Africa and the Bantu

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Africa and the Bantu
Coach Parrish
OMS
Chapter 11, Section 1
Background
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About 4000 years ago, many families in West
Africa began to leave their homelands in search
of better farmland. Because of the geography
(forests, deserts, mountains), some had a
difficult time moving.
Migration – movement from one region to settle
in another
Bantu – describes both the large group of
Africans and the related languages they
speak.
Africa’s Physical Geography
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Surrounding the forests in Africa are
bands of savanna – areas of grasslands
with scattered trees and bushes.
Sahara – desert stretching across most of
North Africa. This is the world’s largest
desert.
Africa: Natural Vegetation
Sahara Desert
The Bantu Migration
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Even though there were many barriers in
Africa that could have prevented people
from migrating, it did not happen.
The Bantu people continued to migrate for
more than 1,000 years. This is one of the
largest migrations in history.
Bantu Migration
History of Sub-Saharan Africa
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The area south of the Sahara desert is
known as Sub-Saharan Africa. Historians
know far less about this region of Africa
than they do Northern Africa.
Today, historians and scientists are
spending a lot of time trying to piece
together the history of Sub-Sahara Africa.
History of Sub-Saharan Africa,
cont.

One reason that the history of SubSaharan Africa is so difficult to study is
because the clay that the people used for
building has disintegrated. Also, the iron
tools have not lasted due to rusting.
Victoria Falls – Zambezi River
The Bantu
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In early times, most Bantu-speaking peoples
were fishermen, farmers, and herders.
Clan – group of families who traced their roots
to the same ancestor. Families were traced
through the mother rather than the father.
As the Bantu began to spread out in search of
better farmland, they had to adapt to their new
environments.
Spread of Bantu Culture
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As the Bantu migrated into new areas,
their culture spread with them.
Sometimes they blended with the people
already living there and sometimes they
forced them from their homes.
The Bantu’s knowledge of ironworking
often made them superior to other
cultures.
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