Bantu Migration


The world history encompasses the migration of people firm one region to another. Migration which is seen as the act or process of moving from one region or country to another – have remained very significant in historical studies all over the world. It is obvious that throughout history, people have choosen to uproot themselves and move to explore their world. Migration is therefore an important aspect of human culture which have influenced the world in the process of migration, international contacts and relations evolves. There is cultural mix and fusion. In most occasion a superior culture influence lesser culture and this could evolve into another culture.

Studies have shown that several factors contributes to the movement of people. Apart from the general human desires for change, there are three major reasons for migration. They are environmental, economic and political factors. Above all, economic and political factors have remained the most important. These push and pull factors also led to the Bantu migration.

The Bantu speaking people are basically Negroid stock. They are over 400 different ethnic groups in Africa stretching from the boarder of the Sahara desert to South Africa, that have similar language and to some extent customs. These Bantu people are predominant in East and central Africa. Their movements have been referred to as migration because they were a large scale movement over long distances. It is cogent to note that these movement did not take place at once, it was in several phases. However, Guthrie and Oliver assert that, Bantu settlers began to move into the East Africa from the Southern Congo in the first centuries of the Christian era. By and large, by 1000 A.D Negroid groups were to be found along the coast from the Zambezi to Juba. The Bantu speaking people had reached an area particularly well suited for intercourse between peopled different culture.

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More so, some sources also contend that the Bantu speaking people were actually part of the iron age people from the Middle-East areas of North Africa. It is said that they originally settled along the bank of the Nile River. They later moved to the area around Lake Chad, Nigeria and the highland of Cameroon called the Benue-cross region. Several of them settled in the great lake region in East Africa and different parts of Central Africa.

Linguistic studies have remained one way experts can trace the pattern of movement of people over time. People also brought their languages with them when they move to new places. Just as people culture and customs changes after intermingling for a while with new culture. However, when two languages have similar words for a particular object or idea, it is most likely that the people who spoke those languages probably had close contact at one time. Several anthropologists believed that the Bantu language spread across Africa as a result of migration. The Bantu language is the first language for nearly one-third of all Africans.

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