How did the bantu expansion affect their agriculture

In Eastern and southern Africa, Bantu were engaged in a mixed agricultural economy combining agriculture and animal husbandry, which was also the main agricultural economic form of Bantu. Ethiopia was one of the origins of agriculture in Africa, where sorghum and millet were the staple food. When the Kushts living here migrated southward, they brought farming techniques to Kenya, Tanzania and other places. In addition, these areas were located in the plateau, and the climate was dry, without fly infestation, suitable for the development of animal husbandry. After contacting the Kuchts and Nilots, the Bantu who migrated along the eastern route learned to grow millet, sorghum and other crops on the one hand, and to raise livestock on the other. Animal husbandry could bring milk, meat and fur to Bantu. In this way, the settled Bantu farmers gradually formed a mixed economy of farming and animal husbandry, which combined planting a variety of grains with grazing cattle. This “plateau agriculture model” enabled them to settle down in East Africa and gradually expanded around. After the 16th century, the introduction of maize, cassava and other American crops changed the local diet, but this mixed farming and animal husbandry had long been the main mode of agricultural development in East Africa.

Large groups of people moved, in waves, from the Bantu homeland in West Africa. They brought with them technologies that allowed them to open up and cultivate land that had been forest, rocky soil, or swamp – iron, crops, pottery, and cattle being chief among them.


How did the Bantu expansion affect Africa?

As one of the largest migrations in human history, Bantu expansion across the African continent greatly affected agricultural practices. The consequences of these practices had both short and long…

What did more food do to the Bantu?

agricultural civilization. Bantu migration ran through a wide range of sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural regions with different levels of development and diverse structures. In these agricultural regions, there were not only advanced terrace irrigation agriculture in East Africa, but also backward gathering and hunting

Is there evidence for the movement of Bantu technologies and culture?

 · The more rapid inland expansion of Bantu languages and their speakers in the mid-first millennium bc seems to have coincided more or less with the advent of iron metallurgy in …

What are the effects of Bantu migration on Khoisan culture?

Archaeologists have unearthed pottery, iron tools, and settlements—all pretty good evidence of agriculture. These artifacts radiated south and east from the Bantu homeland and date to …

What impact did the Bantu Migration have on agriculture?

During the thousands of years of Bantu migration, a variety of crops, livestock, agricultural technologies (especially iron farming tools) spread in sub-Saharan Africa, greatly promoting the development of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa.

Did the Bantu spread agriculture?

Bantu expansion reached almost all the way to the southern tip of the continent. The result was a web of trade, cultural exchange, and shared technology. The agricultural revolution in much of Afro-Eurasia began around 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. The agricultural revolution began later in sub-Saharan Africa.

What are the 3 effects of Bantu expansion?

The effects of the Bantu Migration were the spread of the Bantu language, culture, agricultural practices, and metalworking skills all across…

What were the main agricultural products of the Bantu?

In these clearings they grew edible roots, such as yams and cassava. These tuberous stables sometimes grew larger than a single person could lift. Other starchy foods included cocoyams, plantains and bananas. Beans, okra, onions, melons and peppers added variety to the meal.

What did the Bantu have that made farming easier?

But there are still many more questions to answer. Large groups of people moved, in waves, from the Bantu homeland in West Africa. They brought with them technologies that allowed them to open up and cultivate land that had been forest, rocky soil, or swamp – iron, crops, pottery, and cattle being chief among them.

How did the Bantu migration affect Africa?

The Bantu Migration had an enormous impact on Africa’s economic, cultural, and political practices. Bantu migrants introduced many new skills into the communities they interacted with, including sophisticated farming and industry. These skills included growing crops and forging tools and weapons from metal.

What were the negative results of Bantu migration?

It also resulted in the movement of Khoi-San communities to remote areas and mountains where they continue to live to this day e.g. in the Kalahari. Bantu migration also led to the loss of culture of the local Khoi-San communities that remained on the land as they were absorbed into the Bantu culture.

