One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Who Are/Were the Hottentots?

Coetzee speaks of them in various books (especially in his autobiographical works; some essays): I believe he uses both the Dutch term: Hottentot (now considered offensive), and the name these people called themselves: Khoikhoi or Khoi. I believe he also says that these natives have pretty much disappeared, or were largely absorbed into the "coloured"  of South Africa.

Here's part of what Wikipedia says:

The Khoikhoi ("people people" or "real people") or Khoi, in standardised Khoekhoe/Nama orthography spelled Khoekhoe, are a historical division of the Khoisan ethnic group, the native people of southwestern Africa, closely related to the Bushmen (or San, as the Khoikhoi called them). They had lived in southern Africa since the 5th century AD.[1] When European immigrants colonized the area in 1652, the Khoikhoi were practising extensive pastoral agriculture in the Cape region, with large herds of Nguni cattle. The European immigrants labeled them Hottentots, in imitation of the sound of the Khoisan languages,[2] but this term is today considered derogatory.[3]
Archaeological evidence shows that the Khoikhoi entered South Africa from Botswana through two distinct routes – traveling west, skirting the Kalahari to the west coast, then down to the Cape, and travelling south-east out into the Highveld and then southwards to the south coast.[4] Most of the Khoikhoi have largely disappeared as a group, except for the largest group, the Namas. 


Apparently the Germans (they were colonizing Namibia) massacred 10,000 Nama (a subset of the Khoikhoi) from 1904 to 1907. The photo below was released to Wikipedia Commons by the Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive):

Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive), Bild 146-1981-157-15
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