Answer to Question #145216 in History for Suprise

Question #145216
Why was livestock ownership important in precolonial khoikhoi communities
Expert's answer

Livestock ownership was important in precolonial khoikhoi communities because of their economic and socio-cultural values. Livestock was used as a means of showing political and social status, for instance, only the chiefs and headmen owned a large number of cattle while the servants owned less or none at all.

Livestock ownership also showed how labour was divided among men and women. In this case the men looked after cattle while women and children took care of the small stock such as goats and sheep.

Also, livestock ownership was used as a means of wealth measurement, for instance, they could be used in barter trade for exchange of valuable items and other natural resources as well as in in birth, death, marriage, initiation, and ritual ceremonies.

They could also be used as pack animals in the facilitation of easy movement and transportation of camps.

Finally livestock ownership was important in inheritance by widows and children as such elevating their social and economic status. Also, in the administration of justice, offenders were required to pay in livestock to chiefs and communities of those they had offended.

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