1. In a traditional Sotho homestead: the forecourt, the first of two courtyards in the walled enclosure which contains the cluster of huts belonging to one family, providing an area for cooking, eating, and recreation.Also transferred sense, used of any enclosure, and attributive.
1924E.B. FordWaterfalls 10My boy! My son! He brought me everything His mealie-cart, his whip, his earthen cow And I played with him in the ‘lapa’ ring.
1948E. HellmannRooiyard 9Six Sotho women have each constructed a lapa (courtyard) of clay and cow-dung in front of their rooms.
1960C. HooperBrief Authority 34The low lelapa wall which surrounds each family’s group of buildings.
1974S. Afr. Panorama May 20Each complex is integrated in an individual fashion. In some, the units are grouped about a centralised forecourt — or ‘lapa’ — with entrance through a gateway in the decorated ‘lapa’ wall.
1976West & MorrisAbantu 138A typical homestead had another wall dividing the area into two courtyards: the front, lapa, being the cooking and entertaining area; and the rear one, mafuri, a private area for the family.
1982Voice 21 Mar. 10We dug a hole in the middle of the lapa (courtyard) and plastered the walls with dung.
1985Style Oct. 150His sunlit south-facing living room: ‘I call this westernised African lapa.’...From this lapa spaces fan out to a marvellously appointed kitchen; a cool diningroom [etc.].
1990E. Koch inWeekly Mail 30 Mar. 11With that (sc. R200 a month) he tries to feed his wife, nine children and a horde of grandchildren who scamper around the lapa of his homestead.