Aawambo Kingdoms, History and Cultural Change

In 'Aawambo Kingdoms, History and Cultural Change: Perspectives from Northern Namibia', two Namibian scholars analyse aspects of the history of the Aawambo kingdoms in northern Namibia.
Nampala, Lovisa; Shigwedha, Vilho
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Title: Aawambo Kingdoms, History and Cultural Change
Subtitle: Perspectives from Northern Namibia
Authors: Lovisa Nampala; Vilho Shigwedha
Basel Namibia Studies Series, 8/9
Publisher: P. Schlettwein Publishing
Basel, Switzerland 2002
ISBN 3908193168 / ISBN 3-908193-16-8
ISBN 9783908193166 / ISBN 978-3-908193-16-6
Softcover, 17 x 24 cm, 274 pages, several bw-photos and tabellas, 1 map


In 'Aawambo Kingdoms, History and Cultural Change: Perspectives from Northern Namibia', two Namibian scholars analyse aspects of the history of the Aawambo kingdoms in northern Namibia. Lovisa Nampala provides a comparative view of the impact of Christianisation in Oukwanyama, Ondonga and Ombalantu between 1870 and 1971. Vilho Shigwedha analyses changes in costume and fashion in Aawambo society since the pre-colonial period. Both authors provide vivid descriptions of a complex material, social and political culture which changed radically under the influence of German, South African and, to a lesser degree, Portuguese colonialism in south-western Africa. Both are the very first two Namibian students to have obtained the Masters degree in History from the University of Namibia (UNAM). The publication in this book of these two theses thus serves as an important marker in the historiography of Namibia. The theme that links their work is their commitment to recovering the ‘authentic’ meaning of the different traditions of northern Namibia. The documentation of perspectives on the cultural history of northern Namibia grounded in community memory (as reflected in the oral testimonies gathered by both researchers) adds an exciting new dimension to Namibian historiography.

Content: Aawambo Kingdoms, History and Cultural Change. Perspectives from Northern Namibia

Basel Namibia Studies Series
Note on this Edition
Introduction: Changing Clothes, Changing Traditions by Jeremy Silvester
List of Illustrations
I. Christianisation and Cultural Change in Northern Namibia. A Comparative Study of the Impact of Christianity on Oukwanyama, Ondonga and Ombalantu, 1870-1971 by Lovisa T. Nampala
Location and Period of Study
Literature Review
1. Kalungaism
How did Aawambo approach God?
2 Ovawambo Traditional Ceremonies and Pre-Christian Rituals
Traditional Marriage
Traditional Marriage in Ombalantu: Olufuko kOmbalantu
Ondonga Traditional Marriage: Ohango yokiitsali
Efundula mOukwanyama
Circumcision in Oukwanyama
Circumcision in Ondonga
Circumcision in Ombalantu
Rain-Making in Ondonga
Rain-Making in Ombalantu
Rain-Making in Oukwanyama
Death and Burial
Death and Burial Services for Common People
Death and Burial Services in Oukwanyama: Eenghali nepako
Death and Burial services in Ombalantu
Death and Burial services in Ondonga
The Naming Ceremony
Naming Ceremony in Oukwanyama: Epitifo
Naming Ceremony in Ombalantu: Epitifo
Naming Ceremony in Ondonga: Epiitho
3. Christianity, Colonialism and Culture
Missionaries Arrive in South West Africa / Namibia
Missionaries in Oukwanyama
Missionary Education and Tradition
Missionaries in Ombalantu
The Impact that Christianity had on Traditional Marriage
The Impact of Christianity on Circumcision
The Impact of Christianity on Rain-Making
The Impact of Christianity on Traditional Burial Services and Sites
The Impact of Christianity on the Naming Ceremony
The Colonial Administration and Tradition
African Converts and Church Leaders and Tradition

Oral History Interviews
Archival Sources
Published Literature
II. The Pre-Colonial Costumes of the Aawambo. Significant Changes under Colonialism and the Construction of Post-Colonial Identity by Vilho Shigwedha

Literature Review
Contemporary Writers
The History of Northern Namibia
The Ethnography of the Aawambo
Comparative Literature on Clothing and Identity
The Influence of Christianity
Oral History Accounts.
1. Fashion and Identity in Pre-Colonial Owambo Kingdoms
The Socio-Cultural Interpretation of Pre-Colonial Aawambo Customes
Unique Hair Fashions
Costumes and Weddings
Beads and Meaning
2. Significant Influences on Changes in Fashion
Massive Import of Finnish Textile Products
House Maidens
The Impact of Social Outcasts
Drought and Famines
Mission School Influence
The Influence of Colonial Administration
The Contract Labour System
The Influence of the Ondjondjo Trading Shop
The Impact of the Second World War
3. The Meaning of ‘Tradition’ and ‘Culture’
Modern ‘Traditional Costumes’
How Can the Community Preserve its Past?
Can the National Policy on Arts and Culture Promote Museum
4. European Fashion, Aawambo Style

Secondary Literature
Archival Material
Other Interviews
Index (Names, Organisations, Places)