Milk not meat: The role of milk amongst the Khoe peoples of Southern Africa

Marlize Lombard, Isabelle Parsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Historical sources emphasise the different uses of livestock in southern African Khoe societies. Here we review the role of milk gained from livestock amongst the Khoe, as recorded over the last few centuries, and demonstrate that it was of greater subsistence value than the meat of livestock. In addition, we highlight the recorded technological, social and ritual importance of milk amongst the Khoe. Finally, attention is drawn to recent genetic research that suggests the dependence of southern African Later Stone Age herders on milk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-166
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of African Archaeology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Historical accounts
  • Khoe
  • Later stone age herders
  • Livestock
  • Milk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archeology (arts and humanities)
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Archeology


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