Facial Morphology of Southern African Ethnic Groups

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A study showing the difference in facial features of Southern African ethnic groups. History and development of the people and culture.

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Facial Morphology of Southern African Ethnic Groups

  1. 1. MORPHOLOGY ON FACIAL VARIATION BETWEEN CULTURAL GROUPS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA Mick Iván de Sousa Muianga (MScDent) In Memory of my supervisor Prof Emeritus Phillip V Tobias (14/10/1925 – 07/06/2012) Mick Iván de Sousa Muianga (MScDent University of the Witwatersrand School of Oral Health Sciences Department of Prosthodontics Department of Anthropology 1
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Africa also known as “The Cradle of Mankind” is a continent fairly un-researched in regards to culture and ethnicity. Various researchers, anthropologists and paleontologists have investigated the continent with some degree of success to retrieve information of its past. Within the continent‟s various cultures are people from various regions and these people although to many appear similar there are differences in each cultural group and further variations within particular groups. In some cases distinguishing people solely on their facial morphology may be challenging, this is by no means impossible when considering the differences in features possessed by each ethnic group. One problem with research on the cross-culture identification is that recognition for other ethnic groups can be related to different experiences with members of the dissimilar cultural groups due to social contact Malpass and Kravitz or due to perceptual expertise O'Toole et al. In this assignment, the focus is concentrated on the basic morphological features between different cultural groups of Southern Africa. Facial features differ in important respects, especially in terms of length, breadth, and height of the cranium Curnoe D, Tobias PV. The purpose of this is to complete facial reconstructions in maxillofacial prosthodontics or maxillofacial surgery in the events of malformations, traumas and disfigurements of the facial region. Much or all of the variations in facial form can be attributed to sex dimorphism and/or local differentiation of populations within the geographic regions Rightmire GP. In order to best complete the process of reconstruction and identification, an understanding of facial morphology in regards to ethnicity is vital. Recently most studies of facial morphology have concentrated on characteristic features and not on the construction and testing of models of face shape variation to discriminate facial differences Astley and Clarren, Sampson et al., Sokol et al. This study is focused solely on particular features of the face on different cultural groups of Southern Africa. Southern Africa in this context is the area below the Sahara, from the equator southwards. BRIEF HISTORY To understand the differences and similarities in culture as well as facial morphology, it is important to know the origins of the people of Southern Africa. The first human like hominid to be discovered aged about 3 millions years old was found in Africa. It is not clear where this hominid species came from but it is stated that the present humans are descendants of the first Homo Sapiens of the hunter and gatherer Bushmen. There is very little knowledge of Africa prior the trade era outside the archaeological artifacts as there are no known written records before 5th Century AD available to date. The history of Southern Africa begins with the arrival of traders from the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Originally the ethnic groups occupying most of Southern Africa were the San and the 2
  3. 3. Khoikhoi. But the „Black ethnic groups‟ who presently dominate most of sub-Saharan Africa are tribes from the North (Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun bordering the Gulf of Guinea) who spoke Bantu languages, they started moving southwards around 500 BC. Around 500-1000BC the Bantu people made their way South East, as they not only had domestic animals, practiced agriculture, had working tools and migration was in small waves they settled in different regions and areas on their route southwards, thus also lived together with local ethnic groups. Some of these groups are ancestors of the present Nguni people (Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi and Ndebele). The exact reason for movement is not clear. The Khoikhoi, the San and Bantu people lived fairly peacefully Historyworld. It should be stated that during the pre-colonial era there was little serious tension amongst ethnic groups and there were no political borders or countries, therefore movement and mixing was freely occurring even