Namaqualand (nəmäˈkwəlănd) [key] or Namaland näˈməlănd, region, c.150,000 sq mi (388,500 sq km), SW Africa. It extends from Windhoek, Namibia, in the north to Northern Cape, South Africa, in the south and from the Namib Desert in the west to the Kalahari Desert in the east. The Orange River divides the region into Great Namaqualand (in Namibia) and Little Namaqualand (in Northern Cape). An arid region, Namaqualand is populated chiefly by the pastoral-agricultural Nama (Hottentots), who speak a Khoikhoi language. Near the Atlantic Ocean are extensive alluvial diamond beds; copper is mined in Little Namaqualand. Karakul pelts are a major export of the region.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.