What are the positive and negative effects of migration?

International migration is the movement from one country to another….Host country.AdvantagesDisadvantagesHelps to reduce any labour shortagesOvercrowdingMigrants are more prepared to take on low paid, low skilled jobsDisagreements between different religions and cultures1 more row

What are the negative effects of migration?

Negative impacts on the destination locationPressure on public services such as schools, housing, and healthcare.Overcrowding.Language and cultural barriers can exist.Increased levels of pollution.Increased pressure on natural resources.Racial tensions and discrimination.More items…

How did agriculture spread in Africa?

The first efforts to domesticate plants in West Africa started slowly. Eventually, West Africans began to settle and grow their food full-time. From 3000 BCE to 1000 BCE, the practice of farming spread across West Africa. These early farmers grew millet and sorghum.

What are the effects of agricultural revolution?

The agricultural revolution had a variety of consequences for humans. It has been linked to everything from societal inequality—a result of humans’ increased dependence on the land and fears of scarcity—to a decline in nutrition and a rise in infectious diseases contracted from domesticated animals.

What caused the Agricultural Revolution?

The first was caused by humans changing from being hunter-gatherers to farmers and herders. The second was caused by improvements to livestock breeding, farming equipment, and crop rotation. The third was caused by plant breeding and new techniques in irrigation, fertilization, and pesticides.

What was the Bantu expansion?

The Bantu expansion was a major series of migrations of the original Proto-Bantu -speaking group, which spread from an original nucleus around West – Central Africa across much of sub-Saharan Africa. In the process, the Proto-Bantu-speaking settlers displaced or absorbed pre-existing hunter-gatherer and pastoralist groups that they encountered.

What is the main evidence of the Bantu language?

The primary evidence for this expansion is linguistic – a great many of the languages which are spoken across Sub-Equatorial Africa are remarkably similar to each other, suggesting the common cultural origin of their original speakers. The linguistic core of the Bantu languages, which comprise a branch of the Atlantic-Congo language family, was located in the southern regions of Cameroon. However, attempts to trace the exact route of the expansion, to correlate it with archaeological evidence and genetic evidence, have not been conclusive; thus although the expansion is widely accepted as having taken place, many aspects of it remain in doubt or are highly contested.

Where were the Bantu speaking communities located?

Archaeological findings have shown that by 100 BCE to 300 AD, Bantu speaking communities were present at the coastal areas of Misasa in Tanzania and Kwale in Kenya. These communities also integrated and intermarried with the communities already present at the coast.

When did the Bantu people start speaking?

It seems likely that the expansion of the Bantu-speaking people from their core region in West Africa began around 4000–3500 BC. Although early models posited that the early speakers were both iron-using and agricultural, definitive archaeological evidence that they used iron does not appear until as late as 400 BC, though they were agricultural. The western branch, not necessarily linguistically distinct, according to Christopher Ehret, followed the coast and the major rivers of the Congo system southward, reaching central Angola by around 500 BC.

What language do Batwa speak?

It is thought that Central African Pygmies and Bantus branched out from a common ancestral population c. 70,000 years ago. Many Batwa groups speak Bantu languages; however, a considerable portion of their vocabulary is not Bantu in origin. Much of this vocabulary is botanical, deals with honey collecting, or is otherwise specialised for the forest and is shared between western Batwa groups. It has been proposed that this is the remnant of an independent western Batwa ( Mbenga or “Baaka”) language.

What are the characteristics of the Niger-Congo language?

A characteristic feature of most Niger–Congo languages, including the Bantu languages, is their use of tone. They generally lack case inflection, but grammatical gender is characteristic, with some languages having two dozen genders ( noun classes ).

Where are the Bantu languages found?

The Benue–Congo branch includes the Bantu languages, which are found throughout Central, Southern, and Eastern Africa.

What were the three forms of agriculture that Bantu absorbed?

