The Kgalagadi are thought to be of Sotho origin, although they have at times been believed to be San or Khoikhoi. They were probably the earliest Sotho people to migrate into southern Africa, arriving by the 15th century, and were later absorbed under the Tswana group.
As is the case with many names of peoples and groups in South African English, this word has been found only in plural uses; however, it may be that it has also been used in unrecorded singular forms.
1835A. SmithDiary (1940) II. 188They did not inhabit the Kalahari. There were Bechuanas who lived in it called Bakalahari.
1857D. LivingstoneMissionary Trav. 49The Bakalahari are traditionally reported to be the oldest of the Bechuana tribes, and they are said to have possessed enormous herds of the large horned cattle..until they were despoiled of them and driven into the Desert by a fresh migration of their own nation.
1871J. MackenzieTen Yrs N. of Orange River 53Their fellow-countrymen to the south affect great contempt for their restless connections on the frontier, and sometimes call them Vaalpensen, which is the Dutch for Bakalahari, the ill-favoured and lean vassals of the Bechuanas.
1899S.T. PlaatjeBoer War Diary (1973) 38These Bakgalagalis reported having heard at the laager that there was a heavy fight between Kimberley and [some] river or other — probably the Vaal.
1912A.W. HodsonTrekking Great Thirst 33The Bakalahadi make their villages in the neighbourhood of these pits.
1928E.H.L. SchwarzKalahari & its Native Races 179The Bakalahadi are so primitive, that there is strong reason for believing they are pre-bushman, while the fact that they speak a Bantu tongue illustrates the fallacy of applying the language test, rather than proves their Bantu origin.
c1936S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 528The Bakgalagadi (generally subject to the Bechuana) pasture cattle, collect skins, feathers, etc., and cultivate a little land near the wells.
1970Std Encycl. of Sn Afr.II. 222The Kgalagadi, descendents of the first Sotho invaders in Southern Africa,..were formerly often serfs of Tswana masters. This servile condition has now largely disappeared, but the Kgalagadi are still regarded as socially inferior to the Tswana.
1976West & MorrisAbantu 119The Kgalakgari are usually portrayed as degenerate Tswana but were in fact descendants of the first wave of Sotho immigrants to the area who had fallen on hard times and lost their stock.
1986P. MaylamHist. of Afr. People 42The Kgalagadi were eventually forced westwards into the desert where they adopted a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
Unfortunately you are using a browser that is either outdated or not supported.
To view the content of dsae.co.za with full functionality, please use the latest version of one of the browsers hyperlinked below.