The Bantu Farmers

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one of the Lydenburg Heads, dated at 500-600
sculpture from a Bantu village

Most of today's black South Africans belong to the Bantu language group which migrated south from central Africa, settling in the Transvaal region sometime before AD 100. As they moved south they spread their language, dominating other indiginous languages, and iron age techniques for smelting and working with iron.

Unlike the lighter-skinned Khoikhoi who were living in South Africa when they arrived, the black farmers cultivated crops and lived in villages. In addition to their superior agriculture and iron smelting technology, they had a stronger military organization. They eventually founded the Great Zimbabwe civilization.

In South Africa, they took possession of the best farmlands until the whites came and took the land for themselves.

This is part of the Bitter Union: The Story of South Africa Exhibit

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