though according to African tradition inter-marriage at that time must occur within the same ethnic group (marrying within the family/same ethnicity was a must-tribalism). Although there were no countries, kingdoms however did exist. Africa is the first region into which Islam is carried by merchants rather than armies in the 8th-11th century AD. It spreads down the well-established trade routes of the east coast which are present day Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. Archaeological evidence exists from the 8th century of a tiny wooden mosque as far south as modern Kenya; Shanga, one of the islands offshore from Lamu. Shanga's international links at the time are further demonstrated by surviving fragments of Persian pottery and Chinese stoneware. From the 8th century Islam spreads gradually south in the oases of the Sahara trade routes. From the 5th-15th AD Arab traders gradually moved west and thus the religion spread, to this day Islam is still a very strong religion in the East and West of Africa due to strong trade relations with Arab merchants. This shows migration of Arab and Asian groups to Africa, inevitably mixing within these migrant traders and the local people occurred, the extreme South East, South and parts of Central Africa is dominantly Christian due to strong trading relations with the Portuguese, British and the Dutch. The West coast was predominantly Muslim until the Portuguese interest in the slave trade 15th-16th AD, resulting in Portuguese settlements in both Guinea and Angola. Throughout the 16th Century the Portuguese had no European rivals until early 17th Century, when both the Dutch and the British created the East India companies. The Portuguese were the first to arrive in the present South Africa in 1487 but did not settle, choosing instead to settle in present day Mozambique around 1498, the Dutch were the second and settled for trade reasons around 1647, the British seized the Cape in 1795 to prevent it falling into rival French hands. From there on European expansion inland led to meetings between the locals and the settlers. Due rapid spreading of the settlers and thus leading to a decrease in space the Khoikhoi moved northwards as far as present day Namibia and Botswana where intermarriage with the San led to extensive mixing, so much that differentiation between the 2 groups was difficult, therefore resulting in the Khoisan group. As the settlers faced labour problems with their ever increasing numbers and expansion, labour was procured amongst the locals, an outcome of this ever increasing merge with 3
  4. 4. settlers and Khoisan the „coloured‟ group was introduced to the region. The addition of van Riebeek and the VOC importation of large numbers of slaves from Madagascar and Indonesia where intermarried with the Dutch settlers resulted in offspring known as the Cape coloured. With the mixing of the Khoisan-settler coloured, the Cape malays and Cape coloured; the ‘Coloured’ population formed. From the above brief history of trade, occupation and movement of ethnic groups, traders, importation of slaves and settlers the unavoidable consequence of mixing between the locals and the settlers naturally led to morphological changes of the people especially those on the coastal regions which came in greater contact with the settlers. In the Southern extremity, people with African and European features are common, in the East people with African and Arab features are prevalent, in Mauritius and Madagascar people with African, East Asian and South-East Asian features dominate the region. West and Central Africa is still mostly African, showing that the most affected regions of trade and settlement were Eastern and Southern Africa. Another reason why West and Central Africa is not exceedingly mixed could be that the region was extremely impenetrable until when the scramble for Africa occurred. By this time almost 2000 years had passed from the initial trade with Arabs; West Africa was predominantly the trade of slaves with a large stop over in Cape Verde, it should be noted that Cape Verde‟s population is almost completely mixed (African and European). Map 1a & 1b. Map showing the distribution of African language families and some major African languages. Afro-Asiatic extends from the Sahel to Southwest Asia. Niger-Congo is divided to show the size of the Bantu sub-family. By most estimates, Africa contains well over a thousand languages, some have estimated it to be over two thousand languages (most of African rather than European origin), this shows direct correlation with the number of ethnic groups in the continent. Africa is the most polyglot continent in the world. There are four major language families native to Africa: 4
