Who were the Kora/Korana or Koraqua people?
Since this blog started many people have requested information on the Kora/Korana or Koraqua people. Research was undertaken and to summarise, this is what was discovered.
a) The Korana people are the first collective to break away from the greater-numbered /Xam inhabitants around Camissa or //Hui !Gaeb aka Cape Town . The first Kora people came from the “Gorachouqua” clan. Part of the reason for their migration was the increasing expropriation of land and subjugation by Europeans.
- Collectively we need to get people to remember that “Camissa” is one of the names Khoe San Ancestors gave to the region that was renamed by the colonialists as “Cape Town”. We have to normalise the name “Camissa”.
b) There was a man named “Kora” who lead the migrating Gorachouqua. His son, Eikomo, eventually took over after him. “Koraqua” means “people of Kora”. Kora was born in 1580 and had a role in preventing the British from establishing settlements around the Saldanha region. Due to his resistance, Kora like all other Khoe San people, were labelled thieves and criminals by the Europeans who expropriated ancient grazing lands.
c) It is important for descendants of the Khoe San and Africans to not make too many cultural distinctions between the Koraqua and other Khoe San groups including the Nama and Griqua. Genetically, linguistically and culturally all Khoe and San clusters share characteristics. Any variations in culture emerged due to geographical location and the interactions our ancestors had with other African and European cultures.
I will conclude by making a comment on Khoe “chiefs” which I acknowledge at a personal level I find problematic. Ancient Khoe San societies did not have “chiefs” as we understand their roles today. Who we valued was the “!gi:xa” among /Xam people and the “n/om kxaosi” among Ju’ ‘hoan speakers.
The !gi:xa” had many roles. These roles included connecting our communities with the Supreme Being and helping us to remember our Ancestors who had passed on. The !gi:xa also helped us to decide when we had exhausted the natural resources of an area and when it was time to move to new hunting and gathering grounds. The !gi:xa had ancient knowledge of herbs that we used for medicine.
Unlike “chiefs” the “gi:xa” was an equal member of Khoe and San communities. This individual was trusted to make decisions with our elders for the benefit of the whole community. Like the Nama, Griqua and /Xam people, the !gi:xa was a central member of Koraqua societies.
There is more to come. In the meantime, for a full masters thesis on the Koraqua with great resources in the bibliography, see here.