The San People of Botswana| The Bushmen

There are many interesting cultures and traditions that you will come across when you come to Africa. We will be talking about the San People of Botswana, who are often called the hunter gatherers or Bushmen.

The hunter gatherers were evicted from their land in the 1950s and warned never to hunt on their ground. They ended up as farmers since they cannot hunt again. Collecting herbs and plants for food or medications to sustain themselves as their numbers dwindled because of their restrictions.

The San people live in a remote area called Metsimantle. It will interest you to know that this people are considered as the oldest people on earth, who have a history of erosion of cultural identity, social exclusion, denial of rights and discrimination.

The San are not extravagant and wasteful when it comes to eating. They make sure that every part of the animal they killed for food is used.  Water is difficult to locate and they take care of this issue by digging holes in the sand before they fill it with water. Most times, they are seen with ostrich eggshell for water storage.

They believed that the soil should not be worked upon and the moon is also reverence. The people worship the praying mantis. There are four rituals that the San observes ;

  1. The Boys’ First Kill
  2. The Girl’s Puberty
  3. Marriage
  4. The Trance Dance.

At the girls’ first menstruation, they are isolated in their huts.  There are many oral traditions that the San must observe, and some of these tales can in the form of stories about the local gods that have to deal with good conduct.

The rain dance and the healing dance or great medicine dance  are rituals that everyone have to be involved. The dancers are transported into the realm of the spirit during the trance dance, where they can plead for mercy for the souls of the sick locals.

The stomach of the locals is very versatile and strong.  They can eat nuts, insects, lizards, tortoise, bulbs, tubers, birds and many little animals. The San hunter gathering lifestyle has become what has kept them for long. A lot of them have died and few of them have been lucky to survive the brutality of the government. Today, they may be isolated and primitive but they got a great culture and lifestyle that can fascinate you.

The San are threatened by civilization and struggling to keep their cultures alive.