The Khoisan people, called the Khoikhoi, have lived in southern Africa since the 5th century AD. They were originally part of a pastoral culture and language group found across Southern Africa. They lived in large groups and raised herds of cattle. The San, in contrast, were nomadic hunter-gatherers. When European colonialists arrived in South Africa, they labeled the Khoikhoi Hottentots, and the San bushmen.
The Khoi initially came into contact with European explorers and merchants in about 1500. When the Dutch East India Company began actively colonising South Africa from 1652, the settlers and the Khoi engaged in numerous armed clashes. Over the following century the Khoi were steadily driven off their land.
In the context of the quote, the phrase is used to indicate primitiveness.