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The Cape Herders: A History of the Khoikhoi of Southern Africa

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The Cape Herders

The Cape Herders

Ohio University Press & David Philip

The Bottom Line

An excellent text book aimed at secondary school learners, describes the history of South Africa's nomadic herders with a large number of illustrations and excepts from primary source material.
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  • 83 illustrations, including contemporary drawings
  • Extracts from primary source material.
  • Arguments well laid out.


  • Will be disappointing to more sophisticated reader


  • Paperback: 147 pages.
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press, Athens, © 1996.
  • ISBN: 0821411748.

Guide Review - The Cape Herders: A History of the Khoikhoi of Southern Africa

This history of the khoikhoi people (actually they had no collective name for themselves beyond individual tribes) is as politically correct as you could get – unfortunately in a recently published companion book (on Bushmen) the authors decided that khoikhoi is no longer p.c. and they should be called khoekhoen. The conclusion of the book is that these indigenous people were badly treated by the arrival of Europeans – forced into menial positions by the removal of their lands and animals. Curiously, the Khoikhoi are not criticized for doing exactly the same to the San (Bushmen). The book is, otherwise, an excellent introduction to this largely ignored group of South Africans and would make a worthwhile addition to any school library.
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