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The Missing People: Accounting for Indigenous Populations in Cape Colonial History

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  • Johan Fourie and Erik Green

Abstract

Because information about the livelihoods of indigenous groups is often missing from colonial records, their presence usually escapes attention in quantitative estimates of colonial economic activity. This is nowhere more apparent than in the eighteenth-century Dutch Cape Colony, where the role of the Khoesan in Cape production, despite being frequently acknowledged, has been almost completely ignored in quantitative investigations. Combining household-level settler data with anecdotal accounts of Khoesan labour, this paper explores the effect of including Khoesan farm labour estimates in earlier calculations of slave productivity, societal inequality, and GDP growth in the Dutch East India Company period.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan Fourie and Erik Green, 2014. "The Missing People: Accounting for Indigenous Populations in Cape Colonial History," Working Papers 425, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:425
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    File URL: http://www.econrsa.org/node/866
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The vanquished people
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2014-03-19 12:34:06

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    Keywords

    Cape Colony; Khoesan; labour; settler; Africa;

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