Their cattle were large, humped, fat and tame. The Khoi were most reluctant to part with their animals. The Dutch could not understand this, in view of the large herds the Khoi possessed. A chief did not control all the animals kept by his group. Sheep and cattle were owned by individuals. Only they could dispose of them. The Dutch also did not understand the role cattle played in the Khoi society.
- an important source of food
- used for marriage goods and for the wedding feast
- used as pack or riding animals (transport)
- slaughtered at a girl's first menstruation, death of a person and when two parties entered into a peace agreement
- seen as wealth
- in combat (the Khoi used to threw their spears from behind a wall of cattle)
- during sickness they killed one to use the fat to rub into open wounds
- cows milk was drunk in cases of snake-bite
- fresh cow dung was applied to bite marks
Their sheep were large with tasty meat and with an enormously large tail, its mass varying from 3 up to 16kg. Their sheep had hair instead of wool.