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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'... May we Bechuanas have air and light that we can again exist ...': notes on the history of the BaTswana people of Namibia
Author:Otto, Antje
Periodical:Journal - Namibia Scientific Society (ISSN 1018-7677)
Geographic term:Namibia
social history
Abstract:The BaTswana of Namibia, who form a small minority in the country, mainly originated from three groups: those BaTswana that were already present in Namibia before 1850; those that emigrated from western Botswana during the second half of the 19th and early 20th century; and those that arrived from Kuruman during the 1880s and 1890s. As a result of segmentation, which characterized their traditional political system, sporadic signs of dividedness mark the community until the present day. The BaTswana are today mainly settled in the eastern parts of Namibia at Aminuis, Epukiro, in the Corridor, on farms to the south of Gobabis, as well as in urban centres throughout Namibia. The traditional leadership structure is still in place, albeit not uncontested. During the 1890s, the German government welcomed the settlement of the BaTswana in the country, mainly to serve as a counterweight to other 'hostile' groups. Throughout their history of settlement in Namibia, the BaTswana have been strongly marginalized, first by the Kai / khauan during the 1890s, and later by the South African administration and the OvaHerero in the Aminuis Reserve and the Corridor. Through the influence of the Roman Catholic Mission Church they lost most of their traditions. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and German. [Journal abstract]