kaya, noun

Forms:
ikaya, ikhayaShow more Also ikaya, ikhaya, kaia, kaiah, khaya, khia, kia, kiya, kja, kya, ky-ah.
Plurals:
kayas, occasionally ‖amakhaya.
Origin:
Xhosa, ZuluShow more Adaptation of Xhosa and Zulu ikhaya (plural amakhaya) home, dwelling, place to which one belongs.
1.
a. obsolescent. A traditional African hut. Also attributive.
1855 G.H. Mason Life with Zulus 224After a short pause, he exclaimed, ‘Kia, bos; kia!’ (A hut, master; a hut!) and led us over the hill to a large Caffre craal.
1909 K. Fairbridge Veld Verse 85Where the high-veld breaks to valley..Stands a kaia looking Northward through the mountains to the plain.
1910 J. Buchan Prester John 257Inanda’s Kraal was a cluster of kyas and rondavels.
1911 E. London Dispatch 24 Nov. (Pettman)A native living in a kraal at Lydenberg quarrelled with another native, whom he accused of having fired his kya...The first native..set about two dozen newly made kyas alight and fled to the adjacent hills.
1919 R.Y. Stormberg With Love from Gwenno 91Together we trek for my future home, which is a glorified mud hut or stone kia, or something of that sort, I’m told.
1956 N. Gordimer Six Feet of Country 38Two white-washed servant’s rooms (some white people called them kyas,..wanting to keep in their minds the now vanished mud huts which the word indicated).
b. The separate (usually single-roomed) living quarters for domestic workers on an employer’s property. c. transferred sense Any small dwelling.
Note:
Often derogatory, alluding to the basic nature of the rooms in which domestic workers are frequently accommodated.
1935 L.G. Green Great Afr. Mysteries (1937) 192Each house has a separate kya in the back garden for the servant.
1936 P.M. Clark Autobiog. of Old Drifter 72Often of a Saturday night I would join these three fellows in their kia for a game of cards.
1941 George & Knysna Herald 20 Aug. 2Required to Rent Furnished Bungalow with Crockery and Linen, with Boy’s Kias.
1948 O. Walker Kaffirs Are Lively 29Kja means literally ‘home’, and [is] always used of the single rooms or sheds at the bottom of a garden where domestic servants live.
1949 A. Keppel-Jones When Smuts Goes 185This apparently spontaneous movement..had been anticipated and much discussed in kitchen and kaya.
1950 D. Reed Somewhere S. of Suez 269He lives in a little kia, or house, apart from his employer’s, who might rest tranquil if he slept in servant’s quarters within, but now worries often about undesirable guests in the kia.
1956 T. Huddleston Naught for your Comfort 92They (sc. African servants) must live in ‘Kayas’ — single rooms of varying quality built away from the house.
1968 Cole & Flaherty House of Bondage 78 (caption)Living in her ‘kaya’ out back, servant must be on call six days out of seven and seven nights out of seven.
1971 Guardian (U.K.) 29 Sept. 19The houseboys’ Kias (usually one small room) at the bottom of the garden.
1984 Fair Lady 14 Nov. 166There was lights on, steady in the big house, flickering in the kayas.
1989 E. Bregin Kayaboeties 2It was a pretty ugly place, even for a kaya; dark and small and stuffy — like a jail, I thought — with a concrete floor and a tiny window and walls so patched with damp and mildew that there was hardly any paint left on them.
1990 Style June 120She..has followed an almost entirely African theme for the interior of the house, which she describes, with a gust of laughter, as ‘the modern kaia style, perhaps, and no doubt an interior decorator’s nightmare!’
1990 H.P. Toffoli in Style Nov. 51Hall is now a practising sculptor...He works from home in what he refers to as a kaya at the back of the house.
1992 S. Afr. Panorama Nov.Dec. 52Between 60 000 and 100 000 fortune hunters’ kayas and tin shacks stood wall to wall for several square kilometres.
2.
a. Home. See also hamba kaya (hamba sense 3).
1947 F.C. Slater Sel. Poems 79I’m thinking of my kaya, On the slopes of Amatola. [Note] My home.
1951 L.G. Green Grow Lovely 156The plague frightened Cape Town and thousands of native labourers shouted ‘Hamba Kya’ and clamoured for passes so that they could return to their homes.
1976 R. Hayden in Sunday Times 2 May (Mag. Sect.) 3 (letter)No matter how many years Bantu spend in urban areas, on returning to their ikayas they revert to the old ways.
1976 Drum June 2‘Verdomde Mandela and his gang can have the whole eiland as their khaya until this side of eternity,’ is the message that rings from Pretoria.
1982 Staffrider Vol.4 No.4, 2Kofifi was onse town. Never mind alles; hy was onse ‘kaya’. Life was really adventurous.
1985 K. Mkhize in Pace Aug. 46She might get married and leave home and that would have meant a total collapse of what I knew as ikhaya.
b. In pl. form amakhaya: ‘People from home’. Also attributive. See also home-boy.
1980 J. Cock Maids & Madams 61At work she lives, usually, in a detached room at the end of her employer’s garden or adjoining the garage. This situation..prevents the formation of ‘amakhaya’ clusters.
A traditional African hut. Also attributive.
The separate (usually single-roomed) living quarters for domestic workers on an employer’s property.
Any small dwelling.
Home.
‘People from home’.
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18551992