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The terms San, Khwe, Bushmen, and Basarwa have all been used to refer to hunter-gatherer peoples of southern Africa. Each of these terms has a problematic history, as they have been used by outsiders to refer to them, often with pejorative connotations. The individual groups identify by names such as Juǀʼhoansi and ǃKung (the punctuation characters representing different clicks), and most call themselves “Bushmen” when referring to themselves collectively. http://www.myspace.com/louis_j_sheehan_esquire

The term “San” was historically applied by their ethnic relatives and historic rivals, the Khoikhoi. This term means “outsider” in the Nama language and was derogatory because it distinguished the Bushmen from what the Khoikhoi called themselves, namely the First People.[2] Western anthropologists adopted “San” extensively in the 1970s, where it remains preferred in academic circles. The term “Bushmen” is widely used, but opinions vary on whether it is appropriate – given that the term is sometimes viewed as pejorative.[3][4]

In South Africa, the term “San” has become favored in official contexts, being included in the blazon of the new national coat-of-arms. In South Africa “Bushman” is considered derogatory by some groups. Angola does not have an official term for Bushmen, but they are sometimes referred to as Bushmen, Kwankhala, or Bosquímanos (the Portuguese term for Bushmen). In Lesotho they’re referred to as Baroa, which is where the Sesotho name for “South”, “Boroa”, comes from. Neither Zambia nor Zimbabwe have official terms, although in the latter case the terms Amasili and Batwa are sometimes used. [5] In Botswana, the officially used term is Basarwa[6], where it is partially acceptable to some Bushmen groups, although Basarwa, a Tswana language label, also has negative connotations. The term is a class 2 noun (as indicated by the “ba-” class marker), while an older class 6 variant, “Masarwa,” is now almost universally considered offensive.[5] (using class 5 labels with class 6 plurals is a common strategy used by speakers of southern Bantu languages to show contempt for ethnic groups, though there are many societies whose own endonyms are class 1 nouns with irregular class 6 plurals)

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