Answer to Question #194842 in History for Nzuzo

Question #194842

Explain the connection between livestock ownership, wealth, social status and 

political power in precolonial Khoekhoe society

Expert's answer

Due to their economic and socio-cultural values of the Khoekhoe, ownership of livestock was a very important integral part of their life. Ownership of livestock potrayed political and social status for example the chiefs and headmen had larger number of cattle while the servants had few cattles. Livestock also showed division of labour between men and women in which men looked after the cattle while women engaged in looking after children and goats and sheeps. Additionally, livestock was a sign of wealth and used in barter for exchange of valuable items and used in marriage, birth and initiation times. Livestock also among the khoekhoe was used to facilitate movement and also for payment of fines to chiefs and those offended in the community. Lastly, livestock was used in inheritance by widows to help them to elevate them economically in the community.

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