1 map, 2 sketch-maps, 29 b/w-photos, 2 tables
Text language: German
This book examines the early stage of colonial contacts in the Kavango region when the antagonists (German, British and Portuguese, Catholic-German missionaries as well as indigenous rulers of the four Kavango peoples) still met at the same level. At that time they all had the idea to succeed with their own interests against the other participants.
The interactions between the traditional rulers, their dependent peoples, the colonial representatives on both sides of the international boundary between Angola and the later Namibia, and the missionaries were guided by various – competitive and concurrent – expectations and concepts. These changed in the following years because of the duration of the contact and the change of the global political conditions. The First World War had an impact on the situation inspite of the remoteness of the Kavango region.
The main finding interest of this innovative study are the way of acting and the behaviour of every single protagonist. Their individual interests, options and strategies form the background of their competitive endeavour for power, control, and influence. The basis of this work are records in public, ecclesiastical and private archives as well as a systematical evaluation of oral literature, and early notes of missionaries and contemporary European observers.
The author tries to free himself from conventional clichés of the early colonial history. He considers every participant of the colonial situation – and so includes the natives – as an autonomous actor, and gives everyone an individual profile with economical and powerpolitical interests by applying different perspectives. The resulting paradigm leads the reader to new findings and patterns of interpretation.