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SOUTH AFRICA TABLET 16: Mr. Van Riebeek is kind to Hottentots, but Hottentot tribes are hostile to each other

by TimeTraveler

As soon as the tents were pitched ashore, the Gorinhaikonas, or beachrangers, brought their families to the encampment, where they afterwards remained pretty constantly.

Occassionaly they would wander along the beach seeking shell-fish, but as far as food was concerned they were now better off than they had ever been before. Mr. Van Riebeek had instructions to conciliate the wild inhabitants, and in everything he did his utmost to carry out the orders of his superiors in authority.

He believed that Harry especially would be of great service in communicating with the inland hordes, and therefore he tried to gain his attachment by liberal presents of food and clothing.

The others were often supplied at mealtimes with such provisions as were given to the labourers, but Harry always had a share of whatever was on the commander's own table.

About noon on the 10th, as some of the workmen were busy with their spades and wheelbarrows, and others were beating down bushes and earth in the walls, nine or ten of the Goringhaiquas made their appearance.

To the surprize of the Dutch, Harry's people immediately seized their assegais and bows, and attacked the strangers with great fury.

Skipper Hoochsaet with a corporal and a party of armed soldiers ran in between them, but had some difficulty in seperating the combatants and restoring peace.

It was not four days since the expedition had arrived, and already the Europeans had learned of the hostility existing between the different Hottentot clans. At no distant date they were to discover that the scene they had witnessed was typical of the ordinary existence of the barbarous tribes of Africa.

Reference: History and Ethnography of Africa South of the Zambesi by George McCall Theal.


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