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Pastoral Modernity, Territoriality And Colonial Transformations In Central Namibia, 1860s–1904

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Chapter Summary

When war broke out in southern Namibia in late October 1903 and shortly afterwards, in January 1904, this time in central Namibia, the whole of southwestern Africa plunged into unprecedented violence and suffering. This chapter attempts to assess the meaning(s) and significance of categories like 'land' and 'Hereroland' as perceived by Herero pastoralists from the second half of the nineteenth century onwards and how these were transformed in the wake of colonial expansion up to 1904. In particular it looks at strategies by Herero leaders to deal with what Fred Morton has identified as "a territorial problem that bedevilled cattle-keeping people in other parts of colonial Africa," namely boundaries. The historiographical positions of Bley and Gewald seem to claim these rationales in their argument to rule out the issue of land shortage for pastoral people in the reasons leading to the war in 1904.

Keywords: Central Namibia (1860 - 1904); colonial transformation; Helmut Bley; Herero pastoralist; Jan-Bart Gewald; southwestern Africa; territoriality



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