Answer to Question #170932 in Psychology for Faith

Question #170932

Provide reasons why precolonial san communities in southern africa regularly fluctuated in size.

Expert's answer

The San people are considered the earliest hunter-gatherers in South Africa. They were also called, 'Bushmen' a term that was mostly used by the European colonists but is now considered derogatory. It is essential to note that this community populated South Africa before the arrival of the Bantu-speaking nations and the Europeans. The Precolonial San community in South Africa regularly fluctuated in size due to various reasons. First, the migration of the Khoikhoi herders into their part of the country, in as much as people might argue that these two communities had a symbiotic relationship, they did not. They converted some of the San people into herders thereby reducing their numbers and weakening them.

Secondly, the San community faced other challenges in the North and East of South Africa. The Iron Age farmers had settled in fertile areas of the North and East and started growing crops and tending to their livestock. Besides them, there was also a community of hunters and gatherers known as the Drakensberg; they developed a working relationship with this community and formed ties of collaboration. This made them more powerful in terms of land ownership and population size; the San community could not compete with the Iron Age farmers let alone their neighbors. Thirdly, the arrival of the European colonists who commanded the area using guns and horses decimated the community. Their struggle and history can be seen from the rock art of the later Stone Age. The coming of the Europeans was followed by the implementation of new governmental rules and policies. Most of these policies were in favor of European occupation which greatly disadvantaged the South African indigenous communities.

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