No one is certain of the geographical origins of beef jerky—and this is because dried meat is, perhaps, the oldest forms of food preservation known.
As we all know, fresh meat rots fast. The need to store food for future consumption lead to humanity discovering that drying lean meat and salting it made it last far longer. Its consumption became, then, wildly popular—for example, Ancient Egypt consumed salted and dried meat massively.
Native Americans, particularly, enjoyed hanging buffalo meat strips over campfires. Such a method accelerated the drying process, and once the humidity evaporated, they packed the meat in skin bags, and took it with them for long journeys.