[5] In the process of migration, Bantu absorbed and learned from the local agricultural technology, and finally formed three kinds of agricultural economic forms: pure Agricultural Economy, mixed agriculture and animal husbandry economy and pure animal husbandry economy . The formation of these three agricultural economic structures mainly depended on the local natural ecological environment and the level of agricultural development.

Why did the Bantu use iron?

Perhaps it was because of the use of iron that the Bantu’s agricultural productivity had been enhanced. [18] Under the pressure of the population, they began to migrate for thousands of years. On the western front, after arriving in the Congo Basin, Bantu mainly engaged in simple agricultural economy. On the Eastern Front, Bantu learned animal husbandry from the Nilots and Kushts, and developed a mixed farming and animal husbandry economy. Bantu continued to migrate southward after a slight pause in East Africa. In the process, they taught the indigenous Koisans how to livestock, which directly contributed to the origin of animal husbandry in South Africa. During the thousands of years of Bantu migration, crops, livestock, agricultural technologies and so on also spread in sub-Saharan Africa, thus promoting the increase of local farming area, the improvement of agricultural production efficiency, and the emergence of the country.

How did the Bantu expansion affect the world?

This observation is noteworthy, since it has been argued that continental axes of orientation have a decisive impact on the migration of human populations (and other species) and the accompanying diffusion of modes of subsistence, cultural traits, and technological innovations. In different parts of the world, spread along latitudinal lines has turned out to be easier—that is, faster—than along longitudinal lines, because east-west/west-east migration involves less differences in climate, rainfall, day length, and diseases of crops and livestock and thus requires less adaptation to new habitats. 8 With its predominantly longitudinal axis, the Bantu Expansion runs counter to a universal tendency. Moreover, early Bantu speech communities had to traverse the Central African rainforest block, which stretches out between the Sudanian savannahs of Western Africa with the Bantu homeland in their southern margin and the Zambezian savannahs of Southern Africa where the majority of Bantu speech communities live today. These dense and humid forests situated in the northern part of the Bantu area imposed a major change in habitat on early migrant speech communities, which would have been a serious restraint on their dispersal, were it not that the Central African rainforest underwent a major climate-induced crisis, which started at its periphery around 4,000 years ago and struck its core around 2,500 years ago. 9

What is the Bantu expansion?

The “Bantu Expansion” is the term commonly used to refer to the initial spread of the Bantu languages and the communities speaking them over large parts of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa.

What languages are spoken in the western half of the Bantu domain?

Three of them consist of languages spoken in the western half of the Bantu domain: (1) “Central-Western,” aka “North Zaire” or “Congo,” (2) “West-Western,” aka “West-Coastal,” and (3) “South-Western.”.

What are the two criteria for a Bantu language?

12 The languages commonly seen as “Bantu” today are actually those which Malcolm Guthrie included in his referential classification 13 following two principal (1–2) and two subsidiary (3–4) criteria: (1) a system of grammatical genders (or noun classes), usually at least five, corresponding to four more features which we cannot recall here for reasons of space; (2) a vocabulary, part of which can be related by fixed rules to a set of hypothetical common roots; (3) a set of invariable cores , or radicals , from which almost all words are formed by an agglutinative process [note: agglutinative languages have “morphologically complex words in which morpheme boundaries are clearly discernible” 14 ], these radicals having five more features which we also cannot recall here for reasons of space; (4) a balanced vowel system in the radicals, consisting of one open vowel “a” with an equal number of back and front vowels. 15 From his classification were excluded those languages spoken in Cameroon and south-eastern Nigeria, i.e., in the wider vicinity of the Bantu homeland, which “have a system of grammatical genders and agreements operated by means of prefixes,” but “show little or no relationship of vocabulary with full Bantu languages” and also “do not display even the rudiments of the structural features laid down in the third criterion; moreover their vowel system is frequently complicate.” 16 Ever since, these languages are known as “Bantoid” or “Wide Bantu” as opposed to Guthrie’s “Narrow Bantu.” This distinction has been maintained until today, even if it has been shown that it is somewhat artificial, because “Narrow” and “Wide” Bantu languages do share regularly inherited vocabulary. There also is no clear cut-off point between the two clusters. Quite the opposite, in fact. The small “Mbam-Bubi” subgroup, including several languages of the Mbam region spoken in Central Cameroon as well as Bubi from Bioko Island, actually transcends the Narrow and Wide Bantu divide. 17

Where did the first Bantu speak?

