa by Indonesian sailors and immigrants early in the first millennium c.e.Cahokia emerged and flourished from about 900 to 1250 C.E. as did the Great houses of Chaco canyon, but its settlements were far larger than those of its southwestern counterpart. Cahokia, near present-day St. Louis, Missouri, which flourished from about 900 to 1250 C.E. Its central mound, a terraced pyramid of four levels, measured 1,000 feet long by 700 feet wide, rose more than 100 feet above the ground, and occupied fifteen acres. It was the...

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