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The 'Lost Bushmen' of the Drakensberg: The Bantu, The San & The Mountain
A tale of rock art, cattle-raiding, warrior kingdoms and secret tribes
A running theme of interest to me is the interaction between farmers and hunter-gatherers. We’ve looked before at an archaeological case in the Baltic, where incoming Corded Ware pastoralist-farmers adopted some of the characteristics of the forager-fishers who lived on the shore. This time we will look at a very different scenario, the so-called ‘Mountain Bushmen’ of the South African Drakensberg region. As stories go this one has it all - horse riding cattle rustlers, poison arrow wielding guerrillas, Zulu warriors and ancient artwork, buried in deep caves on the mountain. We’ll look at the Khoisan people and their origins, the Bantu expansions and the difficult question of how to define the ‘barbarian’. The conflicts between the various pastoralists, farmers, hunters and soldiers around the mountain range produced several mixed groups of different genetic and cultural backgrounds, who banded together for survival. How do we define the ‘San’ and the ‘Bantu’ when they mix together, and what can this story tell us about how farmer-forager dynamics play out?
Setting the scene
South Africa is one of the nurseries of human evolution. Numerous archaic human species have been identified here since the 19th century, including Homo ergaster, Homo habilis, the mysterious Homo naledi and, somewhere around 200,000 years ago, one of the earliest branches of the sapien family. These first modern humans are thought to be the ancestors of a distinct grouping known collectively as the Khoisan. While the name has sort of stuck, it is fundamentally misleading. The name gathers together some different elements, including the use of click consonant languages (Khoe-Kwadi, Tuu and Kx’a); a distinct phenotype of reddish-sienna skin, epicanthal folds and a short, gracile stature; a pastoral or forager lifestyle and the mitochondrial haplogroup L0. Within this however there are many differences, and the historical grouping is in part based on how both Europeans and black African Bantu groups defined non-agricultural peoples. The names ‘San’ and ‘bushmen’ are exonyms, imposed terms from the outside, much as we’ve seen with Imperial Chinese categorisations of ‘raw’ and ‘cooked’ barbarians. To split up the phrase Khoi-San, we have the Khoikhoi and the San. The San are considered the oldest and ‘purest’ group, descendants from the first humans to live in southern Africa. They don’t consider themselves to be one collective people, preferring their own nations such as the !Kung, the Khwe, the Ju/’hoansi and the Ncoakhoe. The Khoikhoi, or Khoekhoen, (called the Hottentots in older literature), are pastoralist peoples, who possess the ability to digest lactose due to their partial roots in East African cattle-herders.
The San in particular have become anthropological celebrities, often viewed as living relics of the stone age. Post-war ethnography has striven to expel the racial science from the discipline, but still ends up replicating its own form of primitivism, reading into the San a kind of ‘eternal egalitarianism’, which has found expressions in popular science books with sentiments like “our ancestors only worked four hours a day” or “humans are naturally peaceful and cooperative, designed to live in small kinship bands”. As the Guardian succinctly puts it:
The Ju/’hoansi people of the Kalahari have always been fiercely egalitarian. They hate inequality or showing off, and shun formal leadership institutions. It’s what made them part of the most successful, sustainable civilisation in human history
We can recognise that this is a politically motivated caricature, whilst also acknowledging that the San nations are typically more egalitarian than most other cultures on Earth (although even the San believe in a gendered division of labour). Sharing and socially enforced reciprocity/gift exchanges help build social capital which will withstand hunger or conflict; the bonds between people are the main form of institution.
Geographically the modern San are restricted to Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, with a handful living in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Eswatini, Lesotho and Angola. Historically however their range was almost certainly much larger. Although a topic of much academic dispute, hints exist in the form of ambiguous skeletal remains, tool typologies, proto-ethnographic descriptions and the existence of click-consonants amongst the Hadza and Sandawe peoples of Tanzania.
The area of focus in this article though is the eastern portion of South Africa’s Great Escarpment, known as the Drakensberg or uKhahlamba/Maluti, meaning either ‘dragon’s mountains’ in Afrikaans or ‘barrier of up-pointed spears’ in Zulu and Sotho respectively. Alongside its impressive range of birds, snakes, plants and the famous white rhino, sections of the Drakensberg are also packed with cave and rock art, the majority made by the different San peoples. Something like 20,000 paintings scattered across hundreds of caves are testament to creativity and mythologies of the San nations, some potentially dating back thousands of years.