It is only about 3,500 to 3,000 years ago that the first Bantu speakers would have appeared in the region around the present-day capital of Yaoundé in Central Cameroon, some 200 km south of the Bantu homeland.

How long did the Bantu branch last?

The divergence of the Bantu branch from its closest relatives was a long, steady, and local development in the Grassfields of North-Western Cameroon that lasted for more than 2,000 years, between 6,000–7,000 and 4,000–5,000 years ago.

How old is the Bantu language?

While the Niger-Congo phylum has an estimated age of 10,000 to 12,000 years, its low-level Bantu offshoot is believed to be no older than 4,000 to 5,000 years. 5 It would have gradually split off from its closest South-Bantoid relatives in the borderland straddling South-Eastern Nigeria and Western Cameroon, an area of high linguistic diversity within the Bantoid subgroup of Niger-Congo’s Benue-Congo branch. The Bantu homeland has been situated there—quite unanimously—since the early 1970s. 6 In conjunction with archaeological data, the internal diversity within the Bantu language family suggests that an initial phase of slow fragmentation and expansion over small distances was followed by a second phase of rapid large-scale dispersal. 7

What was the result of the Bantu expansion?

The result was a great web of trade, cultural exchange, and shared technology across this wide region. The Lynderburg head, one of several sculptures from early Bantu-speaking peoples in southern Africa.

When did the Bantu move to the South?

Evidence suggests that they moved rapidly across the continent, south and east, sometime between 2000 BCE and 1000 CE. By about 1200 CE, “Bantu-ness” was a cultural and technological network across the vast trunk of Africa. Bantu expansion reached almost all the way to the southern tip of the continent.

Where did the Bantu migrate?

Their bright arrows show a path of Bantu-speaking peoples moving south along the coast and east along the Congo and Zambezi rivers. These routes finally converge on the southeast coast of the continent.

What is the story of the agricultural revolution in sub-Saharan Africa?

The story of the agricultural revolution in sub-Saharan Africa is incomplete. Based on evidence from multiple academic disciplines, theorists continue to debate the migration routes of Bantu-speaking farmers from western Africa. Some even question whether they migrated at all.

What did the Bantu people bring to West Africa?

But they brought with them the Bantu technology and language package—iron, crops, cattle, pottery, and more. These pioneers then shared their more advanced technologies (and, in the process, their languages) with the locals.

How many languages are in Bantu?

The Bantu language group is made up of about 500 related languages. It stretches across much of central and southern Africa today. By WHP, CC BY-NC 4.0.

Why are the movements of ancient West African peoples so fascinating?

One reason the movements of ancient West African peoples are so fascinating is the timing. The agricultural revolution that transformed much of Afro-Eurasia starting at about 8,000 to 10,000 years ago seems to have begun much later in most of sub-Saharan Africa.

Where did the Bantu migrate?

The gradual Bantu expansion (or “migration”) progressed by two routes: One ran down the Atlantic coastal grasslands into what is today Angola. The other ran across the strip of thorn forest and grassland south of the Sahara and north of the central African jungles, a region known as the “Sahel” (originally an Arabic term for “coast,” referring with some irony to the edge of the expanding Sahara desert in what is today southern Mali, Niger, and Chad. A third route would have gone west parallel to the coast of the Gulf of Guinea through what is today Nigeria as far as Liberia and then northward.

When did the Bantu people reach Africa?

