The late musician Madosini playing the umrhube mouthbow.
Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images
Composers are keeping bow music alive through electronic music and other experiments.
Both the Khoi and the San believed in a mythical animal, resembling a cow, whose horns were thought to have medicinal attributes.
The medicine container was found in a painted rock shelter. A radio carbon date of the horn container places it at around AD 1461-1630.
Madosini performing in Johannesburg in 2021.
Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty Images
The queen of Xhosa music has passed away. She reinvigorated ancient Xhosa cultural traditions through performance and teaching.
Descendants of the indigenous San people in the Kalahari Desert.
Eric Lafforgue/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Image
The first speech sounds were uttered about 70,000 years ago and not hundreds of thousands of years ago as is sometimes claimed.
A replica of the famous Linton Panel.
Courtesy Rock Art Research Institute/Origins Centre
A new exhibition in Johannesburg focuses on the beliefs and paintings of the San people.
Many researchers are interested in the genetic history of the Khoe-San.
The South African Khoe-San communities are no strangers to exploitative research. One research team is trying to provide genetic ancestry results to community members. But they still face many challenges.
Graffiti artist Falko Starr finishes a mural in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town.
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP via Getty Images
It’s been in existence since the 1500s but the Kaaps language, synonymous with Cape Town, has never had a dictionary until now.
Karoha Langwane (right) teaching a tracker to collect data on a CyberTracker PDA/GPS device.
The term “citizen science” is intended to widen the network of people whose contribution to science is acknowledged. But the word “citizen” can be problematic.
The community of Xolobeni village, in the Eastern Cape, succeesfully challenged the mining of their land in the High Court in 2018.
Rogan Ward © Sunday Times.
Traditional leaders do not adequately represent the interests of rural communities in dealing with mining companies.
Detail of the ceiling paintings of the San people in the Drakensberg, South Africa.
Courtesy © Stephen Townley Bassett
The team from Wits University returned to a well-known ceiling panel in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains, armed with new knowledge about the beliefs of the San people who made the paintings.
Deaan Vivier/Netwerk24/Gallo Images/Getty Images
South Africa’s Constitutional Court verdict is possibly a defining moment for South Africa’s electoral system.
Through science, art and technology, we are able to reconstruct the faces of the dead based on their remains. The researcher who did this work for descendants in Sutherland explains the process.
When the University of Cape Town discovered skeletons in its archive that had been unethically obtained and used, they set about restoring justice to the bones and the community they came from.
Advances in DNA sequencing will help people to learn more about their ancestry.
Developments in mitochondrial DNA sequencing are returning South Africa’s slavery heritage to view.
Inkosi Mhlabunzima Maphumulo, right, with Dali Mpofu and Winnie Mandela in 1989.
Thobekile Maphumulo Family Papers, Author provided (No reuse)
Colonialism and apartheid sought to make traditional leaders accountable to white officials by tying them to land.
Traditional leaders listen to a speech by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s in Makhanda, Eastern Cape.
The contested law also defines the jurisdiction of traditional leaders in terms of territory. But traditional community boundaries are actually set by personal relationships.
Historically, Khoisan people from southern Africa were used as scientific subjects in racist experiments.
Modern western science must be stripped of the epistemological and methodological privileges it enjoys.
UCT will honour Sarah Baartman by naming a hall after her.
Sarah Baartman’s name can be elevated to the highest point of the University of Cape Town’s campus, but if her legacy isn’t built into each classroom and interaction the honour is hollow.
Tapping into ancient DNA can help us understand ancient humans’ movements and lives.
Illustration: Marlize Lombard, Maryna Steyn and Anders Högberg
Archaeology is not only about stones and bones: it is mainly about the people of the past. DNA is one way to get from the stones and the bones to the people and their stories.
Local people at Tendaguru (Tanzania) excavation site in 1909 with Giraffatitan fossils.
Wikimedia Commons/Public domain
Africa has one of the world’s richest fossil records, and evidence suggests that amateurs collected really important fossils long before professionals arrived on the scene.