(1775–1811) was a British artist on the P.J. Truter
and William Somerville expedition of 1801-02 into
the southern African interior.
Daniell arrived in the Cape on 9 December 1799.
He was appointed by Lieut.-General Dundas, who
became his patron and to whom the first volume of
his book, African Scenery, was dedicated.
On this expedition, Daniell sketched the people
and natural history that he found around the Orange
(Gariep) River in what is now the Northern Cape.
his return to England, with the assistance of his
brother William and uncle Thomas Daniell, he used
these sketches to produce thirty watercolours for
his magnificent folio, African Scenery and Animals -
one of the great plate books of the 19th century.
Daniell’s ability to observe people and animals has
seldom been equalled in the history of southern
Daniell stayed for a period of about three
months in the regions of the Orange River in what is
Occasionally he inscribed his drawings with the
identity of the subject, for other drawings it is
usually possible to identify Tswana, Xhosa or
Khoisan subjects by their dress or surroundings.
Daniell and the expedition first
encountered Korana people (an offshoot of
the Khoisan chiefdoms) on 4 November 1801
when they assisted the expedition in
crossing the Orange River. Three days later
they met with another group of Korana people
who had also halted for refreshment.
occasion, Somerville described the
characteristics of the people in detail in
his journal. This 'party consisted of the
whole family of every age together with
their cattle, sheep, houses and arms.'
There are many other references of meeting with
Korana people in the journals of the expedition .
According to the various accounts of the Somerville
expedition, their interactions with Korana people
are generally very warm and respectful, and there is
no sense of hostility.
In Somerville's own journal
he repeatedly remarks on the helpfulness and honesty
of the people. For instance, on one occasion on the
banks of the Orange river, the 'Koras living there
who as usual brought milk and offered their
assistance in crossing the river, to help our cattle
and sheep over.'
In another instance, 'some Kora
[arrived] bringing with them four cattle that had
escaped from our herd. This was another ... example
of the strict fidelity of the natives and was
Daniell describes the differences and
similarities between different clans and tribal
groups in a caption to one of his prints:
|"Among the various tribes of the Hottentot race
the Korahs, who dwell along the banks of the Orange
River, have attained the highest degree of
civilisation. Their circular huts are constructed
with more care and regularity, and the mats with
which they are covered are more firmly and neatly
made, than what are found among other tribes.
possess also a greater number and variety of
utensils for domestic use; their vessels are
sometimes made of clay baked in the sun, of wood
hollowed out, and of gourds. Their clothing is not
much different from the others, but their persons
are more cleanly, owing probably to the abundance of
water with which the Orange River is at all seasons,
and more especially in summer.
Their animals consist
of horned cattle, sheep, goats, and dogs. They have
no kind of carriages, but, on their removal from
place to place, their mats, their household
furniture and utensils, are packed on oxen which, in
addition, usually carry the women and children."