1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/German South-West Africa
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German South-West Africa
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German South-West Africa
GERMAN SOUTH-WEST AFRICA. This German possession is bounded W. by the Atlantic, N. by Angola, S. by the Cape province, E. by Bechuanaland and Rhodesia, and is the only German dependency in Africa suited to white colonization. It has an area of about 322,450 sq. m., and a population of Bantu Negroes and Hottentots estimated in 1903 at 200,000. The European inhabitants, in addition to the military, numbered 7110 in 1907, of whom the majority were German.
Area and Boundaries
The boundary separating the German protectorate from the Portuguese possessions of Angola is the lower Kunene, from its mouth in 17° 18' S., 11° 40' E. to the limit of navigability from the sea, thence in a direct line, corresponding roughly to the lat. of 17° 20' S., to the river Okavango, which it follows eastwards until the stream turns abruptly south (towards Lake Ngami). From this point a strip of German territory 300 m. long and about 50 m. broad, projects eastward until it reaches the Zambezi a little above the Victoria Falls. On the south this narrow strip of land (known as the Caprivi enclave) is separated from southern Rhodesia by the Kwando or Chobe river. On the east the frontier between British and German territory is in its northern half the 21st degree of E. longitude, in its southern half the 20th degree. This frontier is drawn through desert country. The southern frontier is the Orange river from its mouth to the 20° E. The coast-line between the Kunene and Orange rivers is not wholly German. Just north of the tropic of Capricorn is the British enclave of Walfish Bay. The northern part of the protectorate is known as Ovampoland, the central portion as Damara (or Herero) land; the southern regions as Great Namaqualand. These names are derived from those of the dominant native races inhabiting the country.
The coast-line is generally low and little broken by bays or promontories. In its entire length of about 800 m. it has no good natural harbour, and its bays - Angra Pequena, otherwise Luderitz Bay, Sierra Bay, Sandwich Harbour - are in danger of being filled with sand by the strong, cold, northerly coast current. Swakopmund is an artificial harbour at the mouth of the river Swakop. The small islands which stud the coast north and south of Angra Pequena belong to Great Britain. The coast-line is bordered by a belt of sand-dunes and desert, which, about 35 m. wide in the south, narrows towards the north. This coast belt is flanked by a mountain range, which attains its highest elevation in Mount Omatako (8972 ft.), in about 21° 15' S., 16° 40' E. N.E. of Omatako is the Omboroko range, otherwise known as the Waterberg. South of Omboroko, occupying the centre of the country, the range attains its highest average altitude. The following massifs with their highest points may be distinguished: Gans (7664 ft.), Nu-uibeb (7480 ft.), Onyati (7201 ft.), Awas (6988 ft.), Komas (5331 ft.) and Ganab (4002 ft.). In the S.E. are the Karas mountains, which attain an elevation of 6570 ft. The mountains for the main part form the escarpment of the great Kalahari plateau, which, gently rising from the interior towards the west, slopes again towards the south and north from the point of its highest elevation. The Kalahari plateau changes the undulating character it has in the west to a perfect plain in the far east, where the watered and habitable country merges into the sterile Kalahari desert. In the northern half of the country the central plateau contains much rich grass-land, while in the north-eastern region the Omaheke desert has all the characteristics of the Kalahari.
