IIKhauxa!nas, by Klaus Dierks

IIKhauxa!nas , by Klaus Dierks. ISBN 9991610065 / ISBN 99916-1-006-5

IIKhauxa!nas , by Klaus Dierks. ISBN 9991610065 / ISBN 99916-1-006-5

No-one knows exactly when the first people settled at IIKhauxa!nas. The story of IIKhauxa!nas, which was discovered by Dr. Klaus Dierks, may indeed go far back into Namibia's past.

Klaus Dierks  

The founding of IIKhauxalnas and the defensive period

Background

No-one knows exactly when the first people settled at IIKhauxa!nas. The story of IIKhauxa!nas may indeed go far back into Namibia's past. The permanent water supply from the Bak River is likely to have made this place an ideal site for settlement from the earliest of times. Hunting and herding communities may well have settled in the area for short periods of time, over thousands of years. Nearby rock paintings and scattered pottery remains strongly suggest this. A local farmer tells an old Nama story in which it is mentioned that IIKhauxa!nas was used as a meeting place for the Namib and Kalahari San, a place where they met to trade goods over many centuries. Such meetings to exchange goods, arrange marriages, and share in communal religious rituals, are a central feature of San society, and IIKhauxa!nas would have been in an ideal location for such encounters. However, these early inhabitants are unlikely to have lived on top of the hill. The stone-walled town on the hill represents the arrival of a later, much larger, and more powerful society. Most hill-top stone-walled settlements south of the Limpopo River (the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe), appear to have been built during the 17th and 18th centuries. They are associated with the long period of warfare and struggle among African societies affected by trade with the Portuguese, at Delagoa Bay, and the Dutch, at the Cape Colony. This does not include, of course, the very much older African states which built Great Zimbabwe and other towns on the Zimbabwean plateau; Mapungubwe and others in the Limpopo valley; or Toutswe-Mogala, in eastern Botswana. These states date from a period covering the years between 1000 to 1450. They reflect a unique culture, linked to trade in ivory and gold with Arab-Swahili traders along the East African Coast, many centuries before the first Europeans arrived. As trade and slave raiding extended inland, from the Portuguese and Dutch settlements, African chiefs and rulers began to compete with each other to control this trade. Often they combined to form stronger societies, in order to defend themselves from attack. Some became raiders themselves, capturing cattle as well as young people, whom they incorporated into their own societies, or whom they sold as slaves to the Dutch and Portuguese. In the south-east, the Zulu state, under their famous leader Shaka, emerged as one of the strongest African states anywhere in southern Africa. In the south-west, along the expanding frontier of the Cape Colony, mixed groups of Khoisan, fugitive slaves and other peoples formed small but well-armed and powerful communities. These communities were forced to move further and further north as the Colony expanded. The strongest African community at this time in southern Namibia was that of the Orlam Afrikaners. They became the dominant political power in the region after 1790, and were most likely the only community large enough, and with the need, to build the defensive walls on the scale of IIKhauxa!nas. Ridsdale's observations strongly support this explanation. We know with reasonable certainty, from many written sources, that in the 1790s, the Afrikaners were forced to flee across the Orange River from the Cape Colony. Let us now look at the history of the Orlam Afrikaners in a little more detail. [...]

This is an excerpt from the history book: IIKhauxa!nas , by Klaus Dierks.

Title: IIKhauxa!nas
Author: Klaus Dierks
Series: Growing to Nationhood
Publisher: Longman Namibia
Windhoek, Namibia 1992
ISBN 9991610065 / ISBN 99916-1-006-5
Original softcover, 15x21 cm, 69 pages, several bw-photos

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