San (Bushmen), The San people or they also known as Bushmen or Basarwa, are indigenous hunter-gatherer people of Southern Africa. (Such as Botswana, Nambia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and South Africa.) Their total population is approximately 90 000 and the ancestors of these hunter gatherers people are considered to be the first inhabitants of what is now Botswana and South Africa. The term Bushmen has been abandoned as it is considered derogatory. The San people are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, having lived there for 20 000 years and are the descendants of Early Stone Age Ancestors. The Bushmen are the remnants of Africa’s oldest cultural group. Dr Ben Smith has said genetic evidence suggests they are the oldest people in the world going back to perhaps 60 000 years.
San people have received attention from anthropologists and the media because of the hunting and their survival skills. They have a wealth of knowledge of flora and fauna of Southern Africa.
They are very knowledgeable on thousands of plants and their uses. Whether nutritional, mystical, medicinal, recreational and lethal. San men also have an incredible reputation as trackers and hunters. The San trackers will follow the ‘spoor’ (tracks) of animals. Whilst the men hunt, the women are great experts in finding edible mushrooms, berries, bulbs and melons to feed their families.
The San people fought against the Bantu people but had a disadvantage because of their low numbers and lack of weapons. When they fought against the Europeans, they were at a greater disadvantage because the Europeans had fire arms and horses. The San peoples population was greatly reduced during this period, as a result. They preferred to fight to the death rather than be captured and forced into slavery. The San people are friendly and peaceful people. They never developed weapons for war and live in harmony with their natural environments for 20 000 years.
The San people are small in stature, with light yellowish skin, which wrinkles very early in life. As The San people have been integrating with modern society, they have been sharing their skills such as crafts, like beads made from ostrich shells, leather bags, paintings and walking sticks etc