The Khomani San were a people who forgot their identity after they had been expelled from their ancient homelands to create the South Africa’s Gemsbok National Park in 1931. By the 1990s perhaps just fifty men and women remembered their proud heritage. For over 20,000 years the tribe had lived in the red sands and fitful scrub of the Kalahari.
The tribe we nearly lost
The arrival of white settlers who classed the indigenous population as “vermin” made life increasingly difficult. As recently as 1927 the South African government issued a permit allowing a bushman to be hunted down. The hunters had become the hunted. After the fall of apartheid, a handful of Khomani San made a claim in the courts for compensation for the land they had lost.
They won the case. People who sensed they might be Khomani San traced their family roots, sometimes took DNA