Hottentots – the fifth race of people

Africa is the most ancient and mysterious continent of our planet, and the most ancient peoples of this continent, according to scientists, are the bushmen and hottentots. Their descendants are currently living in the Kalahari desert and surrounding areas of Angola and Southwest Africa, where they retreated under the onslaught of the Bantu and Dutch peoples settlers.

The Hottentots today are an extremely small nation, their there are no more than fifty thousand people. But still they retained their own customs and traditions.

Language of nature

The name of the Hottentot tribe comes from the Dutch word hottentot, which means “stutter,” and was given for a special snapping look pronunciation of sounds. To European people it was like a monkey and therefore they concluded that this people is almost transitional link between the world of primates and humans. According to this theory, and the attitude of Europeans towards this people was akin to the attitude to domestic or wild animals.

Hottentots - the fifth race of peopleA photo from open sources

However, modern genetic studies have found that among these people the type characteristic of the first people Y chromosomes. This indicates that perhaps all representatives the genus Homo sapiens evolved from this anthropological type. It is the Hottentots and their related groups that belong to the main race of humanity.

The first information about the Hottentots we find in a traveler Kolbena, who described them shortly after the establishment of the Dutch colonies in their country. Hottentots at that time were still numerous a nation divided into many tribes under the leadership of leaders or foremen; they led a nomadic shepherd’s life, in groups of 300 or 400 people, and lived in mobile huts made up of stakes, covered with mats. Their clothing consisted of sheep sewn together hides; bows with poisoned arrows and darts served as weapons assegai.

The traditions of this people and some etymological indications give the right to conclude that once the spread of the Hottentots was incomparably more extensive. Memories of this are still being held. then in the Hottentot names of rivers and mountains. Once belonged to them all of South West Africa.

Not black, not white

The Hottentots are characterized by a combination of signs of black and yellow races with peculiar features. Representatives of this tribe low – no more than one and a half meters tall. Their skin has yellow-copper tint.

At the same time, the skin of the Hottentots very quickly ages. Short moment flourishing – and after twenty years their face, neck and body are covered deep wrinkles, which gives them the look of deep old men.

Interestingly, the fat deposits in the Hottentots change in depending on the time of year. Women of this nationality exist the anatomical features that Europeans called “Hottentot apron” (enlarged labia minora).

No one can explain the origin of this natural anatomy still. But the look of this “apron” disgusted not only Europeans – even the Hottentots themselves considered it unaesthetic, and because from ancient times the tribes had a custom to remove it before marriage.

“Venus of the Hottentots” -women of this nationality possessed unusual forms

A photo from open sources

A photo from open sources

A photo from open sources

And only with the advent of missionaries did they ban this surgical intervention. But the natives opposed such restrictions, refused to accept Christianity because of them and even raised rebellion. The fact is that girls with such body features are already could not find suitors. Then the pope himself issued a decree, by which the natives were allowed to return to the original custom.

However, this physiological oddity did not interfere with the Hottentots to practice polygamy, which grew into monogamy only to the beginning of the 20th century. But to this day, the custom of payment remains “lobola” – redemption for the bride with cattle or money in the amount equivalent to its value.

But the men of this tribe have a tradition of amputation imagine one of the testicles that does not lend itself to scientific logic – this is done so that twins are not born in the family, the appearance of which considered a curse for the tribe.

Nomads and artisans

In ancient times, the Hottentots were nomads. They moved with huge herds of cattle throughout the southern and eastern parts continent. But gradually they were supplanted from traditional territories Negroid tribes. The Hottentots then settled mainly in southern areas of modern South Africa.

Cattle was the main measure of the wealth of this tribe, which they protected and practically never used for food. The prosperous Hottentots the number of cows reached several thousand goals. Livestock care was the responsibility of men. Women cooked and shot down butter in leather bags. Dairy food has always been the foundation food tribe. If the Hottentots wanted to eat meat, then they mined him on the hunt.

A photo from open sources

Representatives of this race built houses from African rods. trees and animal skins. The technology of construction was simple. They are first, supporting poles were fixed in special pits, which then tied horizontally, and covered the walls with either reed mats or animal skins.

The huts were small — 3 or 4 meters in diameter. Only the light source is a low door covered with a mat. Basic furniture – a bed on a wooden base with weaving with leather straps. Crockery – pots, calabash, tortoise shells, ostrich eggs. Each family occupied a separate hut.

Hottentot hygiene from a modern human perspective seems monstrous. Instead of daily bathing, they rubbed body with wet cow dung, which after drying was deleted.

Despite the hot climate, the Hottentots mastered production clothes and jewelry. They wore worn leather wraps or hides, sandals on his feet. Hands, neck and legs were decorated with all kinds of bracelets and rings of ivory, copper, iron and shell nuts.

Traveler Kolben described their way of processing metal: “Dig a quadrangular or round hole in the ground about 2 feet depths and make a strong fire there to heat the earth. When after that they throw ore there, then re-fire there so that the heat melts the ore and becomes fluid. To collect this molten iron, make next to the first pit another 1 or 1.5 feet deeper; and since from the first melting the furnace is led into another pit by a trench, then liquid flows down there iron is also cooled there. The next day they take out melted iron, break it with stones into pieces and again with with the help of fire they make of it everything that they want and need. ”

Under the white yoke

In the middle of the XVII century, the expansion of Europeans to southern Africa began (to the Cape of Good Hope): Dutch East India Company started the construction of Fort Kapstad, which later became the largest port and base on the way from Europe to India.

The first that the Dutch encountered in the area of ​​the cape were Hottentots of the Korakva tribe. The leader of this tribe Cora concluded the first contract with the commandant of Kapstad, Jan van Riebeck. These were “years of cordial cooperation” when mutually beneficial exchange between the tribe and the white aliens.

A photo from open sources

Dutch settlers violated the treaty in May 1659, starting seizing land (the administration allowed them to deal with agriculture). Similar actions led to the first Hottento-Boer war, during which the leader was killed Hottentot tribe of Cora.

In 1673, the Boers killed 12 Kochokwa Hottentots. Started second war. In it, the Europeans played on the differences between Hottentot tribes, using some tribes against others. IN the result of these armed clashes the number of Hottentots sharply declined.

And the smallpox epidemic that Europeans brought to the Black Continent almost completely wiped out the indigenous people. During the XVII-XIX centuries the Hottentot tribes inhabiting the southern tip of Africa were almost completely destroyed.

Currently, only a few small tribes remain. They live on reservations and livestock. Despite, that some lost all the features of life and culture and accepted Christianity, a significant part of them preserves the cult of their ancestors, venerates the moon and sky. They believe in the Demiurge (heavenly creator god) and worship the deities of a cloudless sky – Hum – and rainy – Suma. They have preserved rich folklore, they have many tales, legends, in which still live memories of past greatness.


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