Definition of Khoikhoi in English:


(also Khoi, Khoi-khoin)


  • A member of a group of indigenous peoples of South Africa and Namibia, traditionally nomadic herders and hunter-gatherers, including the Nama people and the ancestors of the Griquas.

    • ‘The earliest inhabitants were small groups of hunters and gatherers such as the Khoi and the San.’
    • ‘At Suurbraak, elderly descendants of the Khoikhoi will today regale for hours on end about men of great strength, ghosts and water spirits living in the river.’
    • ‘They had a fracas with the local people, the Khoi.’
    • ‘They interacted with the foraging (food-gathering) and pastoral (nomadic herding) people who were in South Africa first, the Khoi and the San.’
    • ‘Hitherto unknown locally, the disease ravaged the remaining Khoikhoi, killing 90 percent of the population.’
    • ‘Roughly one-fifth of the total, or 1.1 million people were counted as Europeans and 8.6 per cent as coloured, overwhelmingly in the Cape, descended from the Khoikhoi, slaves, and settlers.’
    • ‘This treaty said that the Khoikhoi would recognize the company as sovereign power over the people.’
    • ‘The mummy appears to be related to the Khoi, the indigenous people of the area.’
    • ‘In addition to the Afrikaners, the Cape was also inhabited by its indigenous people, the Khoikhoi, by slaves brought in by the Dutch, and by communities of people of mixed race.’
    • ‘Pygmies occupied the central forest, and San and Khoikhoi roamed the south.’
    • ‘Dance lovers will be exposed to traditional dance from Shembe, the Khoi and the San.’
    • ‘Although the Khoikhoi were never enslaved, they suffered considerable exploitation as a source of cheap labour.’
    • ‘In particular, the Khoi viewed people without stock as inferior and despised those hunters who stole their stock.’
    • ‘The descendants of the Khoikhoi and San can be found in the deserts of Botswana and Namibia today.’
    • ‘Settlers often sought the extermination of both the South African Khoi and the Australian Aborigines and had difficulty recognizing that they had law.’
    • ‘Elbourne and Ross's chapter on early missions among the Khoikhoi is a model of lucidity.’
    • ‘Despite his name, his European blood ties were not recognized and he was raised a Khoikhoi by his mother.’


  • Relating to the Khoikhoi or their languages.

    • ‘The remains of Saartje Bartmann, the Khoi woman who left Africa for Europe in 1810 and was exhibited there will arrive here this morning on a flight from Paris.’
    • ‘There are many Khoikhoi words common in everyday Afrikaans and English speech in South Africa.’
    • ‘But among the Nama owners of the park, who form part of the Khoi group, opinions on the transfrontier park vary.’
    • ‘It includes Shembe dance, classical ballet, Bharatha Natyam and San and Khoi dance.’
    • ‘At the base of Khoikhoi social organization was the nuclear family - husband, wife, and unmarried children.’
    • ‘I believe that Qonce was a San or Khoi name for the Buffalo River.’
    • ‘The latter, speakers of the so-called ‘click language,’ included the Khoi people, and the San or Bushmen.’
    • ‘Finds include footprints at Bats Cave, among the oldest anywhere; human remains at Klasies River, the mummy in Baviaanskloof, as well as numerous cave paintings from Khoi and San times.’
    • ‘How did Malagasy, Malay, East African, and Khoi ideas about gender enter into slave and post-emancipation society?’
    • ‘New futures are easier to talk about than achieve but, driving back to my home in Swellendam, I remember the words of another Khoi song I read in the museum.’
    • ‘The Cape's European merchants, soldiers, and farmers wiped out, drove off, or enslaved the indigenous Khoi herders and imported slave labor from Madagascar, Indonesia, and India.’
    • ‘The first modern inhabitants were the San hunter-gatherers and the Khoi peoples, who herded livestock.’
    • ‘The rituals also reveal something about social relationships and status in Khoikhoi society.’
    • ‘We have Xhosa names, Khoi names, English and Scottish names, German, Dutch and Afrikaans names.’


Khoikhoi should be used in preference to Hottentot, since the latter is likely to cause offence: see Hottentot


Nama, literally ‘men of men’.