AskDefine | Define Kraal

Dictionary Definition



1 a village of huts for native Africans in southern Africa; usually surrounded by a stockade
2 a pen for livestock in southern Africa

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A rural village of huts surrounded by a stockade




  1. An enclosure for livestock.

See also

Extensive Definition

Kraal (also spelled craal or kraul) is an Afrikaans and South African English word 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 bead, but the term in the described meaning derives from the Portuguese curral, similar to the Spanish corral.
The term primarily refers to the type of dispersed homestead characteristic of the Nguni-speaking peoples of southern Africa. Although from the period of colonization white South Africans commonly referred to the entire homestead as a kraal, ethnographers have long recognized that its proper referent is the animal pen area within a homestead, and that it is incorrect to speak of persons living in kraals. The several human dwellings within a homestead (Xhosa umzi, Zulu umuzi, Swati umuti) are called houses (singular indlu; plural Xhosa and Zulu 'izindlu', Swati 'tindlu') by modern ethnographers.
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.


The term Kraal is also used in scouting to name the team of Scout Leaders of a group. The Kraal is where the main decisions are taken.


Kraal in Danish: Kraal
Kraal in German: Kraal
Kraal in Norwegian: Kraal
Kraal in Russian: Крааль
Kraal in Swedish: Kraal
Kraal in Ukrainian: Крааль
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