(redirected from Khoekhoe)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


(koi`koi'), people numbering about 55,000 mainly in Namibia and in W South Africa. The Khoikhoi have been called Hottentots by whites in South Africa. In language and in physical type the Khoikhoi appear to be related to the SanSan
, people of SW Africa (mainly Botswana, Namibia, Angola, and South Africa), consisting of several groups and numbering about 100,000 in all. They are generally short in stature; their skin is yellowish brown in color; and they have broad noses, flat ears, bulging foreheads,
..... Click the link for more information.
 (Bushmen), i.e., they speak a variation of the Khoisan, or Click, language (see African languagesAfrican languages,
geographic rather than linguistic classification of languages spoken on the African continent. Historically the term refers to the languages of sub-Saharan Africa, which do not belong to a single family, but are divided among several distinct linguistic stocks.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Both are generally much lighter in complexion than the neighboring Bantu, and genetic studies suggests that both became isolated from other humans around 100,000 years ago. Historically a pastoral people, inhabiting the coast of the Cape of Good Hope in historic times, the Khoikhoi were the first native people to come into contact (mid-17th cent.) with the Dutch settlers. As the Dutch took over land for farms, the Khoikhoi were dispossessed, exterminated, or enslaved, and their numbers dwindled. They were similarly dispossessed and exterminated by the Germans in the early 1900s in Namibia. The Khoikhoi were formerly divided into 10 clans, each ruled by a headman and councillors elected by universal male suffrage. The Khoikhoi have largely disappeared as a group, except for the Namas (see NamaqualandNamaqualand
or Namaland
, region, c.150,000 sq mi (388,500 sq km), SW Africa. It extends from Windhoek, Namibia, in the north to Northern Cape, South Africa, in the south and from the Namib Desert in the west to the Kalahari Desert in the east.
..... Click the link for more information.
) of SW Africa, who still live as pastoral nomads. Most Khoikhoi now are settled in villages, living as farmers and laborers.


See I. Schapera, The Khoisan Peoples of South Africa (1930, repr. 1965); P. Heap, The Story of Hottentots Holland (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Furthermore note that Malay was an important language at the Cape, on a par with Dutch and Creole Portuguese (apart from Khoekhoe in the outer districts).
Second, while Khoekhoe provides us with a reasonable source for the Afrikaans associative construction (e.g.
Tilman Dedering's magisterial exploration of the early nineteenth-century interaction between Khoekhoe (or Khoikhoi) groups and European missionaries, in the areas known to European contemporaries as Great and Little Namaqualand, is an important work.
A second crucial innovation of Hate the Old, Follow the New is that Dedering looks at the history of people of at least partial Khoekhoe ancestry across the boundaries imposed by colonialism.
The presence of sheep in rites connected with this figure seems to represent an intersection of Bushman and Khoekhoen beliefs around the locus of domesticated species; Ikweit[??]n-ta-||ken's description is strikingly similar to those of menarcheal rites observed among a range of Khoekhoe groups, including the Nama (Hoernle 1918) and the Korana (Maingard 1932: 141-2; Engelbrecht 1936), and extant among Griqua populations in the Northern Cape today (Waldman 2003: 662).
-- (2008) 'Ethnographic analogy and the reconstruction of early Khoekhoe society', Southern African Humanities 20 (1): 61-75.
The Khoekhoe, the main ethnic group in the settlement, were traditionally adept at keeping livestock, but an intricate irrigation system was crucial to the agricultural practices they developed in the valley.
Ethnicity is important: the Kat River settlers, comprising both Khoekhoe and a mixed-race, partly Xhosa population, were, for example, divided in their reaction to a proposed vagrancy law.
The Griqua and Koranna form part of the broader Khoekhoe community of South Africa.
My analysis covers Khoekhoe herders and San (or Bushman) hunter-gatherers of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, and stems from over two years of fieldwork amongst Nama, Damara and Topnaar--all 'Khoekhoe'--and Hai//om, !Xun, Ju/'hoansi, Naro and [not equal to] Khomani Bushmen.