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The colonial designation of "Baasters" came to refer to any clans that had European ancestry in some part and adopted certain Western cultural traits. Though these were later known as Griqua (Xirikua or Griekwa) they were known at the time as "Basters" and in some instances are still so called, e. g., the Bosluis Basters of the Richtersveld and the Baster community of Rehoboth, Namibia, mentioned above.

Arguably responding to the influence of missionaries, the states of Griqualand West and Griqualand East were established by the Kok dynasty; these were later absorbed into the Cape Colony of the British Empire.

Beginning in the late 18th century, Khoe-speaking peoples traded with seafarers from all over the globe for centuries, going back into ancient times, and this undoubtedly included some Europeans, perhaps even Roman vessels, but Portuguese explorers and merchants are the first to record their contacts, in the 15th and 16th centuries CE. The ongoing encounters were often violent. In 1510, at the Battle of Salt River, Francisco de Almeida and fifty of his men were killed and his party were defeated[6] by ox-mounted !Uriǁ’aekua ("Goringhaiqua" in Dutch approximate spelling), which was one of the so-called Khoekhoe clans of the area that also included the !Uriǁ’aeǀ’ona ("Goringhaicona", also known as "Strandlopers"), said to be the ancestors of the !Ora nation of today. In the late 16th century, Portuguese, French, Danish, Dutch and English but mainly Portuguese ships regularly continued to stop over in Table Bay en route to the Indies. They traded tobacco, copper and iron with the Khoekhoe-speaking clans of the region, in exchange for fresh meat.

Local population dropped after smallpox contagion was spread through European activity. The Khoe-speaking clans suffered high mortality as immunity to the disease was rare. This increased, as military conflict with the intensification of the colonial expansion of the smallpox contagion was spread through European activity. The Khoe-speaking clans suffered high mortality as immunity to the disease was rare. This increased, as military conflict with the intensification of the colonial expansion of the United East India Company that began to enclose traditional grazing land for farms. Over the following century, the Khoe-speaking peoples were steadily driven off their land, resulting in numerous northwards migrations, and the reformulation of many nations and clans, as well as the dissolution of many traditional structures.

"Khoekhoe" social organisation was thus profoundly damaged by the colonial expansion and land seizure from the late 17th century onwards. As social structures broke down, many Khoekhoen settled on farms and became bondsmen (bondservants, serfs) or farm workers; others were incorporated into clans that persisted. Georg Schmidt, a Moravian Brother from Herrnhut, Saxony, now Germany, founded Genadendal in 1738, which was the first mission station in southern Africa,[7] among the Khoe-speaking peoples in Baviaanskloof in the Riviersonderend Mountains.

The colonial designation of "Baasters" came to refer to any clans that had European ancestry in some part and adopted certain Western cultural traits. Though these were later known as Griqua (Xirikua or Griekwa) they were known at the time as "Basters" and in some instances are still so called, e. g., the Bosluis Basters of the Richtersveld and the Baster community of Rehoboth, Namibia, mentioned above.

Arguably responding to the influence of missionaries, the states of Griqualand West and Griqualand East were established by the Kok dynasty; these were later absorbed into the Cape Colony of the British Empire.

Beginning in the late 18th century, Oorlam communities migrated from the Cape Colony north to Namaqualand. They settled places earlier occupied by the Nama. They came partly to escape Dutch colonial conscription, partly to raid and trade, and partly to obtain herding lands.[8] Some of these emigrant Oorlams (including the band led by the outlaw

Arguably responding to the influence of missionaries, the states of Griqualand West and Griqualand East were established by the Kok dynasty; these were later absorbed into the Cape Colony of the British Empire.

Beginning in the late 18th century, Oorlam communities migrated from the Cape Colony north to Namaqualand. They settled places earlier occupied by the Nama. They came partly to escape Dutch colonial conscription, partly to raid and trade, and partly to obtain herding lands.[8] Some of these emigrant Oorlams (including the band led by the outlaw Jager Afrikaner and his son Jonker Afrikaner in the Transgariep) retained links to Oorlam communities in or close to the borders of the Cape Colony. In the face of gradual Boer expansion and then large-scale Boer migrations away from British rule at the Cape, Jonker Afrikaner brought his people into Namaqualand by the mid-19th century, becoming a formidable force for Oorlam domination over the Nama and against the Bantu-speaking Hereros for a period.[9]

By the early 1800s, the remaining Khoe-speakers of the Cape Colony suffered from restricted civil rights and discriminatory laws on land ownership. With this pretext, the powerful Commissioner General of the Eastern Districts, Andries Stockenstrom, facilitated the creation of the "Kat River" Khoe settlement near the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony. The more cynical motive was probably to create a buffer-zone on the Cape's frontier, but the extensive fertile land in the region allowed people to own their land and build communities in peace. The settlements thrived and expanded, and Kat River quickly became a large and successful region of the Cape that subsisted more or less autonomously. The people were predominantly Afrikaans-speaking !Gonakua, but the settlement also began to attract other diverse groups.