  5. 5. •The Afro-Asiatic languages are a language family of about 240 languages and 285 million people widespread throughout East Africa, North Africa, the Sahel and Southwest Asia. •The Nilo-Saharan language family consists of more than a hundred languages spoken by 30 million people. Nilo-Saharan languages are mainly spoken in Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and northern Tanzania. •The Niger-Congo language family covers much of Sub-Saharan Africa and is probably the largest language family in the world in terms of different languages. A substantial number of them are the Bantu languages spoken in much of sub-Saharan Africa. •The Khoisan languages number about 50 and are spoken in Southern Africa by approximately 120 000 people. Many of the Khoisan languages are endangered. The Khoi and San peoples are considered the original inhabitants of this part of Africa Wikipedia. The Bantu Expansion Map 2. The3 stages of Bantu Expansion One common hypothesis of the Bantu expansion: Some historians still accept a synthesis of the above named theories. The Bantu first originated around the Benue-Cross rivers area in southeastern Nigeria and spread over Africa to the Zambia area. Sometime in the second millennium BC, perhaps triggered by the drying of the Sahara and pressure from the migration of people from the Sahara into the region, they were forced to expand into the rainforests of Central Africa (phase I). About 1000 years later they began a more rapid second phase of expansion beyond the forests into Southern and Eastern Africa (phase II). Then sometime in the first millennium new agricultural techniques and plants were developed in Zambia, probably imported from South East Asia via Austronesian-speaking Madagascar. With these techniques another Bantu expansion occurred centered on this new location (phase III) Wikipedia. By about AD 1000 it had reached modern day Zimbabwe and South Africa. In Zimbabwe a 5
  6. 6. major southern hemisphere empire was established, with its capital at Great Zimbabwe. It controlled trading routes from South Africa to north of the Zambezi, trading gold, copper, precious stones, animal hides, ivory and metal goods with the Arab traders of the Swahili coast. By the 14th or 15th centuries the Empire had surpassed its resources and had collapsed. By then the Southern African population was predominantly of Bantu origin Weidenberg and Nicolson. Studies and casts carried out by Proffesor Lidio Cipriani and the University of Witwatersrand Anatomy Department have revealed a number of ethnic groups of which some are compared below: 1) Zulu 2) Xhosa 3) Pondo 4) Shanggana-Thonga 5) Pedi 6) Swazi 7) Sotho 8) Tswana 9) Fingo 10) San 11) !Ung 12) River San 13) Griquaa 14) Pygmy 15) Massai 6
  7. 7. METHOD Visage Demonstration Applet, it incorporates the forehead and eyebrows, eyes and eyelids, nose, mouth, jaw & lip area, area of the cheeks, chin and ears. The studies took place in WITS Anatomy Museum from the Raymond A. Dart Gallery of African Faces, all pictures are of casts of different cultural groups of Southern Africa. FACIAL MORPHOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES 1. Zulu (South East South Africa-Eastern Cape) a) Head shape Generally oval b) Temple Flat and moderately steep curve before the beginning of the hair line. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Moderately high, males tend to have higher zygomas than females. d) Nose Slightly wide on males, not wide on females. Moderate length. Tip of nose usually slightly anterior to upper lip. e) Lips Moderately thicker on males compared to females, on average lips are moderately thick. f) Mandible Thin, V-shaped with clear contours on the mandibular angle g) Chin Thin chin, flat or slightly posteriorly inclined. 7
  8. 8. 2. Xhosa (South Central South Africa) a) Head shape Generally oval b) Temple Non-protruding; being flatter towards the eye brows towards with a tendency to flow posteriorly having an overall moderately smooth curve. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Moderately low. d) Nose Moderately wide. Usually slightly anterior to upper lip and not flat. e) Lips Moderately thick. f) Mandible U-shaped with smooth contours on the mandibular angle g) Chin Moderately flat chin 3. Pondo (South East Cape Province) 8
  9. 9. a) Head shape Round and wide. Face flows anteriorly from superior-inferior with the temple lying posteriorly to chin. b) Temple Non-protruding; moderately smooth curve as the temple flows postriorly. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Moderately low, clear protrusion on zygomas due to width of face. d) Nose Wide, short, round and flat e) Lips Thick and protruding. f) Mandible U-shaped with smooth and clear contours on the mandibular angle g) Chin Moderately thin and posteriorly inclined. 4. Shangana-Thonga (South East Africa-Southern Mozambique; Mpumalanga & Limpopo regions of Eastern South Africa) a) Head shape Oval and slightly wide on the inferior half of the face. Face flows anteriorly from superior-inferior with the temple lying posteriorly to chin. b) Temple Slightly flat with moderately smooth curve as the temple flows posteriorly. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Moderately low, due to width of face there is protrusion on certain individuals d) Nose Wide, short, round and fairly flat. e) Lips Moderately thick and protruding anteriorly with lower lip posterior to upper lip. f) Mandible U-shaped with smooth and clear contours on the mandibular angle. g) Chin Square U-shaped moderately thick chin posteriorly inclined. 9
