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The flowers of a motlopi

Borrowed from Tswana motlopi. The word is cognate with Afrikaans matoppie, Northern Sotho mohlopi, Sotho mohlopi, Venda muṱhobi.


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Particularly: "ideally, of someone who lives near these"


motlopi (plural motlopi or motlopis)

  1. The shepherd tree or shepherd's tree (Boscia albitrunca), an evergreen tree native to southern and tropical Africa which is one of the most important forage trees of the Kalahari.
    Synonyms: matoppie, witgat
    • 1862 January 9, Thomas Baines, chapter XI, in Explorations in South-west Africa. [], London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, published 1864, OCLC 557884940, pages 302–303:
      The first mile or two was a grassy open plain of grey sandy soil consolidated by the grass roots and the late rains. Then came groves of mimosas, oomahaama, and motlopies, growing as usual from ant-hills, and these again alternated with patches of low bush of brittle wood, with smooth spear-shaped leaves (for a wonder destitute of thorns).
    • 1871, John Mackenzie, “Kuruman, formerly Lattakoo, Mission”, in Ten Years North of the Orange River: A Story of Everyday Life and Work among the South African Tribes from 1859 to 1869, Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, OCLC 14573521, page 70:
      In times of scarcity the women and children spend hours every day in digging up, drying in the sun, and grinding into coarse flour the root of the motlopi-tree, of which they make porridge. This root is also extensively used by the frontier colonists as coffee.
    • 1976, Louis Grivetti, Dietary Resources and Social Aspects of Food Use in a Tswana Tribe (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation), Davis, Calif.: University of California, Davis, OCLC 378912084:
      According to Ferreira (1927–29, p. 352, 356) the Tlhaping are forbidden to cut mokgalo for fear of drought and also motlopi (Boscia albitrunca), the latter because of fear that their cattle will only produce male calves.
    • 1984, Mishingo Mpaphadzi, editor, Botswana ’84: An Official Handbook, Gaborone, Botswana: Publicity Unit, Department of Information and Broadcasting, OCLC 175171579, page 4:
      The most common indigenous trees include the mophane, the camel-thorn, the motlopi (sheperd's[sic, meaning shepherd's] tree) and the baobab.
    • 2002, Nelson Mandela, Marguerite Gordon, editor, Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales, New York, N.Y.: Norton, →ISBN, page 199:
      Mpipidi took his provisions and the goat's milk and drove the cattle deep into the bush. Carefully he approached the tall motlopi tree.
    • 2011, Segametsi Ditshebo Maruapula; Karen Chapman-Novakofski, “Botswana”, in Sari Edelstein, editor, Food, Cuisine, and Cultural Competency for Culinary, Hospitality, and Nutrition Professionals, Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishing, →ISBN, section 5 (Africa), page 357, column 1:
      A newer product in the beverage category is motlopi coffee, made from motlopi root. This coffee is produced by a group of women in the Kgalgadi district who sell it to improve their livelihoods.


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