Namibia

Date: June 9, 2010

I am standing alone by my tent in West Caprivi, Namibia. I am several weeks into fieldwork for my master’s thesis, the first step in what will become long-term work with the San. The evening sky is strange, blanketed with haze, yet still full of light. It is very quiet; even the birds are silent. The trans-Caprivi “highway” cuts through the bush just 40 yards away, flanked by white-yellow grass that looks soft enough to sleep on. Dawie’s homestead appears deserted (some individuals’ names have been changed to protect their identities).

Date: May 7, 2010

Indigenous Activists Tell Cultural Survival What The Decade Meant To Them

The San of southern Africa have made important steps during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.

The Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) was set up in 1996 to support, lobby for, and network among San communities in South Africa, Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. Since its inception, it has assisted the San in fighting for their basic human rights.

Date: April 28, 2010

On February 12-13, 2002, representatives of the various San organizations from across southern Africa met with representatives of the World Bank in Windhoek, Namibia to discuss issues surrounding the World Bank's indigenous peoples policy (see also CSQ 25:4). This meeting is one of several to be held with indigenous peoples' organizations in Africa by the World Bank, which is making a concerted effort to consult with indigenous organizations to assess their reactions to its revised policy.

Date: April 28, 2010

At the Regional Conference on Development Programmes for Africa’s San Populations held in Windhoek, Namibia, in 1992, the San representatives resolved that "San peoples should be assisted to form committees to represent themselves at local, regional and international levels." (Government of the Republic of Namibia, 1992) This need was reiterated during a follow-up conference held in Gaborone, Botswana, in 1993, where the San delegates called on national governments "to support the formation of Basarwa national for a." (Government of Botswana, 1993) A needs assessment study in 1994, involvin

Date: April 28, 2010

The San were colonized both by the Bantu tribes who moved south from eastern Africa and by the Europeans who forced their way northward from the Cape. These land-hungry pastoralist groups dispossessed the San of their land base and natural resources. The dispossession continues, even under the independent governments of Namibia and Botswana, through so-called integration and resettlement processes.

Date: April 28, 2010

The government’s intention to relocate the San out of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) was announced in 1995.

Date: April 28, 2010

San art at D’Kar and Schmidtsdrift is produced in each village by about a dozen artists, men and women, under the auspices of the Kuru Development Trust and the !Xu and Khwe Trust, respectively. Displayed as “Bushman art,” sometimes in conjunction with rock art (to which the contemporary art has a superficial resemblance but no cultural connection), San art becomes a mechanism for self-representation.

Date: April 28, 2010

In March 1999, the world media carried a picture of South African President Thabo Mbeki embracing Dawid Kruiper, leader of the ‡Khomani San.

Date: April 28, 2010

Since Namibia’s independence in 1990, the long-running civil war in neighbouring Angola has produced a steady southward flow of refugees. Most of them have been settled at Osire, Namibia’s largest refugee camp, located on a former White-owned farm in the central part of the country. Under the auspices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the population of Osire had swollen to over 20,000.

Date: April 28, 2010

Since its inception in 1973, KPF has responded to several requests for help made by San, Nama, and other rural southern African communities by raising funds and providing technical and advisory assistance.

Date: April 28, 2010

There exist as many different musical legacies as there are different populations of San people; nevertheless, they share many traits.

Date: April 28, 2010

San were the earliest occupants of present north-central Namibia. The Ovambo gradually settled and established kingdoms there, though the buffer zone between the San and Ovambo was preserved for a long time.

Date: April 28, 2010

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) had its beginnings in 1961 when George Silberbauer, the Bushman Survey officer, convinced the British colonial government of Bechuanaland to set aside some 52,347 square kilometers as a park in wh

Date: April 28, 2010

Only a small proportion of Namibia’s 38,000 San retain management rights to their ancestral lands. The vast majority, though still residing on the land of their ancestors, have been dispossessed of their natural resources and now live on land managed by others. Only in Tsumkwe District in the Otjozondjupa Region do the San, in this case the Ju|’hoansi and the !Kung, retain partial rights to manage their ancestral land and natural resources. Tsumkwe District, known in the past as Bushmanland, is 17,540 square kilometres in size and is occupied by some 6,700 people, most of whom are San.

Date: April 28, 2010

At the beginning of colonization (c. 1885), Hai||om people occupied large tracts of north-central Namibia, from Etosha Pan eastward to the copper mountains around the present-day mining town of Tsumeb. This central position had, and still has, important implications for the history of relations between Hai||om and their neighbors. Hai||om access to copper was valued by the Owambo. Hai||om also had rich hunting grounds and later exercised some control over the movements of migrant laborers between the densely populated North and the labor-demanding settlers in the South.

Date: April 28, 2010

The countries of southern Africa today have the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world.

Date: April 28, 2010

The relatively peaceful Caprivi calm was shattered in August 1999 when dissident Caprivians attacked the Namibian town of Katima Mulimo, the capital of East Caprivi. While not a party to the dispute, the Caprivi Khwe have been drawn into it, attacked by the local rebels and their UNITA backers as government supporters, and attacked in turn by the Namibian Defense Forces (NDF) and the Special Security Force (SSF) as rebel collaborators.

Date: April 28, 2010

Far from their romantic image, most San people today live in circumstances similar to those of the Omaheke Ju/’hoansi, who have worked on White-owned farms since the 1930s. They remain one of Namibia’s most oppressed minorities.

Date: April 2, 2010

A diverse group of researchers, educators and San fieldworkers, among others, helped to compile this report by Willemien Le Roux for the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa. This cooperation has resulted in a dense survey of the histories and present state of education of San groups in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. In seeking to explain the ongoing marginalisation of the San, the authors do not shy away from addressing the reasons for San children's high dropout rate from school.

Date: April 2, 2010

The World Commission on Dams' Process