There are no rivers of importance wholly within German SouthWest Africa. The Kunene (q.v.) has but a small portion of the southern bank in the colony, and similarly only part of the northern bank of the Orange river (q.v.) is in German territory. Several streams run south into the Orange; of those the chief is the Great Fish river, which has a course of nearly 500 m. Both the Kunene and the Orange carry water all the year round, but are not navigable. Neither is the Great Fish river, which, however, is rarely dry. The Okavango, which comes from the north and runs towards Ngami (q.v.), is perennial, but like the Kunene and Orange, belongs only partly to the hydrographic system of the country. From the inner slopes of the coast chain many streams go N.E. to j oin the Okavango. They cross the Omaheke waste and are usually dry. Ovampoland has a hydrographic system connected with the Kunene, and, in seasons of great flood, with that of Ngami. Before the Kunene breaks through the outer edge of the plateau, it sends divergent channels south-east to a large marsh or lake called Etosha, which is cut by 17° E. and 19° S. Of these channels the Kwamatuo or Okipoko, which is perennial, enters Etosha at its N.W. corner. The lake when full extends about 80 m. W. to E. and 50 m. N. to S. From its S.E. corner issues the Omuramba, which divides into two branches, known respectively as the Omaheke and the Ovampo. These streams have an easterly direction, their beds, often dry, joining the Okavango. The other rivers of the protectorate have as a rule plenty of water in their upper courses in the rainy season, though some river beds are dry for years together. After a heavy thunderstorm such a river bed will be suddenly filled with a turbid current half a mile wide. The water is, however, before long absorbed by the thirsty land. Only in exceptionally rainy years do the streams which cross the sand belt carry water to the ocean. But in the sand which fills the river beds water may be obtained by digging. Of rivers running direct to the Atlantic the Little Fish river enters the sea at Angra Pequena and the Kuisip in Walfish Bay. The Swakop rises in the hills near the Waterberg, and north of it is the Omaruru, which carries water for the greater part of the year. Hot springs are numerous, and it is remarkablethat those of Windhoek flow more copiously during the dry than the rainy season. There are also many cold springs, and wells which contain water all the year.
Gneiss and schist, with intrusive granites and porphyries, overlain to a great extent by sand and lateritic deposits, occupy the coast belt, coast mountains and the plateau of Damaraland. In the Huib and Han-ami plateaus of Great Namaqualand the crystalline rocks are overlain by sandstones, slates, quartzites and jasper rocks, and these in turn by dolomites. They are probably equivalent to the Transvaal and Pretoria series (see Transvaal: Geology). The next oldest rocks are of recent geological date. The Kalahari Kalk, which extends over large areas to the south-east of Ovampoland, may be of Miocene age, but it has not yielded fossils. Extensive tracts of alluvium occur in the basin of the Ovampo, while the dunes and sand-tracts of the Kalahari occupy the eastern regions.
On the coast the mean temperature is low, and there is little rainfall. Moisture is supplied by dense fogs, which rise almost daily. South-west winds prevail. Inland the climate is temperate rather than tropical, with bracing, clear atmosphere. There are considerable differences of temperature between day and night, and two well-marked seasons, one cold and dry from May to September, the other hot and rainy from October to April. In winter ice frequently forms during the night on open water on the plateau, but it never remains all day. The yearly rainfall is about 20 in. in the Damara Hills; there is more rain in the north than in the south, and in the east than in the west. In the greater part of the colony the climate is favourable for European settlement.
Flora and Fauna. - The vegetation corresponds exactly with the climate. In the dry littoral region are plants able to exist with the minimum of moisture they derive from the daily fog - A marantaceae, Sarcocaula, Aloe dichotoma, Aristida subacaulis and the wonderful Welwitschia. Farther inland are plants which spring up and disappear with the rain, and others whose roots reach permanent water. The former are chiefly grasses, the latter exist almost solely in or near river-beds. Amongst the fine trees often seen here, the ana tree (Acacia albida) is the most noteworthy, its seeds being favourite fodder for all domestic animals. Acacia giraffae, Ac. horrida, A dansonia sterculia, near the Kunene the Hyphaene ventricosa, deserve special notice. The vegetation in the mountain valleys is luxuriant, and towards the north is of a tropical character. The palm zone extends a considerable distance south of the Kunene, and here vegetation spreads over the sand-dunes of the coast plain, which are covered with grasses.
Large game, formerly abundant, especially pachyderms, is scarce. Of antelopes the following species are plentiful in parts: springbok, steenbok, kudu, rietbok, pallah; of monkeys, the Cynocephalus porcarius is frequent. Various kinds of hyenas and jackals with fine fur (Canis mesomelas), also Felis caracal, abound. The springhare (Pedestea caller) and rock-rabbit (Hyrax capensis) may often be observed. Of birds there are 728 species. Crocodiles, turtles and snakes are numerous.
