The myth of ritual origins? Ethnography, mythology and interpretation of San rock art. South African Archaeological Bulletin Mythology has long been discounted as a key to understanding San rock art, even though explanations of paintings by nineteenth century San commentators explicitly linked paintings of therianthropes to the mythological past. An interpretation which reconsiders the importance of San mythology in relation to rock paintings strongly suggests that figures with both animal and human features are not trancers or shamans, as the dominant model suggests. Rather, these and other images are better understood in relation to San myths, and to beliefs about the spirits of the dead. A model which focusses on myth, history and the spatio-temporal schemata of San cosmology and culture is outlined. Introduction The idea that San rock art is best understood in the context of San religious beliefs and cosmology dates to the nineteenth century. In , it seemed that the affiliation of art and mythology had been clearly demonstrated Orpen ; WHI Bleek in Orpen However, empiricist studies in the first half of the twentieth century tended to repudiate this claim cf.
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Inset painting by Olemogeng M Q Moses. The early history of the Tswana people was not written down but passed orally from generation to generation. Many Batswana believe the Matsieng creation story; at a time when rocks were soft, Matsieng came from the underworld through a hole in the ground, bringing with him his people and wild and domestic animals, and leaving his one-legged footprints in the soft rock. Apart from the Basarwa and Kalanga, most of the tribes in Botswana are descended from two groups, the Batswana and Bakgalagadi groups who were living in the Magaliesberg Mountains area in South Africa at the time of the Zimbabwe state.
In this way the people evolved into the numerous Tswana tribes which exist today in Botswana, Lesotho and parts of South Africa.
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Early history[ edit ] Evidence shows that there have been inhabitants along the Notwane River for centuries, all the way back to the Middle Stone Age. The Toutswe also called the Toutswemogala society after their main settlement, Toutswemogala settled in the area around Palapye and Serowe , and they introduced the cultivation of sorghum and millet.
Like the earlier Khoikhoi people, the Toutswe society heavily centered around cattle: In this society, wealth and hierarchy was based on the number of cows, not in the amount of gold like the adjacent Mapungubwe society. Before the arrival of Europeans to the area, the Batswana were the dominant ethnic group in the southern half of Botswana, subjugating the Bakgalagadi people and the Khoikhoi to become malata or servants.
This movement caused the Amandebele people , led by Mzilikazi , to attack the Batswana as they moved northwards to present-day Zimbabwe in the s, forcing them to pay tribute. The Bakololo people also fought with the Batswana during this time when they migrated to Barotseland in modern-day western Zambia. Along with the Bakololo and the Amandebele, the Boers also created skirmishes with the Batswana. An agreement was signed between the Boers and the Batswana in January David Livingstone started the first church and school in at the Kolobeng Mission , near Gaborone.
The city that Kgosi Gaborone founded was called first called Gaborone’s Village by the first European settlers. It was later shortened to Gaberones. Cecil Rhodes , a mining magnate and founder of the De Beers mining company, built a fort for colonial administration across the river from Gaberones.
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See Article History Alternative Titles: The territory is roughly triangular—approximately miles km from north to south and miles from east to west—with its eastern side protruding into a sharp point. Its eastern and southern borders are marked by river courses and an old wagon road; its western borders are lines of longitude and latitude through the Kalahari , and its northern borders combine straight lines with a river course.
African elephants Loxodonta africana in Botswana. It was also one of the poorest and least-developed states in the world. Since its independence the Republic of Botswana has gained international stature as a peaceful and increasingly prosperous democratic state. Land Botswana is bounded by Namibia to the west and north the Caprivi Strip , Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, and South Africa to the southeast and south. The Zambezi River border with Zambia is only several hundred yards long.
The border along the main channel of the Chobe River up to the Zambezi was disputed with Namibia until a ruling by the International Court of Justice favoured Botswana. The point at which the borders of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe meet in the middle of the river has never been precisely determined.
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African History African Origin of Modern Humans As for Africa, scientists have formerly concluded that it is the birthplace of mankind, as large numbers of human-like fossils discovered no where else were found on the continent, some dating back 3. They became aggressive hunters, lived in caves and used fire and their ability to create stone tools just to survive. The Neanderthals arose some , years ago and inhabited regions in northern Africa and across parts of southern Europe.
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Formerly Bechuanaland Protectorate under the British, Botswana became independent in Bot swana means “place of Tswana” in the dominant national language Set swana , and the citizenry are called Bat swana, or Tswana people. The term Batswana, however, bears a double meaning. In government rhetoric, it refers to all citizens of Botswana. But the word also refers to ethnically “Tswana” people, as distinct from the other ethnic groups present in the country.
This double meaning allows for both the expression of strong civic national sentiments and debate about the dominance of Tswana people and ideology over the broader population. The double meaning has also permitted the fiction, widely accepted in outside reporting, that Botswana’s success as a multiparty liberal democracy is based on an ethnically homogeneous population, when abundant state resources based upon diamond mining, responsibly and equitably distributed, are the more likely source of stability.
This fiction may indeed have supported the building of an officially nonethnic, state-oriented society, but has come under sharp challenge in the s, as minority groups request the privileges of official recognition. Botswana is a landlocked and arid country. Bordering on South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Zambia, it is , square miles , square kilometers in area, about the same size as France. Two-thirds of the country is comprised of the Kalahari Desert, which is covered with grasses and scrub but has scarce surface water.
Mean annual rainfall ranges from under 10 inches millimeters per annum in the southwest to over 25 inches millimeters in the northeast.
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Early history[ edit ] The ‘Two Rhino’ painting at Tsodilo. Archaeological digs have shown that hominids have lived in Botswana for around two million years. Stone tools and fauna remains have shown that all areas of the country were inhabited at least , years ago. Both speak Khoisan languages and hunted, gathered, and traded over long distances. When cattle were first introduced about years ago into southern Africa, pastoralism became a major feature of the economy, since the region had large grasslands free of tsetse fly.
In that era, the ancestors of the modern-day Kalanga moved into what is now the north-eastern areas of the country. These proto-Kalanga were closely connected to states in Zimbabwe as well as to the Mapungubwe state. These states, located outside of current Botswana’s borders, appear to have kept massive cattle herds in what is now the Central District—apparently at numbers approaching modern cattle density. During this era, the first Tswana-speaking groups, the Bakgalagadi , moved into the southern areas of the Kalahari.
All these various peoples were connected to trade routes that ran via the Limpopo River to the Indian Ocean, and trade goods from Asia such as beads made their way to Botswana most likely in exchange for ivory, gold, and rhinoceros horn. Members of the Bakwena , a chieftaincy under a legendary leader named Kgabo II, made their way into the southern Kalahari by AD , at the latest, and his people drove the Bakgalagadi inhabitants west into the desert. Over the years, several offshoots of the Bakwena moved into adjoining territories.
The Bangwaketse occupied areas to the west, while the Bangwato moved northeast into formerly Kalanga areas. Mfecane British colonial drawing of a “Booshuana village”,