Reaching Eastern Africa by about 150 BC, the area of Bantu agriculturalists expanded slowly southward through the farmlands east of the great forests, and on further to the south. The two migrating streams of population — one down the west side of the continent and the other cross the Sahel and then down the east side —gradually wrapped around below the central forest region, and met again, probably in the southern part of the Congo where the forest gives out. That probably happened by about the beginning of the common era or a little after. By about AD 300 Bantu speakers occupied most of Africa south of the Sahara, establishing the major kingdom of Zimbabwe by AD 1000.

Where did the Bantu language originate?

Their early Neolithic adaptation involved yams and bananas, which may have originated in Malaysia. The more or less simultaneous development of (1) agriculture and of (2) iron-working (and the extensive trade it promoted) was once thought to be the underlying reason for the initial Bantu expansion out of the homeland area. However two relevant bodies of research seem to contradict this view:

When did the Bantu expansion occur?

The Bantu Expansion – the migration of Bantu-speaking people across the African continent – is one of Ancient history’s largest migrations. Beginning around 1500BCE, members of the proto-Bantu language group migrated eastward and southward from West Africa, crossing vast swathes of the continent over hundreds of years.

What is the primary evidence for the Bantu expansion?

The primary evidence for the Bantu Expansion is linguistic: the diffusion of Bantu languages throughout the continent. Early critics argued this phenomenon was a result of ‘language spread’ rather than the migration of Bantu-speaking people, but genetic evidence has proved otherwise.

What did the Bantu people do?

The Bantu people brought iron-smelting technology and subsistence farming to areas previously dominated by hunter-gatherers or early pastoralists. These innovations facilitated population growth and the division of labour, forming powerful Bantu-controlled African states in the process. These states became the hubs of the continent, forming strong militaries, economic ties with local and international traders, and complex political structures.

What happened 3500 years ago?

By Madison Moulton. About 3500 years ago, an event began that changed the demographic, linguistic, and cultural makeup of the African continent forever. It is described as one of the most momentous events in African history. It has sparked speculation, debate, and curiosity among scholars within the continent and beyond.

What was the name of the empire that was the most powerful in Africa?

Another legendary state derivative of the Bantu Expansion is the Zulu Empire. This empire was one of the most powerful in African History and left an indelible mark on modern-day South Africa. Great Zimbabwe & The First Cities of Southern Africa.

What is the dominance of Bantu speaking people?

The dominance of Bantu-speaking people is evident in their movement and control over the areas they encountered. Their settlement and development of the first powerful states in Africa is further proof of that dominance. Ancient Africa – Untold History of the World.

Where did the migrants settle?

The migrants settled in three primary areas. In the East, Bantu-speakers settled around the Great Lakes region and created a new population centre supported by a resource-rich environment. Another stream settled in the central areas of modern Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and Zambia, initiating a complete population replacement of the native African Pygmies who previously inhabited the area. Others reached South Africa by 500CE and mixed with the native Khoisan-speaking people, contributing to the country’s vast diversity today.

What are the causes of the Bantu migration?

Bantu migrations are believed to have been caused by the use of iron The Bantu are a group of about 300-400 enthinic groups from central and Southern Africa They have linguistically linked languages that share characteristics and words Examples of Bantu peoples from Southern Africa are the Shona, Ndau, Manyika,…. January 24, 2017.

What was the spread of iron technology and knowledge?

The spread in the use of iron technology and knowledge. There were improvements in the methods used to make and forge iron. This led to an increase in food production as better tools were made. Led to the domestication of cattle which were used to pay the bride’s price and as an insurance against droughts.

What were the tools and weapons made in the early Iron Age?

The early Iron Age succeeded the late Stone Age. Tools and weapons made in the Early Iron Age were made from iron and wood This is because iron was easier to shape as compared to stone and it produced more efficient tools like iron axes, hoes and knives and weapons…

What were the effects of the use of iron during the Iron Age?

the effects of the usage of iron during the Iron Age can be divided into various groups: Economic effects The introduction made it possible for economic activities such as mining to start They mined minerals such as iron, gold, copper, tin and silver. They used farming methods such as reef…

What did the Bantu do to expand their population?