Among the natives of German South-West Africa three classes may be distinguished. In the first class are the Namaqua (Hottentots) and Bushmen. The Namaqua probably came from the south, while the Bushmen may be looked upon as an indigenous race. The Hottentots, the purest existing types of that race, are divided into numerous tribes, independent of one another, such as the Witbois, Swartzbois, Bondelzwarts. The Bushmen are found scattered over the eastern parts of the country (see Hottentots and Bushmen). The second class consists of the mountain Damara (Hau-Khoin), a race of doubtful affinities, probably of Bantu-Negro origin, but speaking the Hottentot language. The third class belongs to the Bantu-Negro stock, and came from the north-east, expelling and enslaving the mountain Damara, and settling in various parts of the country under different names. The most prominent are the Herero, thorough nomads and cattle-breeders; while the Ovampo (Ovambo or Ambo), in the northern part of the protectorate, are agriculturists. The Herero (q.v.) are also known by the Hottentot name Damara, and by this name their country is generally called. The Bastaards, who live in Namaqualand, are a small tribe originating from a mingling of Cape Boers with Hottentots. They are Christians, and able to read and write. The other natives are spirit-worshippers, save for the comparatively few converts of the Protestant missions established in the country. Of white races represented the chief are Germans and Boers. In the S.E. Boer settlers form the bulk of the white population. There are also numbers of British colonists in this region - emigrants from the Cape. The immigration of Germans is encouraged by subsidies and in other ways.
The chief port is Swakopmund, built on the northern bank of the Swakop river (the southern bank belonging to the British territory; of Walfish Bay). The harbour is partially protected by a breakwater. There are also settlements at Luderitz Bay (white pop. 1909, over 1000) and at Sandwich Harbour. Swakopmund is connected by a narrow gauge railway with Windhoek, the administrative capital of the colony, situated in a hilly district 180 m. due east of the port, but 237 m. by the railway. Karibib is the only place of consequence on the line. Otyimbingue is a government station 70 m. W.N.W. of Windhoek, and Tsumeb a mining centre 240 m. N.N.E. of the same place. Olukonda is a government post in Ovampoland. In the S.E. corner of the colony, 30 m. N. of the Orange river, is the town of Warmbad. Keetmanshoop, 100 m. N. of Warmbad and 180 m. E. of Luderitz Bay, is the centre of a small mining industry. Gibeon is a government station and missionary settlement about midway between Keetmanshoop and Windhoek. Besides these places there are numbers of small native towns at which live a few white traders and missionaries. The missionaries have given Biblical names to several of their stations, such as Bethany and Beersheba in Namaqualand, and Rehoboth in Damaraland. In the Caprivi enclave are a German residency and the site of the town of Linyante, once the capital of the Makololo dynasty of Barotseland (see Barotse).
Agriculture is followed by the natives in the northern districts, but the chief industry is stock-raising. The scarcity of water in the southern parts is not favourable for agricultural pursuits, while the good grazing lands offer splendid pasturage for cattle, which the Herero raise in numbers amounting to many hundred thousands. Sheep and goats thrive well. Horses have been imported from the Cape. Unfortunately the climate does not suit them everywhere, and they are subject to a virulent distemper. Cattle and sheep also suffer from the diseases which are common in the Cape Colony. Camels have been imported, and are doing well. Wheat, maize and sorghum are the chief crops raised, though not enough is grown to meet even local requirements. Near the coast the natives collect the kernels of the nara, a wild-growing pumpkin which, in the words of an early traveller, C. J. Andersson, "are eaten by oxen, mice, men, ostriches and lions." About half the European settlers are engaged in agriculture. They raise maize, wheat, tobacco, fruit and vegetables. Cotton cultivation and viticulture are carried on in some districts.
Minerals, especially copper, are plentiful in the country. The chief copper deposits are at Tsumeb, which is 4230 ft. above the sea, in the Otavi district. Diamonds are found on and near the surface of the soil in the Luderitz Bay district, and diamonds have also been found in the neighbourhood of Gibeon. A little pottery is made, and the Hottentot women are clever in making fur cloths. In the north the Ovampo do a little smith-work and grass-plaiting. The external trade of the country was of slow growth. The exports, previous to the opening up of the Otavi mines, consisted chiefly of live stock - sent mainly to Cape Colony - guano, ivory, horns, hides and ostrich feathers. The chief imports are food stuffs, textiles and metals, and hardware. In 1903 the value of the exports was £168,560, that of the imports £388,210. The war which followed (see below, History) led to a great shrinking of exports, rendering the figures for the period 1904-1907 useless for purposes of comparison. About 85% of the imports are from Germany.
