Wherever they roam, these hardy nomads can find all they need to thrive—and to make the land their own.
Although the majority of dialects from the Proto-Bantu language express the concept of war with the root “tumba”, nothing suggests that the expansion of these peoples across Africa took the shape of a violent conquest. Their ability to colonize a large variety of territories had more to do with how their societies were structured.
The first Bantu societies were most likely organized into networks of farming communities interconnected through matrimonial alliances. Their system of patrilocal residences would have encouraged the young men to leave their parental homes and form their own family units a few miles away. .
This idea is now corroborated by results from bioanthropological studies that suggest that a large part of the genetic contribution that enabled Bantu-speaking groups to adapt to new environments (immune system) and foods (digestion of milk) would have come from women who were from different groups to their own.