A Brief History of the San
If there is one popular fact known about the deep history of the Khoisan peoples it is this - their ancestors represented the earliest differentiated branch of the human family. Numerous studies sampling modern San nations such as the Ju/’hoansi, Nama and Taa broadly agree that a deep divergence occurred somewhere around 160-300,000 years ago (see Fan et al, Lorente-Galdos et al, Bergström et al and Schlebusch et al). However, this has often been taken to mean that the ancestral Khoisan were some kind of homogeneous group and that Homo sapiens as a species evolved into their current modern form in southern Africa. Neither of these claims exactly line up with the evidence. Genetically the Khoisan are extremely diverse, and studies focused on Khoisan population structures reveal a potential tripartite division into a northern, middle and southern set of groups. A well known paper from 2019 reported that, using mitochondrial DNA variation, the oldest cluster (the maternal L0 branch) indicated that southern Africa was the sapien homeland circa 200,000 years ago. However, we have skulls consistent with anatomically modern humans in Morocco dated to over 300,000 years ago, and a study looking at Y-chromosome paternal DNA variation found the oldest variant (A00 haplogroup) centred around the Mbo people of western Cameroon (a non Khoisan group). Clearly there is much more to be discovered about prehistoric African populations and their evolution.
One point that has become increasingly clear however, is the size and decline of the ancestral Khoisan populations. It has been estimated that when the Khoisan split, they were the largest demographic on the planet. This means that all non-Khoisan, i.e all other humans on the planet, are the descendants of the smaller human group which separated itself around 200,000 years ago.
The next major demographic event for the Khoisan nations, skipping over the Holocene pastoralist migrations which introduced lactase persistence, was the coming of agriculturalists from the north, in a process called the ‘Bantu Expansion’. The term Bantu is really a short-hand for Bantu-speaking peoples, since they are not an ethnic group per se. Like all major migratory events, there has been substantial debate over whether the Bantu Expansion was real or not, but just like other migration periods, it has been confirmed through the use of genetics.
The Bantu-expansion began around ~ 5–4 kya in West Africa, however, the initial phases of this expansion (5–2.6 kya) were slow and confined to West-Central Africa. Most hypotheses about the Bantu-expansion routes are based on linguistics and archeology, however, archeological and linguistic inferences do not agree on several aspects… After migrating south of the rainforest (probably somewhere around present-day Eastern DRC or Angola), the Bantu-speakers separated into two groups. One of these groups expanded eastward, whereas the other moved directly south giving rise to the genetically and linguistically distinguishable South-Eastern Bantu-speaker (SEB) and South-Western Bantu-speaker (SWB) populations, respectively. The SEB group that migrated eastward, after reaching present day Zambia, probably again split into two branches, one continued eastward while the other moved South–East... The first arrival of Bantu-speaking agro-pastoralists in southern Africa is estimated to be around 2 kya.
This study confirmed large-scale population replacement in southern Africa, where Later Stone Age ancestors of the Khoe-San hunter-gatherers were replaced by incoming Bantu-speaking farmer groups of West African genetic ancestry, introducing the Iron Age into the region
The mitochondrial and Y chromosome proportions in SEB have shown the interaction among the Khoe-San and Bantu-speakers to be female biased for the former and male biased for the latter
Of immense scholarly interest has been the phenomenon of linguistic influence in the direction of the Khoisan to the Bantu, famously the adoption of click-consonants amongst southern African Bantu languages. One study of the Nguni branch of the Bantu languages argues that proto-Nguni included a now extinct palatal click, indicating that Nguni speakers were amongst the first to make contact with the Khoisan. Indeed a great many studies conclude that Nguni Bantu groups arrived in southern Africa around AD 300, marking the end of a millennia long expansion, which resulted in Bantu languages dominating Sub-Saharan Africa. Expansions of these kind also include the Indo-European, Austronesian and Pama-Nyungan.