The economic development of the country is largely dependent on transport facilities. The railway from Swakopmund to Windhoek, mentioned above, was begun in 1897, and was opened for traffic in July 1902. It cost nearly £700,000 to build. Another narrow gauge railway, to serve the Otavi copper mines, was begun in 1904 and completed in 1908. It starts from Swakopmund and is 400 m. long, the terminus being at Grootfontein, 40 m. S.E. of Tsumeb. The highest point on this line is 5213 ft. above the sea. In 1906-1908 a railway, 180 m. long, was built from Luderitz Bay to Keetmanshoop. This line is of the standard South African gauge (3 ft. 6 in.), that gauge being adopted in view of the eventual linking up of the line with the British railway systems at Kimberley. A branch from Seeheim on the Keetmanshoop line runs S.E. to Kalkfontein.
Besides railways, roads have been made between the chief centres of population. Along these, in the desert districts, wells have been dug. Across the Awas Mountains, separating Windhoek from the central plateau, a wide road has been cut. In 1903 the colony was placed in telegraphic communication with Europe and Cape Colony by the laying of submarine cables having their terminus at Swakopmund. There is a fairly complete inland telegraphic service.
There is regular steamship communication between Hamburg and Swakopmund, Walfish Bay and Lüderitz Bay. Regular communication is also maintained between Cape Town and the ports of the colony.
At the head of the administration is an imperial governor, responsible to the colonial office in Berlin, who is assisted by a council consisting of chiefs of departments. The country is divided into various administrative districts. In each of these there is a Bezirksamtmann, with his staff of officials and police force. In each district is a law court, to whose jurisdiction not alone the whites, but also the Bastaards are subject. As in all German colonies, there is a court of appeal at the residence of the governor. The government maintains schools at the chief towns, but education is principally in the hands of missionaries. The armed force consists of regular troops from Germany and a militia formed of Bastaards. The local revenue for some years before 1903 was about £130,000 per annum, the expenditure about £400,000, the difference between local receipts and expenditure being made good by imperial subsidies. In 1908 local revenue had risen to £250,000, but the imperial authorities incurred an expenditure of over £ 2,000,000, largely for military purposes. On articles of export, such as feathers and hides, 5% ad valorem duty has to be paid; on cattle and horses an export tax per head. There is a to % ad valorem duty on all imports, no difference being made between German and foreign goods. The sale of spirituous liquors is subject to a licence.
The coast of south-west Africa was discovered by Bartholomew Diaz in 1487, whilst endeavouring to find his way to the Indies. He anchored in a bay which by reason of its smallness he named Angra Pequena. Portugal, however, took no steps to acquire possession of this inhospitable region, which remained almost unvisited by Europeans until the early years of the 19th century. At this time the country was devastated by a Hottentot chief known as Afrikander, who had fled thither with a band of outlaws after murdering his master, a Boer farmer by whom he had been ill-treated, in 1796. In 1805 some missionaries (of German nationality) went into Namaqualand in the service of the London Missionary Society, which society subsequently transferred its missions in this region to the Rhenish mission, which had had agents in the country since about 1840. The chief station of the missionaries was at a Hottentot settlement renamed Bethany (1820), a place 125 m. E. by Angra Pequena. The missionaries had the satisfaction of stopping Afrikander's career of bloodshed. He became a convert, a great friend of the mission, and took the name of Christian. The proximity of Great Namaqualand to Cape Colony led to visits from British and Dutch farmers and hunters, a few of whom settled in the country, which thus became in some sense a dependency of the Cape.