  10. 10. 5. Pedi (Part of Sotho ethnic group aka Northern Sotho-Central, Eastern South Africa & Lesotho) a) Head shape Elongated round and wide on the inferior half of the face. Face flows anteriorly to a high degree from superior-inferior with the temple lying posteriorly to chin. b) Temple Flat; moderately smooth curve as the temple flows posteriorly. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Moderately low, highly protrusive on certain individuals d) Nose Wide, short and flat to a high degree. e) Lips Relatively thick and protruding anteriorly with lower lip anterior to upper lip. f) Mandible U-shaped with smooth and clear contours on the mandibular angle. Thick mandible. g) Chin U-shaped thick chin highly inclined posteriorly (run-away chin). 6. Swazi (South East Africa-Swaziland) 10
  11. 11. a) Head shape Oval and wider on the centre of the face. Face flows slightly anteriorly on the inferior half and flat on the superior half. On certain individuals profile view shows a dome shaped face. b) Temple Round smooth curve as the temple flows posteriorly. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Moderately high. d) Nose Not wide on most but some individuals show slightly wide noses. Short but not flat. e) Lips Moderately thick and protruding anteriorly with lower lip anterior to upper lip. f) Mandible Round U-shaped. Thick mandible on males. g) Chin Round U-shaped thick chin posteriorly inclined (run-away chin). 7. Sotho (Central South Africa & Lesotho) a) Head shape Oval. b) Temple Round smooth curve as the temple flows posteriorly. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Moderately high. d) Nose Moderately wide, short and slightly flat. e) Lips Moderately thick with limited protrusion. f) Mandible V-shaped. Thin mandible. g) Chin V-shaped thin chin being flat or slight protruding. 11
  12. 12. 8. Tswana (Botswana & North East South Africa) a) Head shape Oval. b) Temple Round smooth curve as the temple flows posteriorly being flat towards the eye brows. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Relatively high. d) Nose Wide on most but some individuals show slightly wide noses. Short and slightly flat. e) Lips Fairly thick and protruding. f) Mandible U-shaped. Slightly thick mandible on males. g) Chin Round, U-shaped, thick chin posteriorly inclined (run-away chin). 9. Fingo aka Ama-Fengu (South West Africa-Western Cape Province of South Africa) many intermarried with Europeans resulting in a certain population of the “Cape Coloureds) 12
  13. 13. a) Head shape Oval. b) Temple Realtively flat to round with smooth curve as the temple inclines posteriorly. c) Eyes d) Zygomas/Cheek bones Medium high. e) Nose Moderate width, moderate length and not flat f) Lips Moderate thickness showing slight protrusion. g) Mandible U-shaped. Slightly thick mandible on males. h) Chin U-shaped slightly thick and flat chin fairly inclined posteriorly. 10. San (Northern South Africa, South & Eastern Namibia, West & Southern Botswana) a) Head shape Small, round. b) Temple Short, round and flat. c) Eyes Generally small. d) Zygomas/Cheek bones High and protrusive. e) Nose Moderate thin, small, short and flat. f) Lips Moderate thin and protrusive. g) Mandible Thin V-shaped. h) Chin Posteriorly inclined (run-away chin). 13
  14. 14. 11. !Kung/!’O!Kung/!Xũ (Kalahari region, Namibia, Angola & Botswana) Part of the Khoisan group a) Head shape Elogated round b) Temple Round smooth curve as the temple flows posteriorly. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Medium high. d) Nose Wide, short and flatter on males; moderate wide, short and flat on females. e) Lips Moderate thickness showing high degree of protrusion. f) Mandible Round and thick on males. U-shaped slightly thick mandible on females. g) Chin Round and thick on males. U-shaped slightly thick mandible on females. Flat to protruding chins. 12. River San (Northern South Africa, Southern Namibia & Botswana) 14
