Kraal

THB_6973Kraal on the edge of the bushveld.  Letlhakaneng, North West Province.  South Africa.

March 2013.

Many people living in Letlhakaneng keep small herds of cattle.  These herds are typically cared for by old men, after they go on pension or whatever.  While there is a strong economic incentive to keep cattle – a big cow can sell for R1500, and bulls for even more – I get the sense that it’s also something of a hobby.  In the evening, these old men drive their cattle back to their kraals (an Afrikaans word related to the English word corral).  During the day, they range their herds in the dense woodlands surrounding Letlhakaneng, leaving their kraals empty.

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4 responses to “Kraal

  1. Love the black and white photo. Did you say at one time you had been out herding with the old men? Hope all is well with you.

    • Yeah, a couple of weeks ago I went out with one of my students and the old Sotho man that looks after their cattle. It was a fun morning: Mpho taught me the Setswana names for all the trees.

  2. Being an old man, perhaps I should get back into the cattle business. It might be more profitable than organic gardening – which is not – yet!
    It is always good to hear from you. Sandy

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