The process of expansion and contact between the incoming Bantu farmers and the different Khoisan (and Pygmy) peoples was not homogeneous. In some places a total replacement seems to have occurred, and in others substantial admixture. In this way it mirrors other agricultural-forager dynamics, perhaps where conflict over prime farming land drives foragers away and intermixing occurs where the environment favours mutual reciprocity:
There are no historically known Khoisan-speaking groups in either Zambia or Malawi or further northeast, and modern-day populations of Malawi show no traces of Khoisan-related ancestry. It is thus clear that the incoming Bantu-speaking populations must have replaced the Khoisan-related autochthonous populations with hardly any admixture… This is in contrast to populations such as the Kgalagadi and Tswana from Botswana with 33–39% and 22–24% Khoisan-related ancestry, respectively, or the Sotho, Xhosa and Zulu from South Africa with between ~10–24% Khoisan-related ancestry
Analyses of uniparental data show a strongly sex-biased signal of gene flow in southern Africa, with Khoisan-speaking populations receiving paternal lineages from food-producers, whereas Bantu-speaking groups incorporated mainly Khoisan-related maternal lineages. The intensity of this sex bias increases from North to South, possibly indicating changes in social interactions between immigrating groups and autochthonous peoples over time
It is difficult to say today that either group possesses any real ‘purity’, both the modern Khoisan and modern Bantu peoples are still separate and still phenotypically identifiable, but genetically, linguistically and ancestrally they are mixtures of both groups. The branching separation that began 200,000 years ago suddenly came back together, rapidly. Added to this were the incoming Europeans to southern Africa, bringing new technologies, religions, languages, animals and so on. Having looked at the Khoisan, we can finally turn to our story proper.
Kingdoms, Colonies and Caves
The Drakensberg must have been a haven for hunter-gatherers, rich in eland, hartebeest, zebra and wildebeest during the summer, and full of sheltered caves and crags. The ancestral San had been living around the modern KwaZulu-Natal area for probably 20,000 years at least, largely without interruption. But now there were newcomers in the valleys - around 1700 years ago the first Nguni farmers crossed the Limpopo River - bringing millet, beans, dogs, cattle, sheep, goats and iron tools. However, the San knew all about the Nguni. For several centuries before any farmer made a mark in their earth, the San were aware of their existence through extended networks of trade, ceremony and kinship - iron and copper beads, shell ornaments, and soapstone bowls dated to around 2,000 years ago speak of wide-ranging movements and contacts. The Khoisan also strangely adopted pottery centuries before the Bantu style appears in the record:
It has long been observed that pottery appears in the Southern African archaeological record prior to the arrival of the Bantu. A recent review concludes; ‘Thin-walled, fibre tempered pottery appears [in Southern Africa] two to four centuries before the arrival of Iron Age agro-pastoralists who were uniformly associated with thick-walled ceramics’ (Sadr & Sampson 2006)… Given that the pottery is broadly contemporaneous with arrival of pastoralism, it would not be extravagant to assume that it was part of the same wave of introductions, although Sadr & Sampson (2006) argue for independent invention.
As the Nguni made contact with the San we see an explosion of so-called ‘shaded polychrome’ rock art style, along with artistic perspective and new animals depicted in the images. The Drakensberg art researcher Aron Mazel argues that shaded polychromes should be dated to the time just before and after contact with the Bantu, as part of a ‘defensive traditionalist’ response to the changing human situation.
Then a very strange thing happens. The San seem to abandon the Drakensberg for nearly 600 years, before returning back as the climate shifted and many farmers moved away. We’ll cover the responses later on, but its possible that many Nguni farmers abandoned agriculture and joined the San in their ‘return’ to a foraging lifestyle. What the San were doing in the lowlands for 600 years is difficult to know, but all the Nguni languages which branched away during this time contained consonant clicks, so there must have been sustained contact of some form or another, perhaps the San becoming ‘clients’ of the farmers, providing them with wild meat or honey in return for cheap carbohydrates and alcohol?
The assimilation of the San into the world of the Bantu was probably piecemeal and contained many points of resistance and secrecy. The Drakensberg anthropologist Frans Prins described it thus:
These new immigrants most probably also introduced a new ideology based on ancestor veneration, witchcraft accusations, and an elaborate pollution concept. Unlike the socially less complex San, most aspects of their religious outlook would have been ritualised. For almost a millennium, if not longer, Later Stone Age hunter-gatherers would have been exposed to this new religious ideology and would have incorporated aspects thereof, albeit selectively, into their own worldview. In addition, they would have been exposed to a people whose socio-political organisation was based on simple chieftainships rather than the band. All these factors would have contributed to the way in which some Later Stone Age hunter-gatherers reorganised their world-views in order to cope with changing political realities.
