Namibia in Jonker Afrikaner's Time, by Brigitte Lau
The study Namibia in Jonker Afrikaner's Time is founded on the thesis of Brigitte Lau which was originally submitted to the University of Cape Town in 1982.
Jonker's rule challenged, ca 1840-1852
From the early 1840s (and possibly before that) until late 1856 or early 1857, the relations between Jonker and his council and the Kai//khaun under //Oaseo were characterised by a similar combination of conflict and alliance as I noted in very early Nama/Oorlam relations. They alternated between co-operation and mutual tolerance, rivalry, hostile threats and even skirmishes. This was in spite of the fact that both Jonker and //Oaseb could call on stable and loyal allies for most of the period discussed here.30 For at least tne whole decade of 1840 to 1850, //Oaseb made continuous attempts to set himself up in the position of an equal, even while living as close to tne Oorlam Afrikaners as possible.31 In the 1340s, //Oaseb made frequent independent attempts to extract tribute from the Herero in the same way as Jonker, and even raided one of Jonker's closest allies, Chief Kahitjene.32 He also raided Amraal's Herero subordinates and tried unsuccessfully to win Amraal over as his own ally, away from Jonker.33 Kleinschmidt noted in 1846 that "Jonker did not want to tolerate this and so war almost broke out."34 //Oaseb was probably assured by the fact that at that stage, Jonker had not established firmly-knit alliances with old Nama chiefs who owed him, //Oaseb, traditional allegiance. He relied especially on Willem Swartbooi, head of the //Khau/gôan, the 'Little Kai//khaun'.35 Although he could not win the Rehobothers' active participation against Jonker, he could still share in the advantages of Swartbooi's cordial -elations with a missionary. Thus, he had access to a smith's services and a forge, and a regular supply of commodities from the Cape through the traders at Rehoboth. Right through the 1850s, his relations with Swartbooi were close enough to support joint ownership of cattle posts.36 In addition, the Swartboois would take //Oaseb's horses to a region near the Gamsberg under their control. There they were safe during the disease-ridden summer months.37 //Oaseb's bold actions generated friction but in the 1840s and early 1850s, conflicts had an ambivalent character and were not open. At times the Kai//Knaun were actually called Jonker's allies.38 Furthermore, Hahn noted in 1849 that Jonker had made some kind of agreement with //Oaseb and his followers.39 Also, as mentioned earlier, during a time of crisis in 1851, Jonker and his commando were supported not only by Amraal's men, but also by a commando from //Oaseb. For most of the 1840s, Jonker and his council was also seen to carefully avoid open hostilities against //Oaseb and his followers. They only attempted to win Swartbooi to their side as an ally.40 However, they succeeded in these attempts to an even lesser extent than //Oaseb. It appears that the Rehobothers were quite indifferent to sharing spoils of Herero cattle extraction on Jonker's terms. Their position of relative independence41 must oe accounted for Dy the fact that successful relations with a European missionary gave them significant advantages vis-a-vis both //Oaseb and Jonker. [...]
30. One of Jonker's most loyal allies was Chief Araraal; early in the 1850s, he won Piet Kopec of the Fransman people; NA Quellen 5, 6 February 1857; ELC KP 18« ( for //Oaseb's reliance on the Rehobothers, see below.
31. For evidence, see Hahn Tagebücher/Diaries, 349, 381, Tindall: The Journal. 135-36; on the close neighbourhood between Jonker and //Oaseb, see ch. 1, notes 102, 103.
32. Tindall: The Journal, 84 , 85 , 95 , 97 , 98, 101; also Hahn Tagebücher/Diaries, 309.
33. On raiding Herero chief Kanjack, see Tindall The Journal, 126. Kanjack was one of Amraal's subordinate allies, ibid., 129. See also the Mbanderu historical epic, Sundermeier: The Mbanderu. Attempts to win Amraal away from Jonker were apparently not successful; in one instant, only a few of Amraal's men, against the chief's wishes, were prepared to join him against Jonker; Tindall: The Journal, 115. (At other times, //Oaseb's own men had to be forcefully summoned from Amraal to attack Jonker; see ibid., 101.)
34. NA Quellen 20, 12 March 1856.
35. They claimed kinship and old association; see the oral testimony recorded by Vedder in NA Quellen 2; also Hoernle: 'Social Organisation', 6.
36. BRMG 1960, 213.
37. BRMG 1851, 42.
38. BRMG 1847, 14.
39. Hahn Tagebücher/Diaries, 405.
40. Ibid., 381; see also BRMG 1852, 51.
41. For example, //Oaseb was said to allowed the Rehobothers special privileges due to their missionary involvement; BRMli L352, 527.
This is an excerpt from the book: Namibia in Jonker Afrikaner's Time, by Brigitte Lau.
Title: Namibia in Jonker Afrikaner's Time
Author: Brigitte Lau
Series: Windhoek Archives Publication No. 8
Publisher: National Archives, Department of Nat Education,
Windhoek, Namibia 1987
ISBN 0869762141 / ISBN 0-86976-214-1
Original softcover, 15x21 cm, 162 pages, 1 colour image, numerous b/w images
Lau, Brigitte im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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