Page:Lake Ngami.djvu/224

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After their conquest of the country, the Damaras continued to extend themselves, without much opposition, to the east nearly as far as Lake Ngami, and to about the twenty-fourth degree of latitude on the south. At both these points, however, they were checked in their onward career. At first they were attacked by the Matjo'nas, with whom, from time to time, they had several desperate conflicts; and though they appear to have fought well, they were ultimately obliged to retreat with considerable loss. But it was from the Namaqua-Hottentots that thay were destined to experience the greatest reverse, by whom, as will by-and-by be shown, they were finally destroyed or broken up.

About the period of the conquest alluded to a small tribe of Namaqua-Hottentots had pitched their tents on the banks of the Orange River, under the rule of Jonker Afrikaner,[1] who was then a chief of only secondary importance; yet, as his people were possessed of horses and fire-arms, he soon became formidable to his enemies. The territory lying between him and the Damaras was occupied by various tribes of Namaquas, who, on finding themselves hard pressed by the Damaras sent to Jonker to demand his assistance. This he granted; and, like another Cæsar, "came, saw, and conquered." Indeed, that day sealed the fate of Damara-land. The Namaquas, at first the oppressed, became in their turn

  1. His father, Christian Afrikaner, once lived within the present boundary of the Cape Colony; but his brother having killed a Dutch farmer, from whom the tribe is said to have suffered much wrong, he and his kindred were obliged to fly the country. He then settled on the banks of the Garib or Orange River, where he soon became famous for his daring and ferocious exploits against his neighbors. In this state of things he was found by the Rev. Mr. Moffat, well known for his missionary labors in Southern Africa, who, after having experienced much opposition, finally succeeded in converting him to Christianity. At his death the present Jonker Afrikaner, though an elder brother was still living, assumed the chieftainship, which occasioned a division in the tribe, and was, moreover, the original cause of their migration northward.