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South Africa Holiday: Homesteads & Kraals

The South African homestead is a small cluster of houses, often belonging to the same extended family. The kraal is a circular enclosure within or near the homestead and is used to keep livestock.

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A homestead (isiXhosa 'umzi', isiZulu 'umuzi', siSwati 'umuti') is a cluster of several houses (singular indlu; plural isiXhosa and isiZulu 'izindlu', siSwati 'tindlu') characteristic of the Nguni-speaking peoples of southern Africa.
South Africa Holiday: A South African homestead with a cattle kraal in the foreground
Each homestead will normally be occupied by a single extended family.
"Rolihlahla (Nelson) Mandela was born in the Transkei region of South Africa, in the small village of Qunu - a collection of beehive-shaped huts with thatch roofs, known as rondavels. His mother had three huts and Mandela lived with her and his three immediate sisters. One hut was used for sleeping, another for cooking and the third for storing grain and other food. Everyone slept on mats on the ground, without pillows. His mother, as a married woman, had her own field to tend and her own cattle kraal - an enclosure for cattle made from thorn bushes."
From Cool Planet by Oxfam

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A kraal (sometimes spelt craal or kraul) is an English or Afrikaans word to describe an enclosure for cattle or other livestock, located within a homestead or village. The enclosure may be surrounded by a palisade, mud wall, or other fencing, and is roughly circular in form.
The word kraal is thought to derive from the Portuguese curral (an enclosure or pen for carts), or the Spanish corral (an enclosure, often from wagons).

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation Licence. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Homestead" and "Kraal"
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