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.

    • ‘This treaty said that the Khoikhoi would recognize the company as sovereign power over the people.’
    • ‘The descendants of the Khoikhoi and San can be found in the deserts of Botswana and Namibia today.’
    • ‘In particular, the Khoi viewed people without stock as inferior and despised those hunters who stole their stock.’
    • ‘Elbourne and Ross's chapter on early missions among the Khoikhoi is a model of lucidity.’
    • ‘Although the Khoikhoi were never enslaved, they suffered considerable exploitation as a source of cheap labour.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Despite his name, his European blood ties were not recognized and he was raised a Khoikhoi by his mother.’
    • ‘The mummy appears to be related to the Khoi, the indigenous people of the area.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pygmies occupied the central forest, and San and Khoikhoi roamed the south.’
    • ‘Hitherto unknown locally, the disease ravaged the remaining Khoikhoi, killing 90 percent of the population.’
    • ‘Settlers often sought the extermination of both the South African Khoi and the Australian Aborigines and had difficulty recognizing that they had law.’
    • ‘They had a fracas with the local people, the Khoi.’
    • ‘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 interacted with the foraging (food-gathering) and pastoral (nomadic herding) people who were in South Africa first, the Khoi and the San.’
    • ‘Dance lovers will be exposed to traditional dance from Shembe, the Khoi and the San.’


  • Relating to the Khoikhoi or their languages.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are many Khoikhoi words common in everyday Afrikaans and English speech in South Africa.’
    • ‘The first modern inhabitants were the San hunter-gatherers and the Khoi peoples, who herded livestock.’
    • ‘But among the Nama owners of the park, who form part of the Khoi group, opinions on the transfrontier park vary.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We have Xhosa names, Khoi names, English and Scottish names, German, Dutch and Afrikaans names.’
    • ‘I believe that Qonce was a San or Khoi name for the Buffalo River.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The rituals also reveal something about social relationships and status in Khoikhoi society.’
    • ‘The latter, speakers of the so-called ‘click language,’ included the Khoi people, and the San or Bushmen.’
    • ‘How did Malagasy, Malay, East African, and Khoi ideas about gender enter into slave and post-emancipation society?’
    • ‘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.’


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


Nama, literally ‘men of men’.