Bantu Migrations

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The Bantu migrations had a vast influence on the development of Africa. The Bantu peoples passed on many concepts to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. Originating from Nigeria in the Niger River Valley, the Bantu migrated south and then spread to both the east and west. The Bantu laid the foundation for Sub-Saharan African societies. They spread agriculture, animal domestication, iron metallurgy, and cultural development throughout southern Africa. Various forms of government have developed as a result of the Bantu migrations. They also contributed to the start of many societies, including the Swahili city states. The adaptations the Bantu people learned, especially the making of iron, helped them to expand and spread their discoveries. As the Bantu traveled throughout Southern Africa they spread various rituals and traditions. The Bantu also integrated many ideas into their culture from the Islamic and Christian religions. These new religions were brought by foreign merchants from different countries as they began to intermix in Africa. Many large trade industries were also started because of the Bantu peoples. The Bantu brought horses, cotton textiles, and salt into Southern Africa by trading enormous amounts of gold, ivory, and slaves to the merchants. Every aspect of Sub-Saharan African history was immeasurably impacted by the migrations of the Bantu peoples. After about 500 BCE most Bantu were fashioning iron. This new skill, adapted from the Nok people, encouraged the making of axes, adzes, and hoes in which they used to clear land, expand, and cultivate. By about 500 CE bananas had made their way across the Indian ocean, settled on the island of Madagascar, and were picked up by the Bantu. Helping the Bantu expand, bananas were able to grow in thick forested regions where other crops could not. Bananas, a nutritious dietary staple, increased food surplus, which in end increased the population size of the Bantu. The skills of clearing and cultivating land...
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