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San People

Essay by   •  June 16, 2012  •  Essay  •  492 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,439 Views

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The San people are one of the if not the oldest culture of people in the world. I will discuss the kinship and culture of the San people. Residing in one of the most inhabitable regions in the world, the San people are strong. The Kalahari desert which is located in Africa. The Kalahari Desert - or Kgalagadi, as it is known in Botswana - stretches across 7 countries - Botswana, Zambia, the Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). (namibia.org)

The San people are one of the oldest forms of hunters and gatherers. They hunt wild game and also gather roots. Archeologists predict that the San have been around for more than 30,000 years. In the last two thousand years the San began living in the inhospitable desert. In 1961, the San people asked England for help. At that time the Central Africa game reserve was created. Approximately 30,000 San people live there. Due to modernization and farmers that have taken their old, more fertile lands. (Tishkoff,2009)

The San people have a bilateral kinship system. In bilateral descent, the kinship connections through both the mother and the father are equally important. (Nowak, B & Laird, P 2010)

The San people operate in a band system. The band typically consists of between small groups of families. Marriage is looked at as a positive step in the San culture. It helps the band have a wider connection.

A band group is beneficial for the San people and other forager societies; this means that almost everywhere the group travels they are likely to know or be related to someone. The kinship system reflects their interdependence as traditionally small, mobile foraging bands. A band consists of 25-60 people.(newworldencyclopedia)

The San people live in a reciprocal economic system. This is a mutual exchange of goods and services which occurs between members of a kinship group (Nowak & Laird, 2010)

The San reciprocity system is a generalized one. They help each other and there is no expectation for an immediate return. The whole band works together and they each contribute for the greater good. The San people who live in the desert migrate based on water. (Nowak & Laird, 2010) The San are very resourceful people. They get their water from plants, and from the stomachs of animals that they killed.

The San people are hard workers but they also have plenty of time for relaxing. Many times a woman can go out just one time in the week and collect enough food for one week. This means that there is a lot of time for relaxation also. The men go out and hunt. They use bow and arrows. This is how the San people get their meat. They also eat berries, and other fruits.

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