In 1867 the islands along the coast north and south of Angra Pequena, on which were valuable guano deposits, were annexed to Great Britain. At this time a small trade between the natives and the outside world was developed at Angra Pequena, the merchants engaged in it being British and German. The political influence of the Cape spread meantime northward to the land of the Herero (Damara). The Herero had been subjugated by Jonker Afrikander, a son of Christian Afrikander, who followed the early footsteps of his sire and had renounced Christianity, but in 1865 they had recovered their independence. The Rhenish missionaries appealed (1868) to the British government for protection, and asked for the annexation of the country. This request, although supported by the Prussian government, was refused. In 1876, however, a special commissioner (W. Coates Palgrave) was sent by the Cape government "to the tribes north of the Orange river." The commissioner concluded treaties with the Namaqua and Damara which fixed the limits of the territories of the two races and placed the whole country now forming German South-West Africa within the sphere of British influence. In the central part of Damaraland an area of some 35, 000 sq. m. was marked out as a British reservation. The instrument by which this arrangement was made was known as the treaty of Okahandya. Neither it nor the treaty relating to Great Namaqualand was ratified by the British government, but at the request of Sir Bartle Frere, then high commissioner for South Africa, Walfish Bay (the best harbour along the coast) was in 1878 annexed to Great Britain.
In 1880 fighting between the Namaqua, who were led by Jan Afrikander, son of Jonker and grandson of Christian Afrikander, and the Damara broke out afresh, and was not ended until the establishment of European rule. In 1883 F. A. E. Luderitz (1834-1886), a Bremen merchant, with the approval of Prince Bismarck, established a trading station at Angra Pequena. This step led to the annexation of the whole country to Germany (see Africa, § 5) with the exception of Walfish Bay and the islands actually British territory. On the establishment of German rule Jonker Afrikander's old headquarters were made the seat of administration and renamed Windhoek. The Hottentots, under a chieftain named Hendrik Witboi, offered a determined opposition to the Germans, but after a protracted war peace was concluded in 1894 and Hendrik became the ally of the Germans. Thereafter, notwithstanding various local risings, the country enjoyed a measure of prosperity, although, largely owing to economic conditions, its development was very slow.
In October 1903 the Bondelzwarts, who occupy the district immediately north of the Orange river, rose in revolt. This act was the beginning of a struggle between the Germans and the natives which lasted over four years, and cost 5' Germany the lives of some 5000 soldiers and settlers, and entailed an expenditure of £15,000,000. Abuses committed by white traders, the brutal methods of certain officials and the occupation of tribal lands were among the causes of the war, but impatience of white rule was believed to be the chief reason for the revolt of the Herero, the most formidable of the opponents of the Germans. The Herero had accepted the German protectorate by treaty - without fully comprehending that to which they had agreed. To crush the Bondelzwarts, an object attained by January 1904, the governor, Colonel Theodor Leutwein, had denuded Damaraland of troops, and advantage was taken of this fact by the Herero to begin a long-planned and well-prepared revolt. On the 12th of January 1904 most of the German farmers in Damaraland were attacked, and settlers and their families murdered and the farms devastated. Reinforcements were sent from Germany, and in June General von Trotha arrived and took command of the troops. On the 11th of August von Trotha attacked the Herero in their stronghold, the Waterberg, about 200 m. N. of Windhoek, and inflicted upon them a severe defeat. The main body of the enemy escaped, however, from the encircling columns of the Germans, and thereafter the Herero, who were under the leadership of Samuel Maherero, maintained a guerrilla warfare, rendering the whole countryside unsafe. The Germans found pursuit almost hopeless, being crippled by the lack of water and the absence of means of transport. To add to their troubles a Herero bastard named Morenga, with a following of Hottentots, had, in July, recommenced hostilities in the south. On the 2nd of October 1904 von Trotha, exasperated at his want of success in crushing the enemy, issued a proclamation in which he said: "Within the German frontier every Herero with or without a rifle, with or without cattle, will be shot. I will not take over any more women and children. But I will either drive them back to your people or have them fired on." In a later order von Trotha instructed his soldiers not to fire into, but to fire over the heads of the women and children, and Prince Billow ordered the general to repeal the whole proclamation. Whenever they had the chance, however, the Germans hunted down the Herero, and thousands perished in the Omaheke desert, across which numbers succeeded in passing to British territory near Ngami.
