Otjiherero love poem
Omuzire woje motjiritarero
Omiimbo uandje omuua tjinene
Nu hakahana majezengi inga
Omasenina jandje "ami mbekusuvera"
Audio Alfonsia Kaupeua
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The Herero are pastors, whose whole life is determined by the search for pastures. They revolted in 1896 and 1904, and were decimated by the Germans, which provoked Erzberger's opposition and the government coalition break-up. It's about two centuries after the Ovambo and the Kavango, that the Herero came in the South West Africa. Coming from the Mossamedes region in Angola in the 18th century, they clashed with the Ovambo in the north. Because of the fierce resistance of the natives, they descended further south, where their homeland is now. Some even reached the Bechuanaland where they are known as Mbanderu.
This nomadic people, who live mainly from breeding, did not have a political structure accompanied by a supreme leader. Many leaders, holding their powers by the possession of the sacred fire and imposing flocks, competed with each other. Warlike people, the Herero, subdued the Dama and clashed victoriously with the Nama. Then they underwent the external influence of the German missionaries, who came to convert them to Christianity. A persistent sign of this imprint lies in the clothes worn by the women, modeled on those of the wives of the missionaries.
After missionaries came the German colonization. In 1885, the first Reichcommissar of South West Africa is named; his name is Dr. Heinrich Göring, father of the future Nazi dignitary. In 1904, the Hereros led by their chief Maharero took up the arms against their colonizers and attacked Okahandja on January 11, massacring all Europeans. The German retort which followed, decimated them. These revolts and pacifications were heavy in human lives (12 to 65,000 Herero, 6,000 Nama, 1,500 German).