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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Botswana’s Matsieng’s Historical & Cultural Site

There is a south-eastern Botswana belief. That the first humans were created in pools at a place known as Matsieng Footprints. Religion tells us that a Supreme being created the world and everything in it. Science, on the other hand, tells us about evolution and that humans are Homo Sapiens. 

Matsieng Footprints, a national monument of the country comprises a slab of sandstone with two deep piercings and engravings. Its location is in Southeastern Botswana near the city of Gaborone.  

A large number of tourists visit the location yearly to see the beauty of the area and its notable footprints; and if you are looking to have a vintage trip, the Matsieng is the place. You have a place of comfort here and you get to hear the beautiful stories of the human creation. 

According to local tales, life began as a great hunter named Matsieng emerged from a waterhole. Matsieng, who was said to be a one-legged giant is the first ancestor of the Batswana. Although, there are also claims that Matsieng had two legs as against being a one-legged giant. 

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The folklore also says that as soon as Matsieng emerged from the waterhole; he was followed by animals and other people, who became his people. Together they all sunk their foot on the earthly uniformed soil, leaving footprints that hardened over time. 

As time went on, the soft sandstone came to have “a collection of some 170 carvings depicting human feet and animal feet. The footprints are in variety, gigantic and non-gigantic, with horse-like feet and feline. 

Matsieng, Botswana site where humans were first created

 

Archaeologists interpret the engravings including the footprints as a form of rock art. They claimed the footprints were created by the ancestors of the modern San people during the Late Stone Age. Yet, locals Favour the legend of Matsieng. 

To date, Matsieng Footprints is still an important ritual site as people continue to collect water at the site for ritual purposes. They also use it for rain-making ceremonies. 

According to a study published in the scientific journal Nature in 2019, scientists claimed to have traced the origins of all modern humans to a region of northern Botswana south of the Zambezi River. Although the area is now a salt pan, it was home to Homo Sapiens 200,000 years ago and hosted a modern human population for at least 70,000 years.

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