The San people, indigenous inhabitants of Southern Africa, embody one of the most enduring hunter-gatherer cultures in human history. Anthropologists estimate that the San have maintained their nomadic lifestyle for over 70,000 years, a claim substantiated by artifacts and rock paintings dating back to this period. Although modern pressures have led some San communities towards a more sedentary existence, many continue to uphold the traditions and practices of their ancestors, making them a valuable source of information on early human societal evolution.

Spread across five countries in the southern third of Africa, the San people number approximately 100,000. Traditionally, they have led a nomadic lifestyle, closely attuned to the rhythms of nature, with men primarily focused on hunting and women on gathering, although role flexibility is not uncommon. This adaptability to their environment is a hallmark of their culture.

San society is characterized by a strong sense of egalitarianism, with women enjoying a relatively high status, actively participating in decision-making and ownership matters. Consensus is a fundamental aspect of their societal structure, reflecting a deep-rooted spirit of equality.

In addition to their social structures, the San are renowned for their rich cultural heritage, including music, dance, art, and various games. These cultural expressions not only serve as a window into the history of human civilization but also continue to enrich the diverse tapestry of human cultures around the world.

San (Bushmen) people crossing a sand dune in South Africa's Northern Cape region
San (Bushmen) people crossing a sand dune in South Africa’s Northern Cape region