Mathias Guenther: Kalahari and Namib Bushmen in German South West Africa – Ethnographic Reports by Colonial Soldiers and Settlers [PDF]


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QKF Research in Khoisan Studies Volume 18

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257 pp.
1 map, 1 b/w photo

Text language: English

The five articles featured in this book were selected from a pool of about two dozen German colonial writings, most of them reports by colonial soldiers or officials on journeys of reconnaissance or exploration undertaken to various regions of the colonial territory, South West Africa. Criteria for selection were quality and quantity of observations, that is, objectivity and preference of observation over conjecture, and detail and comprehensiveness of the ethnographic information. Most of the articles are found in a number of rather obscure, now defunct, German colonial journals and reference has been made to one or the other of them by contemporary anthropologists, especially in the context of the recent revisionist Kalahari debate.

The editor has gathered the articles considered and selected on various visits (in 1991, 1994, and 1997) to Windhoek, to the Namibian National Archives and the library of the Namibian Scientific Society, as well as to the library of the Frobenius-Institut in Frankfurt/Main, Germany (in 2001). The articles are presented after a general introduction, which places the material selected into the wider context of South West African colonial literature on the Bushmen and assesses the relevance of the translated articles with reference to contemporary Bushmen research, which the selected texts supplement and complement.

Consideration is also given to the historical context, specifically the mounting hostility between the colonialists and the Bushmen throughout the latter half of the colonial period and the effects of this hostile interaction on the representation of the Bushmen. Each article is preceded by an introduction, and annotated with footnotes, which provide biographical information on the author and draw out specific ethnographic, anthropological or historical points and issues. The article introductions also assess the texts critically, as well as deal with problems posed by the translation.


Preface / Introduction

Hans Kaufmann: The Auin
Joachim Helmuth Wilhelm: The !Kung Bushmen
Hauptmann Müller: A Reconnaissance Ride into the Kaukau Veld
E. Seydel: Out of the Namib
Oberleutnant Trenk: The Bushmen of the Namib and Their Legal and Family Conditions References cited

Under these links you will find further (ethno)historical studies of southern Africa:

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