Khoekua were known at the time for being very good marksmen, and were often invaluable allies of the Cape Colony in its frontier wars with the neighbouring Xhosa politics. In the Seventh Frontier War (1846–1847) against the Gcaleka, the Khoekua gunmen from Kat River distinguished themselves under their leader Andries Botha in the assault on the "Amatola fastnesses". (The young John Molteno, later Prime Minister, led a mixed Commando in the assault, and later praised the Khoekua as having more bravery and initiative than most of his white soldiers.)[10]

However harsh laws were still implemented in the Eastern Cape, to encourage the Khoena to leave their lands in the Kat River region and to work as labourers on white farms. The growing resentment exploded in 1850. When the Xhosa rose against the Cape Government, large numbers Khoeǀ’ona joined the Xhosa rebels for the first time.[

Khoekua were known at the time for being very good marksmen, and were often invaluable allies of the Cape Colony in its frontier wars with the neighbouring Xhosa politics. In the Seventh Frontier War (1846–1847) against the Gcaleka, the Khoekua gunmen from Kat River distinguished themselves under their leader Andries Botha in the assault on the "Amatola fastnesses". (The young John Molteno, later Prime Minister, led a mixed Commando in the assault, and later praised the Khoekua as having more bravery and initiative than most of his white soldiers.)[10]

However harsh laws were still implemented in the Eastern Cape, to encourage the Khoena to leave their lands in the Kat River region and to work as labourers on white farms. The growing resentment exploded in 1850. When the Xhosa rose against the Cape Government, large numbers Khoeǀ’ona joined the Xhosa rebels for the first time.[11] After the defeat of the rebellion and the granting of representative government to the Cape Colony in 1853, the new Cape Government endeavoured to grant the Khoena political rights to avert future racial discontent. Attorney General William Porter was famously quoted as saying that he "would rather meet the Hottentot at the hustings, voting for his representative, than meet him in the wilds with his gun upon his shoulder".[12] Thus, the government enacted the Cape franchise in 1853, which decreed that all male citizens meeting a low property test, regardless of colour, had the right to vote and to seek election in Parliament. However, this non-racial principle was eroded in the late 1880s by a literacy test, and later abolished by the Apartheid Government.[13]

From 1904 to 1907, the Germans took up arms against the Khoikhoi group living in what was then German South-West Africa, along with the Herero. Over 10,000 Nama, more than half of the total Nama population at the time, may have died in the conflict. This was the single greatest massacre ever witnessed by the Khoikhoi people.[14][15]

Culture

Religion

The religious mythology of the Khoe-speaking cultures gives special significance to the Moon, which may have been viewed as the physical manifestation of a supreme being associated with heaven. Thiǁoab is also believed to be the creator and the guardian of health, while ǁGaunab is primarily an evil being, who causes sickness or death.[16] Many Khoe-speakers have converted to Christianity and Nama Muslims make up a large percentage of Namibia's Muslims.[17]

World Heritage

UNESCO has recognised Khoe-speaking culture through its inscription of the Richtersveld as a World Heritage Site. This important area is the only place where The religious mythology of the Khoe-speaking cultures gives special significance to the Moon, which may have been viewed as the physical manifestation of a supreme being associated with heaven. Thiǁoab is also believed to be the creator and the guardian of health, while ǁGaunab is primarily an evil being, who causes sickness or death.[16] Many Khoe-speakers have converted to Christianity and Nama Muslims make up a large percentage of Namibia's Muslims.[17]

World Heritage

UNESCO has recognised Khoe-speaking culture through its inscription of the Richtersveld as a World Heritage SiteUNESCO has recognised Khoe-speaking culture through its inscription of the Richtersveld as a World Heritage Site. This important area is the only place where transhumance practices associated with the culture continue to any great extent.

The International Astronomical Union named the primary component of the binary star Mu¹ Scorpii after the tradition

The International Astronomical Union named the primary component of the binary star Mu¹ Scorpii after the traditional Khoekhoe language name Xami di mûra ('eyes of the lion').[18]

European theories about the origins of the Khoekhoe are historically interesting in their own right. Of the European theories proposed, notable is that summarised in the commissioned Grammar and Dictionary of the Zulu Language.[19] Published in 1859, this put forward the idea of an origin from Egypt that appears to have been popular amongst men of learning in the region.[20] The reasoning for this included the (supposed) distinctive Caucasian elements of the Khoekhoe's appearance, a "wont to worship the moon'", an apparent similarity to the antiquities of Old Egypt, and a "very different language" to their neighbours. The Grammar says that "the best philologists of the present day ... find marked resemblances between the two". This conviction is echoed in an introduction to the Zulu language, which avidly often comments upon the language's various resemblances to Hebrew.[citation needed]

See also