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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Stone fortifications at !Areb: the political-economy of pastoralism and the constructs of the 'open' and 'closing/closed' frontier - a first exploration
Author:Du Pisani, AndréISNI
Year:2014
Periodical:Journal - Namibia Scientific Society (ISSN 1018-7677)
Volume:62
Pages:37-78
Language:English
Geographic term:Namibia
Subjects:pastoralists
fortifications
boundaries
1850-1899
Abstract:This article explores stone fortifications on the farm !Areb against the backdrop of the political economy of pastoralism within the constructs of the 'open' and 'closing/closed' frontier. After 1870, !Areb became part of the then 'Baster Gebiet' and the Rehoboth District. There is, however, an older record of human settlement that has to be considered. Following a later boundary commission by the former German Colonial State in 1897, !Areb fell under the Windhoek District in 1909. This article departs from the understanding that the terminologies of 'hunter-gatherer', 'pastoralist' and 'frontier' are not timeless ahistorical categories, but historical and social constructions. There are relationships between these terms. While the mode of existence was predominantly pastoralist, meaning that Khoikhoi /Nama/Oorlams/Basters/Swartboois and Otjiherero had livestock, the arrival of European settlers in the late 19th century fundamentally changed both the nature of pastoralism, and, more importantly, the construct of the frontier. It was no longer possible for the Khoikhoi/Nama/Oorlams to experience upward mobility, and the frontier was transformed from an 'open' to a 'closing/closed' frontier. This, in turn, changed the pastoralist mode of existence. The author argues that the stone fortifications on the farm !Areb had their genesis within the construct of the 'open' frontier in the period before 1898. They could have been constructed by the Swartboois, before 1870, or more likely, by the Basters after that date. Their main purpose could have have been to protect livestock and people against cattle raids and other forms of banditry. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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