back to homepagee-mail us!search!play the game!share your story!the Living Africa
go to: the peoplego to: the landgo to: wildlifego to: national parks

ethnic groups
ethnic groups
arts and crafts
cities of africa
arts and crafts
multimedia specials

the people (back to intro)

in this section
general information

major ethnic groups:

This ethnic group is nomadic and once lived in the southern and western portions of South Africa. In the 17th century, Europeans came to settle their region. They now live in the southern portion of Namibia and their numbers now include others that have intermingled with other ethnic groups and now live in the southwestern portion of South Africa.

The Khoikhoi are a short ethnic group with dark skin, its members average around 5 feet in height (1.5m). They are related to the San, also known as Bushmen and the Bantu with their origins in southern Africa.

A small number of the Khoikhoi continue to live a nomadic life, but pastoralism is now the chief way of life instead of hunting. The rest of the Khoikhoi have been affected by their exposure to other cultures and the intermingling of their peoples with other ethnic groups. Many of those who have left their former nomadic life now work as laborers and live on reserves or in rural European communities.

Those who have continued to live a nomadic life barter their cattle when they want to trade with others. Their cattle are a symbol of wealth and prestige in their social system. Their cattle are not used for meat but only for milk. They continue to hunt for their food and supplement their diet with wild roots and fruits that they are able to gather.

The Khoikhoi are known for their extensive collection of folktales, some of which are similar to the folklore of the Bantu. Their language belongs to the Khoisan group and is called Nama.

©  Copyright 1998, ThinkQuest team 16645
All rights reserved.