oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Die Topnaars van die Benede-Kuisebrivier in Namibie en Walvisbaai tot 1990

Volume 6, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



The Topnaar people live along the Kuiseb River in Namibia and in the enclave of Walvis Bay. They belong to one of the Khoi Khoi groups who have owned this part of the country for many centuries. In the past the Topnaars consisted of two groups, but since the beginning of the twentieth century they have been living as one united group. At present these people are living under the most trying circumstances. For their existence they rely on goats and a few head of cattle, as well as butterpips ('narras' - Acanthosicyos horrida) that grow in the lower reaches of the Kuiseb River. This desert fruit can only be found at one specific spot and has been associated with the Topnaar way of life for ages.

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