About Us

The !Khwa ttu San Digital Archive and Community Platform

Since 1999 !Khwa ttu has provided education, jobs and support to the San – Africa’s First People.

The !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre and Digital Archive is rooted in cultural restitution. Our website provides a platform for San to tell our story in our own ways and to become the cultural custodians, researchers and academics of the future.

Submissions to the !Khwa ttu San Digital Archive are published after adjudication by San administration at !Khwa ttu. Our aim as administrators is to encourage the archive to take its own community shape as a responsible and respectful space for ideas, information and discussion.

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Who are the San or Bushmen

The San are descendants of hunter gatherers who once lived throughout southern Africa. There are 130 000 San living in six countries. Most San live in Namibia and Botswana. The San speak 13 different languages.

Many San languages are too different for other San to understand them. Some San languages are already extinct, all are endangered.

The San today

Herders, farmers and settlers have changed the lives of the San forever. Today the San have limited choices.

Most rely on whatever economic opportunities are available, often combining foraging with agriculture, herding, selling arts and crafts and working for other people. The San are among the most disadvantaged and marginalised people in the world.



What does it mean that we were all once hunter gatherers?

The ancestors of the San were the First People from whom we are all descended.
What will it mean when the last hunter gatherers disappear from our world?
What knowledge, skills, language, stories and imaginations will we lose if we forget not
just who they are, but who we all once were?

What can we learn from the San?

For thousands of years the San have relied on their extraordinary expertise and resourcefulness to thrive in the harshest environments without using harmful and unsustainable technologies. In a time of global environmental crisis, the San provide an exceptional example of how it was once possible to live sustainably. Their knowledge of the use and management of natural resources offers us critical wisdom and inspiration for a better future.

Who will you meet at !Khwa ttu?

San at !Khwa ttu come from diverse backgrounds across southern Africa: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe – from tiny remote Kalahari settlements, to small villages and townships.

!Khwa ttu: working and learning for a better future

Help !Khwa ttu support the San with dynamic education, training, heritage and outreach initiatives. Your donations enable !Khwa ttu to educate and skill up to 50 San annually, benefitting some 200 dependants from remote communities. Knowing more about hunter gatherers tells us more about ourselves. We hope you enjoy your visit.

!Khwa ttu is a joint project among the San, the Swiss Ubuntu Foundation
and a number of private and public donors