The Nguni term for the San was ‘aBatwa’, which is interesting since many contemporary central African Pygmy peoples are known by names like ‘Twa’ and ‘BaTwa’, suggesting a deeper Bantu expression for ‘wild other’ or non-agricultural societies. However, this 600 year period of sustained contact and intermixing also affected the Nguni as well - in particular the aspects of San culture which the Bantu would have found both useful and frightening, such as their extensive knowledge of medicinal and poisonous plants, waterholes, animal migrations, cave systems and the San religious practices of ‘trance dances’ and rainmaking. As time went on this merging pushed certain Nguni groups - like the Entlangwini - from being considered farmers, to being labelled ‘Botwa’ or ‘aBatwa’. For some, the Bantu were becoming San.
With the consolidation of Bantu chiefdoms and later kingdoms, the colonisation of Madagascar by Austronesian sailors and the exploration of the east African coastline by the Romans, Greeks, Persians, Indians and interlinking traders, the southeast corner of Africa began to be knitted into a wider Indian Ocean political and economic system. The Portuguese started venturing around the Cape during the 15th century, coming into contact with the Khoikhoi, often with violent results, most famously at the Battle of Salt River (1510 AD), where a force of about 150 armed Europeans were driven back by warriors from the ǃUriǁʼaekua Khoikhoi clan. Kingdoms such as Mapungubwe (11th to 13th century), Bokoni (16th to 19th century) and the Tswana Kweneng' (15th to 19th century) rose across southern Africa, representing various Bantu peoples, but the Drakensberg remained largely independent. Even as the Nguni and Sotho peoples began penetrating the mountain ranges after 1300 AD, the temperature effectively prohibits the farming of sorghum and pearl millet. It was only after the Portuguese introduced maize to the region that Bantu-led colonisation of the Drakensberg could begin in earnest.
The centuries after contact with the Portuguese thrust southern Africa into a new position of global importance. For millennia the Khoisan had been isolated from the rest of humanity, all of a sudden their shorelines were crucial real estate in the ebb and flow of goods and people between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. First the Portuguese, then the Dutch, and then the British came with the same aim - protect the shipping lanes - but expansion from port to fort, fort to farm, farm to settlement seemed inevitable. Not only did this result in the importation of new peoples and settlers, such as the Dutch Boer settlers and the Cape Malay slaves, but it set off a chain reaction of violence as different polities scrambled to control and benefit from the new trade routes.
The major event for our story goes by a number of names - the mfecane or difaqane - meaning the ‘crushing’ or ‘forced migration’. The causes of the violence are hotly debated and decades of books have been written on the subject. The pressures of water-hungry maize, drought, ivory hunting, slavery and the rise of an expansionist Zulu Kingdom under Shaka Zulu (1787-1828) have all been blamed, but ultimately the consequences were over a million people were killed in a bloody series of wars which saw massive internal migration and disruption on the eastern half of the country. The consequences for those Nguni and San living in and around the Drakensberg were profound.
Horses, Raiders & Shapeshifters
Bantu-San relations had deepened centuries prior to the mfecane. Linguistic analysis of the earliest Nguni groups around the Drakensberg postulates that Proto-Nguni diverged, with a Proto-Drakensberg and subsequent Proto-Woodlands and Proto-Uplands communities following on between 1000-1200 AD. Where conditions allowed farmers began terracing, but in other places cattle were the main food source. This is important because foragers often seem more inclined to become pastoralists than farmers, at least to begin with. Proto-Uplands speakers switched out the older term *-tyani for ‘grass’ with the Khoisan derived *-ngca, but also innovated on speech terms for ‘wild places’ or non-domestic settings (see Jimenez 2022 ), indicating both agricultural anxieties but also contact with the San. The Little Ice Age (circa 1300 AD) saw Bantu farmers migrate around the eastern seaboard, and by the time of the mfecane both Zulu and Xhosa Bantu speakers reflected their historical entanglements with the Khoisan through the use and development of click consonants. The Botwa label indicates that the division between ‘Bantu’ and ‘San’ was not just one of blood, but of different modes of existence. Just as English speakers use phrases like ‘going native’, so the agriculturalists would have seen their neighbours becoming hunter-gatherers as a departure from their ‘way of life’, and thus the initial distinction between San and Bantu became over time more one of domestic vs wild or civilised vs barbarian that we find all over the world.
