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Medieval African history – Timbuktu and Great Zimbabwe

By |2018-04-21T12:09:34+00:00October 3rd, 2017|Africa, History|

Mansa Musa of Mali After the 400s AD, the Bantu expansion slowed down. They had already settled most of the good farmland in southern Africa. What was left was mainly desert or thick jungle. It was no good for farming or herding cattle. The Bantu left that land to the Khoikhoi and San people who already lived there. [...]

Languages and Writing

By |2018-04-23T15:33:13+00:00July 27th, 2017|Literature|

Cuneiform tablet from West Asia Most people in the ancient Mediterranean and West Asian areas spoke languages that divided into two groups. One language group is Indo-European and the other group is Semitic. In southern Africa, most people spoke either a Bantu language or a Khoisan language. Indian people spoke Dravidian languages. Central Asian people spoke variations of Turkic [...]

Amun – Egyptian god – religion in Ancient Egypt

By |2018-04-21T12:09:40+00:00June 18th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Religion|

The Egyptian god Amun is the blue figure in the center.(From the tomb of Rameses VI at Luxor) Why does Amun have blue skin? Amun (or Amon), in Egyptian religion, was the god of air and wind. He was sometimes invisible, like air. Other times artists showed Amun with blue skin, or as [...]

African Language Projects

By |2018-04-11T23:50:11+00:00May 22nd, 2017|Africa, Crafts, Literature|

Learn to speak a little like a person from Africa - try to learn how to make Xhosa clicks yourself - can you do it? How to make the click sounds in Xhosa Another thing to try - can you write an Anansi story to explain how something happens? Think of something that is hard [...]

Swahili – African Languages

By |2017-05-23T16:27:46+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, History, Literature|

A movie with people speaking Swahili Swahili was (and still is) a language that people spoke mainly in East Africa. When Bantu people moved into East Africa around 300 AD, they brought their West African language with them. Swahili is a language based on Bantu, with a lot of words from Arabic, Hindi, and other [...]

Xhosa – African Language

By |2017-05-23T16:28:11+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, History, Literature|

About 500 AD, some Bantu people moved into South Africa. They spoke their own West African language, Bantu, of course. But after they settled down in South Africa, they learned a lot of new words from the Khoisan people who lived there, who spoke a language called !Kung. Somebody speaking Xhosa So new languages came out [...]

!Kung – African Language

By |2017-05-23T16:28:23+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, History, Literature|

Khoisan people from South Africa spoke the !Kung language. It is probably the closest we can come to what the earliest languages sounded like. !Kung is a click language. The ! in the name of the language represents a clicking sound that !Kung speakers make with their tongue. Of all the languages in the world, [...]

African languages and literature

By |2018-04-21T12:09:37+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, History, Literature|

Funeral inscription for King Massinissa, at Dougga , dated 138 BC. (Now in the Bardo Museum in Tunis). The inscription's in two African languages: Punic (Phoenician) and Berber. Because Africa is such a big place, people who lived in different parts of Africa spoke different languages. There are hundreds of different African languages. In [...]

The Khoikhoi and the San – South African History

By |2018-04-05T16:39:43+00:00May 18th, 2017|Africa, History|

Early Khoisan art from Blombos Cave, South Africa (ca. 80,000 BC) South Africans get isolated The people who became the Khoisan started to split off from other humans about 200,000 years ago (as DNA shows), and were completely separate from other people by 100,000 years ago. They arrived in South Africa, either walking [...]