Place Names of Namibia

Place Names of Namibia: A historical dictionary with 184 entries of Namibian place names.
Cassidy, Joseph
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19,95 € *

Title: Place Names of Namibia
Subtitle: A historical dictionary
Author: Joseph Cassidy
Publisher: Macmillan Education Namibia Publishers (Pty) Ltd
Windhoek, Namibia 2016
ISBN 9789991606545 / ISBN 978-99916-0-654-5
Softcover, 15 x 21 cm, 125 pages, several colour photographs

About: Place Names of Namibia

Namibia is filled with the most magical, stirring place names. "Omumborombongapan", "Katima Mulilo", "Hoachanas", "Olifantsrus"... and while working in Namibia from 1998 to 2002 as a guest and US citizen, the author had been caught in the spell cast by the wild diversity of Namibian names and the formidable variety of languages they represent. Almost all the information he compiled in Place Names of Namibia is the result of the hard work and primary research of others. Several things become obvious when reviewing the list of the 184 entries. Many places have names in multiple languages, not just an original African name and a postcolonial European overlay, but often several African names.

This is especially true in central Namibia, where the movement of people over time was more extensive due to pastoralist lifestyles and where various ethnic groups resided in overlapping territories. Another aspect of Namibian place names that outsiders initially find peculiar (and Namibians do not) is the number of place names that describe the presence of surface water. Of course this pays tribute to the crucial importance of water in such an arid climate. However, the primacy of water names is reinforced because the presence of water made these places more attractive for settlement, or just deserving of attention, and were thus more likely to receive a name that we can chronicle.