(also spelled craal
) is an Afrikaans
word (also used in South African English
) for an enclosure for cattle or other livestock, located within an African homestead
or village surrounded by a palisade
, mud wall
, or other fencing, roughly circular in form.
In the Dutch language a kraal
is a term derived from the Portuguese ,Random House Unabridged Dictionary
: Kraal: "Origin: 1725–35; < Afrikaans < Portuguese curral
with the Spanish-language , which entered into English separately.
The term primarily refers to the type of dispersed homestead characteristic of the Nguni
-speaking peoples of southern Africa. Although from the period of colonisation, European South Africans commonly referred to the entire homestead as a kraal
have long recognised that its proper referent is the animal pen area within a homestead. It is incorrect to refer to persons living in kraals. Modern ethnographers call the several human dwellings within a homestead (, , ) houses (singular indlu; plural Xhosa and Zulu , Swati ).
Folds for animals and enclosures made specially for defensive purposes are also called kraals.
In Eastern and Central Africa, the equivalent word for a livestock enclosure is boma
, but this has taken on wider meanings.
- Potgieter, D. J. (ed.) (1972) Standard Encyclopedia of Southern Africa. Kapstadt: Nasionale Opvoedkundige Uitgewery ISBN 978-0-625-00322-8.