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The sjambok was heavily used by the Voortrekkers driving their oxen while migrating from the Cape of Good Hope, and remains in use by herdsmen to drive cattle. They are widely available in South Africa from informal traders to regular stores from a variety of materials, lengths and thicknesses. They are an effective weapon to kill snakes and ward off dogs and other attackers and are still carried in public by many South Africans for self-defense.