Reading Pippa’s unbelievable publication “Claim to the Country”, gave me wonderful insight into the Khoi people and their heritage and ancestry. Now part of UNESCO’ s Memory of the World Register, this lavishly illustrated Claim to the Country: The Archive of Lucy Lloyd and Wilhelm Bleek has been created, compiled, and introduced by Pippa Skotnes, and presents – in book form and on an accompanying DVD – all the notebook pages and drawings that comprise this remarkable archive.
Contextualizing essays by well-known scholars, such as Nigel Penn, John Parkington, Eustacia Riley and Anthony Traill, and a searchable index for all the narratives and contributors are included. Through this remarkable collection, we can better understand what it means that the people who lived in southern Africa long before any new arrivals settled the country no longer survive through their language or culture of intellectual traditions, but only as text on a page. The Bleek-Lloyd archive is the San’s surviving claim to the country. What is even more fascinating is that there are actual description register of prisoners who were housed in the Breakwater Convict Station from February 1867 – May 1875. (PBW/73) This book is unmistakably one of my favourite books in my collection on South African social history.
For anyone who has Khoi ancestry or is remotely interested in any of these topics – I recommend you purchase this publication now. Also included is a DVD with images of documents and genealogies of some Khoi people.