The Early People of the Lowveld

The Early People of the LowveldThe San lived in the Mpumalanga Lowveld for centuries before the first settler from central Africa arrived. There are signs of San habitation from Komatipoort to Nelspruit and the rest of the Lowveld. San Art appears in many places in the Lowveld. There are multiple examples in and around Nelspruit with one of the easiest to find and see at Sonheuwel on the corner of Halssnoer Street where the loop crosses itself.

Map to San Art position.

There are more than a hundred paintings by the San in the Kruger National Park and they can be found at Legogote and Rocky Drift. The San mined Hemetite also called Red Ochre at Dumaneni 6km's south of Malalane, for their rock art.

The San lived the hunter-gatherer lifestyle was predominant through the Stone Age. It is tempting to speculate that Stone Age history is the history of the San. Evidence points to the San being the Stone age peoples of this region. Human skeletal remains buried mainly in the last 10 000 years are very similar to those of the 19th - 20th century San. The tools of the modern San resemble the artefacts found and dated back to later Stone Age hunter-gatherers. The uniqueness and diversity of the San 'click' languages suggest very ancient roots that possibly date back into the middle Stone Age period.

The Karanga, The Hindus and the Makomati

The Karanga people from Zimbabwe also mined Red Ochre at Dumaneni 2500 years ago. The Makomati (Hindus) for whom the Komati River is named who were the first sea faring nation to visit the region. This group of sea farers met the Karanga about 2000 years ago.

Some Hindus settled on the Mozambique coast and their trade routes are still visible in parts of the Lowveld. There are ruins attributed to the Dravidian Hindu people who were seeking Gold in the region before the time of Christ.
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