As we saw in Chapter 9, by the seventeenth century, southern Africa had for some centuries been witnessing the development of Later Iron Age states and societies. In the northwest, Ovambo farmers and Herero cattle herders already occupied the northern half of present-day Namibia. The central highveld to the east of the Kalahari Desert was dominated by the distinctive ancestral Sotho-Tswana lineage groups, which were to spread and develop into the nineteenthcentury states of Tswana, northern Sotho and southern Sotho (see Map 9.3). To the east of the Drakensberg, the Nguni-speaking people were organised into many small, clan-based chiefdoms in the valleys and foothills of the southeastern lowveld. The clans and chiefdoms of Khoesan pastoralists were to be found in southern Namibia and all over the southwestern Cape, interspersed with hunter-gatherers. The latter were also still to be found in small familysized groups among the Sotho-Tswana of the southern highveld and the Nguni east of the Drakensberg. The southernmost Nguni, the Xhosa, in particular were mingling with Khoesan sheep and cattle herders in the Fish River region to form new Khoe/Xhosa chiefdoms such as the Gona and Gqunukhwebe (see Map 15.1).
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Southern Africa to the eighteenth century
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number