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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Bakgalagadi ethnic formation in post-independence Namibia
Author:Gewald, Jan-BartISNI
Book title:From modern myths to global encounters: belonging and the dynamics of change in postcolonial Africa: a liber discipilorum in honour of Peter Geschiere
Geographic term:Namibia
Subjects:ethnic identity
Abstract:This chapter deals with the sudden blossoming of Bakgalagadi ethnic identity in Namibia shortly after independence in 1990. It is inspired by Peter Geschiere's work on identity in flux and the fluidity of ethnicity in the context of globalization. The article concentrates on the emergence of a specific self-ascribed ethnic identity in relation to other ethnicities in postcolonial Namibia. Just after independence, a setting emerged in Namibia in which a number of ethnicities which had been relatively privileged in the colonial era lost their privileges, while at the same time others, which had been cut off from privileges in the colonial era, now gained access to privileges. However, the ethnic identity discussed here did not exist prior to independence. In the early 1990s, a group of people living on the edge of the Kalahari in eastern Namibia claimed to be Bakgalagadi, separate from the Tswana. Three factors played a role in their refusal to be associated with an ethnic identity that had become unacceptable in their eyes: incompatible ethnicity, disfavour, and politics. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]