Information about the San

The Bushmen (also known as Khwe (Khoe), Basarwa, or San) peoples of South Africa and neighbouring Botswana and Namibia, who live in the Kalahari, are part of the Khoisan group and are related to the Khoikhoi. However, they have no collective name for themselves in any of their languages.

The term "San" was historically applied to them by their ethnic relatives and historic rivals the Khoikhoi. This term means outsider in the Khoikhoi language and was derogatory; anthropologist Henry Harpending states that "in the Kalahari, 'San' has all the baggage that the 'N-word' has in America." For this reason, many of this group prefer to be called Bushmen, despite the fact that the term is sometimes considered politically incorrect by Westerners (see this UPI feature).

The Bushmen use a manual communication system while hunting.

In modern South Africa, the Bushmen have largely been absorbed into the so-called Coloured or Griqua population. The government of Botswana has involuntarily forced many Basarwa from their tribal lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The group has little voice in the national political process and is not one of the tribal groups recognized in the constitution of Botswana.

Along with the pygmies of Central Africa, the Bushmen have been considered a possible root or source for the female DNA lineage - the legendary Mitochondrial Eve.

The Bushmen of the Kalahari were first brought to the western world's attention in the 1950s by South African author Laurens van der Post with the famous book The Lost World of the Kalahari, which was also a BBC TV series.

The 1980 comedy movie The Gods Must Be Crazy portrays a Kalahari Bushman tribe's first encounter with an artifact from the outside world (a Coke bottle).

The above includes excerpts from Wikipedia.org, the free encyclopedia:

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