The history of southern Africa from the mid 17th century to the end of the 19th is immensely complex, including nine Xhosa Frontier Wars, the mfecane and rise of the Zulu Kingdom, the Great Trek, the Cattle-Killing Movement and the formation of numerous new groups and polities such as the Sotho, Mfengu, Swazi, Boer Republics and Matebele. Within this turmoil the San had to adapt to survive. One of these adaptations was mastery of the horse. By the 1820’s lowland groups such as the Mpondo had acquired horses from Europeans and by 1835 they were being used by Xhosa, Mfengu refugees, San and Khoikhoi all across the Drakensberg interior. The modern Basuto pony is a legacy of these trades, thefts, gifts and cross-breedings. The second adaptation to the Drakensberg becoming a mess of mfecane victims and expanding European territories was to switch from hunting animals to raiding animals.
It’s impossible to say how many original San hunter-gatherers there were in the early 19th century. Both European and Zulu testimonials suggest that differences exist, but also that the San and Nguni Bantu were similar in many ways:
The sole source of physical description is encountered in the records of Pastor P. Filter who interacted with two separate groups of Drakensberg 'Bushmen' who migrated to the eastern Transvaal (quoted in Prins 2004). He remarks on the difference between the 'black Bushmen' and the 'yellow Bushmen', with the 'black Bushmen' being from the foothills of the Natal Drakensberg and the 'yellow Bushmen' coming from Lesotho (Filter 1925: 187). Oral memories of the Drakensberg San also refer to a difference between yellow 'Bushmen' and Black 'Bushmen' (Prins per. comm., December 2004)…
There is some Zulu oral evidence that suggests difference, but is reported in a way that appears more fantastic than real: ' ... Zulus have stories about Abathwa, dreadful to all men because they are like snakes in the grass. They are small people, who live in the rocks up-country and discharge on the unsuspecting traveller their deadly, poisoned arrows' (Krige 1936:359). These stories of conflict may be from the mfecane period and the disruptions in central Zululand that had repercussions for the entire region as peoples shifted alliances and moved geographically (Wright 1983).
As the San disappeared the myths grew into fantastical tales. Zulu-speaking people related that they had grown up learning that Abatwa were not 'Bushmen', but magical mischievous creatures much like a Tokolosh (evil goblin-like creature). Informants in the Drakensberg told me that these fantastic tales were one of the causes of violence against people of Abatwa descent, which would have formed another reason for secreting themselves away as Zulu or otherwise (Fieldnotes 2004). Krige's reference to oral evidence appears to hark back to a time of conflict between the Nguni and Abatwa ( 1936: 359). Acts of violence by the Nguni began as conflict, and power struggles forced them deep into San territory. Tales of horrible and dangerous Bushmen raining down arrows on 'unsuspecting travellers' and cannibals in the mountains echo these early conflicts Uames Stuart Archive 1905; Krige 1936).
It seems likely that some phenotypically ‘San’ groups still existed, and that mixed San-Bantu peoples lived in different forms in and around the Drakensberg. Some of these, under the immense pressure of new refugee groups moving in, banded together and became cattle-raiders. Much like in the American Plains, horses allowed for fast movement over difficult terrain and opened up opportunities to steal more horses and cattle. One of the most infamous groups whose name still survives is the ‘AmaTola’.
The AmaTola were almost certainly a hybrid mix of San, Khoikhoi, Xhosa, Mfengu and disparate runaways and outlaws. However, the dominant ‘San-ness’ of their fleeting culture is hard to ignore. As mentioned, the spiritual power of the San was always revered and feared by the Nguni tribes, and the formation of raiding bands in the Drakensberg seems to have been animated by these supernatural powers. Five elements in particular constitute the AmaTola worldview: the horse, the gun, the medicinal root, the baboon and the rock-painting.
