Lifestyle of Pre-Colonial Khoekhoe Communities

Topics: Gender role, Livestock, Woman Pages: 8 (1021 words) Published: October 17, 2014

Ni-shaat Solomon

Student number: 51135841
The module code: HSY1501
02 Semester
The Assignment 03
Unique Assignment Number

1 Declaration 2.
2 Question 1- short questions3.-4
3 Paragraph questions 5-6.
4 Essay 7.-9
5 Bibliography10.

Name: Ni-Shaat Solomon
Student number: 51135841
Module code: HSY1501
Assignment number: 830288
I declare that this assignment is my own original work. Where secondary material has been used (either from a printed source or from the Internet), this has been carefully acknowledged and referenced in accordance with departmental requirements. I understand what plagiarism is and am aware of the department’s policy in this regard. I have not allowed anyone else to copy my work. Signature:


1. What were the similarities between the economy of the pre-colonial Khoekhoe and that of the San? (2)

The two bands shared a travelling lifestyle where they followed the rains for better hunting and herding to take place, however the San was more mobile than the Khoekhoe. Each clan relied on livestock to survive however the San did not own livestock such as the Khoe.

2. What was the main economic difference between the San and the Khoekhoe and how did it influence their perception of material wealth? (2)

The Khoekhoe practised a pastoralist way of living whereas the san communities were more prone to a hunting-gathering way of life. The Khoekhoe owned and domesticated livestock and this determined their wealth as well and the San hunted them and shared the wealth amongst family.

3. How did the Khoekhoe ensure that their diet was well balanced? (2)

The Khoekhoe maintained their diet by herding their livestock on rich and fertile ground and being close to waterholes. Their cattle, sheep and other livestock contributed to their diet as a source of milk and meat. They also used skills learnt from the san clan to gather plant foods from their surrounding environments. Their access to the livestock especially the milk provided from the cattle allowed them to get a more nourished and balanced diet and this in turn made the Khoekhoe appear larger in stature than the San peoples.

4. Give two reasons why the Khoekhoe practised transhumance. (2)

The Khoekhoe who settled within the Western Cape had ample and sustainable land to house livestock however it could not sustain the grazing permanently with the groups cattle and extra livestock growing in numbers. Thus the Khoekhoe communities travelled in a roundabout way looking for fresh waters, greener and fresher soils which was important to their survival and to maintain a balance diet for their livestock. This movement also caused that each territory the community moved to after a grazing period was over; it got enough time to revitalize its soils and regain its waterholes so that the Khoekhoe could make use of its resources again for the next migration.

5. How was labour divided in Khoekhoe society? (2)

The labour roles of men and woman were clear and concise. Men were obviously of more importance than woman and children, as they took the leadership role, took care of the livestock, built the kraals and did any maintenance work to herding or hunting tools. Women were in charge of the homestead, looking after the children and the agricultural work. They were responsible for making the homes, but men were responsible for erecting the huts. Once the children came of age they would help their mothers and fathers depending on their gender. Thus labour was defined and strict; each member had its duty and responsibility, old or young. Some wealthier Khoekhoe even had slaves to do their work exchange for small less significant livestock such as sheep or goats.

6. Explore the economic and social role of...

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