  15. 15. a) Head shape Round with wider inferior half. b) Temple Flat with posterior inclination c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Medium high. d) Nose Moderate, short and wide nostrils but not flat. e) Lips Moderate thickness to fairly thick showing high degree of protrusion. f) Mandible Round and thick. Clear contours on mandible angle.. g) Chin Round V-shaped slightly thick chins. Posterior inclined chins (run-away chin). 13 Griqua (Northern and Eastern Cape) This group is a result of intermixing of Khoisan, Tswana, Bantu origin Africans and Europeans a) Head shape Oval and wide centrally. b) Temple Flat with posterior inclination c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Relatively high. d) Nose Moderate, short, wide nostrils and flat. e) Lips Moderate thickness to fairly thick showing moderate degree of protrusion. f) Mandible Round. Smooth contours on mandible angle.. g) Chin Round and moderately thin. Posterior inclined chins (run-away chin)on some individuals but most show protrusion. 15
  16. 16. 14. Pygmy/Baka/Mbuti (Central Africa along the equator region) Mostly found in the rainforests. NB-Pygym is considered a derogatory term a) Head shape Round and short. b) Temple Short protruding. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Relatively high. d) Nose Small, wide nostrils, relatively wide nose and low degree of flatness. e) Lips Moderately thick showing moderate degree of protrusion. f) Mandible Thin V-shaped. Very clear contours on mandible angle. g) Chin Thin V-shaped. Flat to slightly posteriorly inclined. 15. Massai (Mid East Africa-Kenya) 16
  17. 17. a) Head shape Long oval. b) Temple Long with posterior inclination. c) Zygomas/Cheek bones Relatively high. d) Nose Moderately wide and low degree of flatness. e) Lips Moderately thick showing moderate degree of protrusion. f) Mandible Rounded V-shaped. Clear contours on mandible angle. g) Chin U-shaped. Protrude. MIXING BETWEEN EUROPEANS, ARABS AND AFRICAN ETHNIC GROUPS Below are examples of the appearance of mixed ethnic groups from migrant/settler groups. These are just examples and do not represent all groups of mixed ethnicity. Mixed people or groups are extremely vast and comparison somewhat difficult unless only specific groups are related to Facial Morphology. European Mijertein 17
  18. 18. Arab Tezzarese Telu Tuareg DISCUSSION 1. Specific region Head Most groups showed and long oval to short oval faces where the Pondo and River San had the shortest faces. Temple Generally the temple areas were similar in shape amongst most groups which showed flat with a sharp posterior inclination and rounding off towards the hair-line with the exception of the Zulu which is flat and having steep curve before the beginning of the hair line. The Pygmies had very short protruding temples an opposite of the Massai who showed long posterior inclined temples. Zygomas significant differences were observed on this area amongst almost every group, with the San having very high, the Zulu, Sotho, Swazi, Fingo, River San, !Ung, Fingo and Tswana showed moderately high zygomas and the Xhosa, Pedi, Pondo and SahnganaThonga showing Moderately low zygoma, however within these groups with low zygomas the extreme opposite was true. 18
  19. 19. Nose Nose shape showed the greatest differences, although many showed a degree of being wide and moderately flat, the Pondo were extremely flat and wide, the San and Pygmies had thin, small noses. This feature differed greatly amongst people of the same group. Lips Almost all gropus showed similarities in that the lips showed moderate thickness to fairly thick with a high degree of protrusion. Exception to this were the Pondo with extremely wide and think lips and the San showing thinner narrower. All groups showed a high degree of protrusion of the lips. Mandible Most groups showed a fairly round shaped mandible of a more V-shape than U-shape, mandibular angle contour was fairly clear and evident amongst all groups except the Fingo and Tswana where the contour were not as clear, the mandibles were wide and thick amongst the Pondo, !Ung and River San bein relatively narrow in other groups. Chin All groups showed posterior inclined chins with the exception of the !Ung which protruded and Pondo wich were relatively flat on profile. Frontal views showed thin, smooth V to U-shaped chins on all groups, the male !Ung, Pedi, Swazi and some Fingo showed thicker rounder chins. 