The horse and gun speak for themselves, symbols of frontier power everywhere in the world. The medicinal root belongs to a category of ‘war-medicine’ shared amongst the Bantu, the San and the KhoiKhoi - they are chewed or rubbed on the skin, or worn around the neck, and the effects are said to include ‘bringing mists to conceal an army to making one's adversary forget, so causing one's opponent to be struck down, incapacitated or tied, to affect the flight of projectiles, turning spears aside and changing bullets to water, to allow bearers to pass their adversaries unseen’. The baboon was a magical animal to the San, one who cheats death and passes unscathed. To the Bantu baboons were either demonic familiars or annoying crop-stealing menaces. Amalgamated these two archetypes worked well for the raiders. Rock-art during this period becomes the only real archaeological data source from within the AmaTola, and although it shares deep continuity with San artistic techniques there are differences in style and composition. The images of raiders transforming into baboons or riding horses wearing wide-brimmed hats alongside baboons are fascinating. Researchers have posited that AmaTola ‘war-doctors’ are a creolised mix of San ‘shamanic’ practices and Xhosa traditions - the very name ‘AmaTola’ is likely a Xhosa word, the singular term for a war-doctor being ‘itola’ and plural ‘amatola’.
The ‘Secret San’
To wrap this story up it is worth discussing what happened to the San of the Drakensberg. As we’ve seen, for the last 1700 years at least they have been in increasingly close contact with the different Bantu, European, Malay and other groups which moved in and around the mountain. Both the San and Khoikhoi were targeted by Bantu slave hunters and sold to Boer frontier communities or were killed as raiders and bandits by commandos and warriors. Trapped between the expanding Zulu and Nguni tribes and the Europeans, the San became herders, farmers, indentured servants, slaves, outlaws, raiders and some retreated as far out of sight as possible. The legacy of mixing with the Nguni gave many the opportunity to ‘hide’ in plain sight as Ngunis, Xhosa, Zulus and other tribes - their darker skin and more Bantu features shielding them from persecution. But this worked the other way around as well, those Nguni which had become Botwa were seen as Bushmen, reflecting the complex mix of lifestyle and race which defined the different ways of living on the Drakensberg and elsewhere.
By the 1920’s there were just hints of free San still living in the mountains. Bundles of arrows left on rocks, poison arrows killing people wondering amongst the caves, old men and women who still spoke the !Ga !ne language or knew where certain important paintings were located. After 1995 there was a revival of San self-identification, and the use of dual ethnicity labels. Hundreds of people have been identified by anthropologists as ‘secret San’, having been hidden by all sorts of tribes:
Perhaps the most celebrated ‘protector’ of the mountain San was chief Moorosi of the Baphuti people. The Drakensberg San aided Moorosi when his mountain fortress was stormed by colonial forces in 1879 (Jolly 1996a: 30–61). However, Moorosi was by no means the only ‘protector’ of the Drakensberg San: various African groups, such as the BaTau, Mpondomise, Mpondo, Thembu, Bhaca, Duma, and Nthlangwini allied themselves at various periods to the San, and intermarriage frequently occurred (Wright 1971).
In this regard individuals of acknowledged San descent are still consulted by their Bantu-speaking neighbours for rainmaking and healing purposes. Unfortunately, their familiarity with the supernatural is also a double-edged sword in this social context. People of San origin, or who are conceptually associated with the San, are often blamed for witchcraft-related incidents. It often happens when villagers are struck by lightning, that the blame is placed on the supernatural abilities of the San.
One way in which San communities ensured ‘protection’ from African chiefs was to take on the clan or totem name of the chiefly lineage in their area of habitation. Today, many San descendants in the Drakensberg carry the clan names of Duma, Sithole, and Majola – all names associated with the chiefly lineage in the areas where they eventually settled. In Lesotho, a common name encountered amongst San descendants is Kwena, the royal totem of the Basotho people. Typically, San descent is established patrilineally, which is essentially a borrowed African system of kinship.
It is for this reason that they are also called the ‘Secret San’ (Derwent & Weinberg 2005) – a term that has been embraced by many of them at the present time. ‘Secret San’ tours are now officially conducted by San descendants of the Thendela community in the Kamberg Valley.
Apart from being an interesting story in its own right, one reason to study and learn about this history is to think through the dynamics of how farmers and foragers interact with one another in general. The different strategies of conflict, cohabitation, intermarriage, raiding, slavery, creolisation and hiding were not unique to the Drakensberg, and I think they are useful models to try and understand the Neolithic-Mesolithic transition in Europe, the expansion of agriculture in China and many other places. That farmers sometimes become foragers, foragers become pastoralists and pastoralists fight farmers, for example, is a structural response to the different needs and requirements of each mode of living. Hopefully this was an interesting story and I’d love to hear from anyone who lives or has travelled to the Drakensberg region if they have any other stories to share.