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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'The Vast White Place': A History of the Etosha National Park in Namibia and the Haiom
Author:Dieckmann, Ute
Periodical:Nomadic Peoples
Geographic term:Namibia
national parks and reserves
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/whp/nomp/2001/00000005/00000002/art00007
Abstract:National Parks in Africa are not 'natural', timeless spaces: native people shaped these environments for millennia, before they were removed, making space for the creation of these now famous symbols of African nature and wildlife. Far from being 'authentic', wilderness has been imposed. The Etosha National Park in Namibia is one of many examples of such a process. This article deals with the history of this Game Reserve, and outlines the process of dispossession of the former inhabitants of the area, demonstrating that, contrary to its public image, Etosha was not and is not an 'island', a refuge for people tired of 'civilization'. The paper focuses on the developments which affected the Hai//om living within the park and examines the factors responsible for their removal in 1954. After a brief description of the precolonial and German colonial phases (1850-1915), the paper concentrates on the period of the South African administration, in particular the time prior to 1954, and the expulsion of the Hai//om. It also briefly examines developments during the period 1954-1990 and the political discussions after Namibian independence in 1990. The information presented is based mainly on archival sources collected in 1999 and interviews with Hai//om people conducted in 2000. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French and Spanish.