2. General features Although these groups have been identified as Southern African groups this is not to say that these are all groups and that they represent every ethnicity in Southern Africa, as from the trading era there has been mixing, movement and intra cultural activities which are much broader than the groups presented here. From the above evidence it is clear that within the same ethnic group some variants of other groups are evident, which shows a correlation with mixing between groups. It is therefore still difficult to clearly distinguish certain individuals within a cultural group. Certain groups showed vast differences from others, the San and Pygmies where generally smaller on every facial area with also vast differences especially on the eyes being very small and exceptionally high zygomas, the Pondo have a general thicker frame with very thick lips, wide and very flat noses which is distinct in this single ethnicity. Almost all groups with the exception of the !Ung and Massai showed similar characteristic on the chin where the chins tend to be posteriorly inclined in contrast to the !Ung and Massai where chins protrude. Similarities between all groups were also on protrusion of the oral region where in almost all case the naso-labial angle was less than 90 degrees and in many cases reached and angle of 45 degrees. In all groups the females presented a general small frames compared with their male counterparts. The Eastern groups show greater difference, they are almost all long oval heads, thinner noses and comparatively thinner and relatively narrower lips compared with their Southern counter parts. They show some Arabic features. The chins in many cases protrude, contrary to posterior inclination on the Southern ethnic groups. The zygomas 19
  20. 20. are also much more prominent on the East and Central (West) African groups. CONCLUSION Within different and same cultural groups significant differences and great similarities in facial morphology were identified on various areas of the face. Certain areas of the face have shown dramatic similarities in most groups, these being the mouth/lip area while great variations were prevalent on the nose. General all groups showed ethnic distinguishing differences which can be correlated to that specific group, however there is still much obscurity in terms of putting a distinct difference of most groups, the only 3 groups which were able to be very distinctly differentiated were the San, the Pondo and to a certain extent the Zulu. The rest of the groups showed numerous similarities on individuals. No measurements were made, limited number of casts used; only basic areas of the face were selected. It is the author‟s opinion that De Villiers‟1968 belief which states that “tribal subdivisions be discarded, the South African negroes be regarded as a single population.” DeVilliers which was agreed by Harpending and Jenkins in 1972 Briedenhann SJ should be revised as although recently there has been an increase in intra-tribal mixing, presently there are still exists great differences between each Southern African ethnic group, DeVilliers‟ statement may be regarded in the far future as it is expected that with time through tribal mixing these distinctions may be eliminated into mixed features and obliteration of distinct facial features. In order to achieve more precise results anthropometric and/or cephalometric in conjunction with craniofacial skeletal and soft tissue morphological studies must be carries out, these with a reasonable number of participants would guarantee an accurate conclusion of the differences between Southern African ethnic groups. 6. REFERENCES Astley SJ, Clarren SK. A case definition and photographic screening tool for facial phenotype of fetal alcohol syndrome. The J of Peds 1996;129(1):33-41. Briedenhann SJ. Cranial and Facial features of the Herero, Barakwena and Vasekele. MDent Thesis (Ortho)Wits 1988:50. Curnoe D, Tobias PV. Description, new reconstruction, comparative anatomy, and classification of the Sterkfontein Stw 53 cranium, with discussions about the taxonomy of other southern African early Homo remains. J Hum Evol. 2006;50(1):36-77. Data Face: Psychology, appearance and behaviour of the human face DeVilliers H. The Skull of the South African Negro. Wits Press 1968. Malpass RS, Kravitz J. ``Recognition for faces of own and other `race' ''. J of Personality and Social Psy1969;13:330-334. O'Toole AJ, Abdi H, Deffenbacher KA, Valentine D. ``A perceptual learning theory of the information of faces'', in Cognitive & Computational Aspects of Face Processing Ed. T Valentine (London: Routledge) 1995;159-182. Rightmire GP. Evidence from facial morphology for similarity of Asian and African representatives of Homo erectus. Am J Phys Anthropol. 1998;106(1):61-85. Sampson PD, Streissguth A, Bookstein FL, Barr H.. On categorizations in analyses of 20
  21. 21. alcohol teratogenesis. Envir Health Perspectives 2000;108(3):421-428. Sokol RJ, Chik L, Martier SS, Salari V. Morphometry of the neonatal fetal alcohol syndrome face from „snapshots‟. Alcohol Suppl 1991;1:531-534. Weidenberg and Nicolson. The Scramble for Africa Until 1880 AD. TLS 1990;5. External Sites and figures 22 HistoryWorld. History of Sub-Saharan Africa http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=1874&HistoryID=a b65 Wikipedia. History of Sub-Saharan Africa until 1880 AD. History of South Africa http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa 21

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