Who Are The Khoisan?

Greetings All,

As a continuation of my previous viral journeys across the globe, I came across a group of indigenous Africans and had to share my findings with you. Meet the Khoisans.


Khoisan is the name of several ethnic groups that share specific physical and linguistic characteristics. They’re located in the southern parts of Africa, which would be classified as South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana today. They have the largest genetical diversity in MtDNA of all human population, and they are one of the oldest human communities that never migrated to another area. Some scientists have regarded them as an “independent race” primarily due to their unique phenotype.

A few of the groups that caught my attention include the Bushmen (San), |XAM-Ka!-Ke, and the KHOI.

Bushmen (San)

The San people of South Africa live in Kalahari, neighboring Botswana, and are apart of the Khoisan group who are related to the Khoi. They object to being called “San,” which is deemed to be offensive, and prefer to be called “Bushmen.” They consist of several groups and number around 85,000. Aesthetically, they’re short in stature with yellowish brown skin and prominent cheekbones. Although many now work for white settlers, about half are still hunters and gatherers of wild food throughout the Kalahari desert.


Abathwa is a term used for the people of the |XAM-Ka-Ke instead of “San” or “Bushmen.” The |XAM-Ka!-Ke were the biggest San population in the 18th and 19th century. Their families lived in large groups of about 200 to 400 people; each group being ruled by a headmaster. The Abathwa people have experience in woodwork, dance, play/acting, storytelling, and in the knowledge of medicine made from plants and potions.

KHOI (Khoi Khoi/ Khoe Khoe)

The Khoi Khoi are the native peoples of South Africa. Also known as the Khoisan or Hottentots, they are pastoralists and hunter-gatherers who were living near the Cape of Good Hope when the Dutch colonists arrived in the 17th century. They’ve been in this area for about 30,000 years. Their spread across South Africa and migration south 2,000 years ago brought pastoralism (animal herding) to the Cape.

For additional information on this fascinating group of people, check out this website. If you see any flaws in my findings, please feel free to comment below.

Until Next Time…






Khoisan. (n.d.). Retrieved February 5, 2019, from http://www.fact-index.com/k/kh/khoisan.html

(n.d.). Retrieved February 5, 2019, from https://www.khoisanpeoples.org


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Josish says:

    You should watch the Journey of Man. This is an in-depth explanation of the Khoisan people. They are considered the oldest and first people according to DNA samples. They geneticist in the documentary attributes almost every facial feature around the world can be traced back to the Khoisan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I’ll check it out. I’m currently reading A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, and they referenced the Khoisan people. It must be true.


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