San Dancing

25 08 2021

San Dancing (Botswana)

San dancing is a dance practiced by San or Basarwa communities. The San are an indigenous people who still follow a hunter-gatherer culture. They live mostly in Botswana. Based on archaeological research, it is assumed that San dancing has existed since the pre-historic era as evidenced by cave paintings.

There are two types of dances. They are usually practiced in Kgotla or a public meeting in a village’s open space or around a bonfire at night.

The first type of dance is a ritual dance to heal the sick. The dance will be performed around the afflicted person, who is placed near the bonfire. The villagers will then dance, sing, and clap around the patient. After a while, the patient will move their body along the rhythms. The ritual will pause periodically. Once done, it is believed that the affliction will go away.

The second type of dance is to celebrate the success in hunting and harvesting, or a rain dance to worship gods who help them to succeed. This dance is also performed by the Tswana ethnic group in a rainmaking ritual.


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ThoughtCo. (n.d.). Trance Dance of the San. Retrieved from