On the day following the issue of von Trotha's proclamation to the Herero, i.e. on the 3rd of October 1904, Hendrik Witboi sent a formal declaration of war to the Germans. Hendrik had helped to suppress the Bondelzwarts rising, and had received a German decoration for his services, and his hostility is said to have been kindled by the supersession of Colonel Leutwein, for whom he entertained a great admiration. The Witbois were joined by other Hottentot tribes, and their first act was to murder some sixty German settlers in the Gibeon district. Both British and Boer farmers were spared - the Hottentots in this matter following the example of the Herero. In November, considerable reinforcements having come from Germany, the Witbois were attacked, and Hendrik's headquarters, Reitmont, captured. Another defeat was inflicted on Hendrik in January 1905, but, lacking ammunition and water, the Germans could not follow up their victory. As in Damaraland, the warfare in Namaqualand now assumed a guerrilla character, and the Germans found it almost impossible to meet their elusive enemy, while small detachments were often surprised and sometimes annihilated. In May 1905 von Trotha tried the effect on the Hottentots of another of his proclamations. He invited them to surrender, adding that in the contrary event all rebels would be exterminated. A price was at the same time put on the heads of Hendrik Witboi and other chiefs. This proclamation was unheeded by the Hottentots, who were in fact continuing the war with rifles and ammunition seized from the Germans, and replenishing their stock with cattle taken from the same source. In the north, however, Samuel Maherero had fled to British territory, and the resistance of the Herero was beginning to collapse. Concentration camps were established in which some thousands of Herero women and children were cared for. Meanwhile, the administration of von Trotha, who had assumed the governorship as well as the command of the troops, was severely criticized by the civilian population, and the non-success of the operations against the Hottentots provoked strong military criticism. In August 1905 Colonel (afterwards General) Leutwein, who had returned to Germany, formally resigned the governorship of the protectorate, and Herr von Lindequist, late German consul-general at Cape Town, was nominated as his successor. Von Trotha, who had publicly criticized Prince Billow's order to repeal the Herero proclamation, was superseded. He had in the summer of 1905 instituted a series of "drives" against the Witbois, with no particular results. Hendrik always evaded the columns and frequently attacked them in the rear.
In November 1905 von Lindequist arrived at Windhoek. The new governor issued a general amnesty to the Herero, and set aside two large reserves for those who surrendered. His conciliatory policy was in the end successful, and the Ovampo, who threatened to give trouble, were kept in hand. The task of pacifying Damaraland was continued throughout 1906, and by the close of that year about 16,000 Herero had been established in the reserves. Some 3000 had sought refuge in British territory, while the number who had perished may be estimated at between 20,000 and 30,000.
In Namaqualand von Lindequist found an enemy still unbroken. On the 3rd of November, however, Hendrik Witboi died, aged seventy-five, and his son and successor Samuel Isaac Witboi shortly afterwards surrendered, and the hostility of the tribe ceased. Morenga now became the chief of the rebel Hottentots, and "drives" against him were organized. Early in May 1906 an encounter between Morenga and a German column was fought close to the British frontier of the Bechuanaland protectorate. Morenga fled, was pursued across the frontier, and wounded, but escaped. On the 16th of May he was found hiding by British patrols and interned. Other Hottentot chiefs continued the conflict, greatly aided by the immense difficulty the Germans had in transporting supplies; to remedy which defect the building of a railway from Lüderitz Bay to Kubub was begun early in 1906. A camel transport corps was also organized, and Boer auxiliaries engaged. Throughout the later half of 1906 the Hottentots maintained the struggle, the Karas mountains forming a stronghold from which their dislodgment was extremely difficult. Many of their leaders and numbers of the tribesmen had a considerable strain of white (chiefly Dutch) blood and were fairly educated men, with a knowledge not only of native, but European ways; facts which helped to make them formidable opponents. Gradually the resistance of the Hottentots was overcome, and in December 1906 the Bondelzwarts again surrendered. Other tribes continued the fight for months longer, but by March 1907 it was found possible to reduce the troops in the protectorate to about 5000 men. At the height of the campaign the Germans had 19,000 men in the field.
