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The Bantu People
Transcript of The Bantu People
Bantu is a general name for over 400-600 separate groups in Africa. These groups are found all throughout Africa.
The Bantu culture is hard to define, because it differs from group to group. There are some things that are observed by all of the groups, however. Singing of all kinds, storytelling and folktales are prized. Weddings, births, and even deaths are celebrated events. Celebrations include feasting, singing, and slaughter of animals, particularly goats. Their customs are still very traditional and include very elaborate ceremonies and various adulthood procedures, etc. As far as beliefs, traditional religions are most common, although you can find all 3 main religions in the groups, and also some hybrids, too. The religions of these groups have not changed much over time due to influences. Leadership styles can vary widely, but forms of dictatorship are common. Government does not get too advanced.
Bantu are usually black Africans. A Bantu wears clothing made from bark-cloth during special events. This material is bark from a fig tree, soaked in water for many days and then hammered out into elaborate clothing. Cotton is becoming more common for day to day clothing, however. Bark-cloth is usually reserved for ceremonies and formal events. Women wear dresses, often elaborate, and men wear things more towards western-style shirts.
The Bantu have a rich history. They started to migrate throughout Africa from Cameroon around 1000 BC. There are many reasons that this may have happened, but a popular theory is that there was a shortage of food due to a growing population. This continued for a long period of time until the 3rd or 4th century AD.
The Bantu eventually split into two language groups, the Eastern and the Western Bantu. The Eastern Bantu migrated to Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The Western Bantu migrated to Angola, Namibia, and parts of Botswana. This is still where the Bantu reside.
Modern makeup of the Bantu people
The Bantu include natives and descendants of Arab traders. The Zulu, Xhosa, Kikuyu, Shona, Herero, and Tonga peoples are the largest groups. There are many more, but these are the major groups.
What Does a Bantu look like?