Wednesday, 27 February 2013

AFRICAN PEOPLE 1





Discover the Diversity of Africa!
Within Africa you will find many different cultures,
often within a few miles of each other.
Get a new appreciation for African cultures that date  
back thousands of years!
  
 

 
Introduction:

The more I find out about the background of Southafrica as it is today and why things are the way they are, the more excited I get. In my 30 years away from Germany and living along all the folks that were here before me, I  also unearth a lot of sad truths. The first humanitarian catasrophy were the white settlers. Why did the colonists have to stick their fingers in all the pies all over the world? They wanted power,  more land,  more richdom.  One by one no noble motives. The white missionaries might have had “noble” motives,  but it all went horribly wrong.  The indigenous belief systems are all still in place, neighbouring with the Christians. (I never quite could find out what’s going on here in this respect. Many people sit in church on Sundays, then go home to a burial and effect absolutely un-Christian rituals, most involving fresh blood being poured as a sacrifice to their ancestors.)

The Africans could just as well have gone on living with the natural flow of the soil. But no, the Whites had a hitleresque urge to “civilize” them. One of the many very tragic consequences of Europeans sticking their noses into a country where they had no business whatsoever is, that the tribal cultures and ways to dress fell victim to their westernisation. Today one can hardly distinguish between the various and originally very distinct cultural groups, as everybody put on the global uniform of T-shirts and jeans. Probably they can recognize each other by way of language and sometimes looks.

Therefor my report on the different African groups, at least in respect of their traditional attires and ways to prepare food, in the South Africa of today can only be of a historic nature.

The saving grace for the white intruders was that the African cultural groups don’t seem to be able to see eye to eye. They never unite as one against a certain cause, in the contrary, even today there are vicious wars between different tribes. Only one leader, King Shaka Zulu, was ever able to at least unite a great number of his different  Zulu tribes to build a formidable army against the Khoisan, other black tribes and the white intruders from Europe.

This blog is meant to highlight the positive sides if SA and to –hopefully – also get us out of the "Apartheid and all Whites are racists pigeonhole". It is unfair to name South Africa and Apartheid in one breath, and that’s what especially the people living ten thousands of kilometres away, do. There is so much more to it!!! The Whites have been here for only 400 years and only 40 years of that the terrible Apartheid system was in place, plus it is over since almost 20 years. The black tribes from the north came 19.600 years after the Khoisan were firmly established, a very short time before the white settlers

Neither the Blacks (Bantus) nor the Whites can claim ownership of South Africa!!!

 

AFRICAN PEOPLE 1

The San are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, where they have lived for at least 20 000 years. The term San is commonly used to refer to a diverse group of hunter-gatherers living in Southern Africa who share historical and linguistic connections. The San were also referred to as Bushmen,  but this term has since been abandoned as it is considered derogating.
Bushman child
 
 
About 400-500 local plants and their uses were known to bushmen, along with the places where they grew – not only providing a balanced nutrition, but also moisture from roots even in time of drought. Plants were used in ways similar to western phyto medicine to treat wounds and heal illnesses; other plants where rather part of healing ceremonies in which a healer would burn plants to make rain, trance to heal an ailment, or perform a charm to bring fertility. The range of ailments treated included wounds including snake bites, colds, stomach ache, tooth ache or headache, or diarrhoea but also infections like malaria, tuberculosis, or syphilis. One bushman plant, Hoodia gordonii, even made the worldwide news since it was patented by a pharma company as a diet support due to its traditional bushman usage to suppress appetite and hunger. They also crafted their clothes, tools, bows and arrows, toys and everything they needed.



 
     
 

 
The Bushmen are the remnants of Africa's oldest cultural group, genetically the closest surviving people to the original Homo sapiens “core” from which the Khoisan and other people of Africa emerged. Bushmen are small in stature generally with light yellowish skin, which wrinkles very early in life.
                                                                                
 
  
 
 
In the 17th century, caused by an explosive overpopulation in North African countries, a massive southwards migration of Bantu Tribes occurred. These tribes forced the San and Khoisan deep into the Namib desert or killed them and took over all fertile land in South Africa. So the widely popular opinion that the “Blacks”, the Bantus were here first is WRONG. They were here before the white settlers, yes, but they were in no way indigenous to South Africa. The white settlers continued to decimate the San and Khoisan population, they were hunted, captured, tortured and killed like vermin.
 
Today there are only +- 50000 in Botswana and +- 40000 in Namibia. 20.000 years ago they grew to 500.000) Only very few stayed in South Africa and are forced to live in tented camps, where it is impossible for them to thrive. So one could rightfully include the KhoiSans in the call “SAVE THE RHINO AND THE BUSHMEN”. (Some modern comedians were even heard saying on stage: “ Forget about the rhino, save the white man!”)
 

Medicine man
                                                      Ritual bushman-dance around fire
 
The Bantus who invaded the San’s and Khoi’s land from the North were made up by 3 main groups: the Nguni, the Sothos and the Tsongas. These formed almost countless “undertribes” .
 
And these will be making up one of the next posts,
 
Friendly greetings from
Barbara