In August 1907 renewed alarm was created by the escape of Morenga from British territory. The Cape government, regarding the chief as a political refugee, had refused to extradite him and he had been assigned a residence near Upington. This place he left early in August and, eluding the frontier guards, re-entered German territory. In September, however, he was again on the British side of the border. Meantime a force of the Cape Mounted Police under Major F. A. H. Eliott had been organized to effect his arrest. Summoned to surrender, Morenga fled into the Kalahari Desert. Eliott's force of sixty men pursued him through a waterless country, covering 80 m. in 24 hours. When overtaken (September 21st), Morenga, with ten followers, was holding a kopje and fired on the advancing troops. After a sharp engagement the chief and five of his men were killed, the British casualties being one killed and one wounded. The death of Morenga removed a serious obstacle to the complete pacification of the protectorate. Military operations continued, however, during 1908. Herr von Lindequist, being recalled to Berlin to become under-secretary in the colonial office, was succeeded as governor (May 1907) by Herr von Schuckmann. In 1908 steps were taken to establish German authority in the Caprivi enclave, which up to that time had been neglected by the colonial authorities.
The discovery of diamonds in the Lüderitz Bay district in July 1908 caused a rush of treasure-seekers. The diamonds were found mostly on the surface in a sandy soil and were of small size. The stones resemble Brazilian diamonds. By the end of the year the total yield was a over 39,000 carats. One of the difficulties encountered in developing the field was the great scarcity of fresh water. During 1909 various companies were formed to exploit the diamondiferous area. The first considerable packet of diamonds from the colony reached Germany in April 1909. The output for the year was valued at over £1,000,000.
Authorities. - Karl Dove, Deutsch-Südwestafrika (Berlin, 1903); W. Külz, Deutsch-Südafrika ... (Berlin, 1909); T. Leutwein, Elf Jahre Gouverneur in Deutsch-Südwestafrika (Berlin, 1908), an authoritative work, largely historical; P. Rohrbach, Deutsche Kolonialwirtschaft, Band I: Südwestafrika (Berlin, 1907), a comprehensive economic study; I. Irle, Die Herero, ein Beitrag zur Landes-, Volks- und Missionskunde (Gütersloh, 1906), a valuable summary of information concerning Damaraland; Major K. Schwabe, Im deutschen Diamantenlande (Berlin, 1909); T. Rehbock, Deutsch-Südwestafrika, seine wirtschaftliche Erschliessung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Nutzbarmachung des Wassers (Berlin, 1898); C. von Francois, Deutsch-Südwestafrika: Geschichte der Kolonisation bis zum Ausbruch des Krieges mit Witbooi, April 1893 (Berlin, 1899), a history of the protectorate up to 1893; H. Schintz, Deutsch-Südwestafrika, Forschungsreisen durch die deutschen Schutzgebiete Gross-Nama and Hereroland, nach dem Kunene, &c., 1884-1887 (Oldenburg, N.D. ); H. von Francois, Nama und Damara (Magdeburg, N.D. ). See also for Ethnology, "Die Eingeborenen Deutsch-Südwestafrikas nach Geschichte, Charakter, Sitten, Gebrauchen and Sprachen," in Mitteilungen des Seminars für orientalische Sprachen (Berlin and Stuttgart) for 1899 and 1900; and G. W. Stow, The Native Races of South Africa (London, 1905); ch. xvii. contains an account of the Afrikander family. For geology consult A. Schenk, "Die geologische Entwicklung Südafrikas (mit Karte)," Peterm. Mitt. (1888); Stromer von Reichenbach, Die Geologie der deutschen Schutzgebiete Afrikas (Munich and Leipzig, 1896). Of early books of travel the most valuable are: F. Galton, Tropical South Africa (1853; new ed. 1889); Charles J. Andersson, Lake Ngami (1856), The Okavango River (1861) and Notes of Travel (1875). See also Sir J. E. Alexander, An Expedition of Discovery into the Interior of Africa (London, 1838). Reports on the German colonies are published by the British foreign office. The Kriegskarte von Deutsch-Südwestafrika (Berlin, 1904), in nine sheets on a scale of 1:800,000, will be found useful. (F. R. C.)
- 1 As the result of wars with the natives, the population greatly decreased. The number of adult (native) males in the colony at the beginning of 1908 was officially estimated at 19,900, a figure indicating a total population of little more than 100,000.