South Africa’s First People

The first people of South Africa are known as The Khoisan. These people have a highly fascinating history, and also serve us as reminder as to how our actions, both direct and indirect can lead to the fall of an entire culture.

The people, who are today known as the Khoisan, were spread out across the land before they made their way to the shores of South Africa.  Although they were the first people on the land, they are still one of the most persecuted populations in the country.  Even after the Apartheid fell, they only became more forgotten.

The name comes from a combination of two different groups of people, Khoikhoi and San, who both shared languages and cultures that were very similar, however lived in complete isolation from one another, and have different survival methods.

The Khoikhoi lived off of the agriculture, while the San were skilled in hunting and gathering.  According to archaeologists, both groups lived in South Africa for almost two thousand years, having uncovered some of the world’s oldest implement and artworks.

It is known by many that the Khoisan had the most incredible knowledge about the wild animals and their environment.  They also had a very comprehensive understanding of the medicinal benefits of plants.

Once European settlers arrived they were given very unflattering names.  The Khoisans gradually declined due to the settlers as well as the climate change.  The Apartheid repressed the group even more and they became the most threatened minority group of South Africa.

With severe climate change in South Africa, the land that was once fertile and wet dried out, as the region became hotter and hotter.  Today, they struggle to maintain their traditions and their hunter-gatherer lifestyle is coming to an end for good.

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