I was struck by this fact when we visited the Vooortrekker monument in Pretoria last weekend. The museum at the base of the monument houses many historic day-to-day artifacts of those migrants in the early to mid 1800s.
This black board was one of them. Used for schooling children because of the scarcity of paper.
Some diaries and bibles on display at the museum show that writing on paper was a beautiful and intentional art.
All of this is thought provoking, as a technological society we hint at being paperless again, but probably use more paper than ever.
The Great Trek (Afrikaans: Die Groot Trek) was an eastward and north-eastward migration away from British control in the Cape Colony during the 1830s and 1840s by Boers (Dutch/Afrikaans for 'farmers') The migrants were descended from settlers from western mainland Europe, most notably from the Netherlands, northwest Germany and French Huguenots.