The first thing more food did was to expand the population. Before yams and bananas, the Bantu had been like every other group in Africa, surviving off what they could hunt or gather from the world around them. With so little food, people starved and not as many children survived. When the Bantu realized they could grow as many yams and bananas as they wanted, there was suddenly no fear of starvation. Families could be much larger.

Why did the Bantu migrate to Africa?

Much like how the Mesopotamians migrated into Europe as they taught the natives about wheat, it’s possible that the Bantu migrated for the same reason, with only a small number of people leaving their homes to trade away the secrets of agriculture. That would explain why their language spread throughout Africa and is still dominant today. It’s also possible that they conquered Africa. However, there is no consensus among historians about exactly why they migrated.

What did the Bantu language learn?

Lesson Summary. In about 1500 B.C.E., a group of Bantu language speakers discovered that they could domesticate yams and bananas. They used their new food to increase their population and then spread their knowledge to all of Africa. This would be the first event in a chain reaction.

How many languages are there in Bantu?

They began domesticating goats around the same time, as well. The way we know this is through the Bantu languages. While there are about 500 Bantu languages, all modern languages have common words for farming and several domesticated animals. 4:00. You must c C reate an account to continue watching.

When did the Bantu start domesticating goats?

In around 1500 B.C.E ., the Bantu speakers stumbled upon the domestication of yams and bananas. Just like wheat did in Mesopotamia and Egypt and rice did in India and China, having a stable supply of food made dramatic changes for the Bantu. They began domesticating goats around the same time, as well.

Who were the Bantu people?

Most historians think Africa’s history started with the Bantu peoples, A group of African language speakers (Bantu languages) that originally lived in the notch of western Africa.

What did agriculture mean?

Agriculture meant that large numbers of people could live in a small area. At first, this led to settlements. Their greater numbers might even have led to small kingdoms that scholars haven’t found yet. All of the groups must have traded. They also gained more ideas and crops from outside of Africa.


Theories on expansion

Bantuists believe that the Bantu expansion most probably began on the highlands between Cameroon and Nigeria. The 60,000-km Mambillaregion straddling the borderlands here has been identified as containing remnants of “the Bantu who stayed home” as the bulk of Bantu-speakers moved away from the region. Archaeological evidence from the separate works of Jean Hurault (1979, 1986 & 1988) and Rigobert Tueché (2000) in the region reveals that this region has been i…

Atlantic–Congo languages

The Atlantic -Congo family comprises a huge group of languages spread throughout Western, Central and Southern Africa. The Benue–Congo branch includes the Bantu languages, which are found throughout Central, Southern, and Eastern Africa.
A characteristic feature of most Atlantic–Congo languages, including the Bantu languages, is their use of tone. They generally lack case inflection, but grammatical genderis characteristic, with so…

Pre-expansion-era demography

Before the expansion of Bantu-speaking farmers, Central, Southern, and Southeast Africa was populated by Pygmy foragers, Khoisan-speaking hunter-gatherers, Nilo-Saharan-speaking herders, and Cushitic-speaking pastoralists.
It is thought that Central African Pygmies and Bantus branched out from a common ancestral population c. 70,000 years ago. Many Batwagroups speak Bantu languages; however, a consider…


Linguistic, archeological and genetic evidence indicates that during the course of the Bantu expansion, “independent waves of migration of western African and East African Bantu-speakers into southern Africa occurred.” In some places, genetic evidence suggests that Bantu language expansion was largely a result of substantial population replacement. In other places, Bantu language expans…


Manfred K. H. Eggert stated that “the current archaeological record in the Central African rainforest is extremely spotty and consequently far from convincing so as to be taken as a reflection of a steady influx of Bantu speakers into the forest, let alone movement on a larger scale.”

See also

• Bantu peoples
• Matrilineal belt

External links

• Genetic and Demographic
• Bantu Expansion and Hunter-gatherers
• Dispersals and genetic adaptation of Bantu-speaking populations in Africa and North America 05 May 2017

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