by the Diagram Group
*this book appears on my blog courtesy of the Spokane Public Library*
What is Southern Africa?
The countries of Southern Africa follow arbitrary lines drawn in the Colonial Era. They are:
- Cormoros (islands)
- Mauritius (island)
- Madagascar* (island)
- South Africa
*Lethoso and Swaziland are separate countries completely surrounded by the larger country of South Africa, much as sovereign American Indian tribal nations exist within the larger context of the United States and are treated on a government-to-government basis.
**Since I have already featured Madagascar on this blog, I will not go into detail about the 18 separate ethnic groups that make up the island’s population. Eighteen in addition to the ones listed in the word cloud above, that is.
Cape Coloreds and Cape Malays
This group of people would be all one, if it weren’t for religion. Cape Coloreds are Christian and Cape Malays are Muslim. Other than that, they share a language, cuisine, customs, culture, and all that good stuff. Of course the term “Coloreds” is falling into disrepute with the end of the Colonial Era, so the subgroup is searching for something better to call themselves. Fair enough.
These people survived the colonizing Germans’ attempts to exterminate them. (Practicing for World War II, most likely.) The women liked the style of the German missionaries’ dresses and wear them to this day. They have a distinctive mutton-chop sleeve. But unlike the missionaries, they don’t wear drab colors. (Women after my own heart!) Herero women are known for their bright, bold color combinations.
I’m always interested in origins, and these folks are thought to be the original inhabitants of Southern Africa. Over time they were pushed out and marginalized by the late-comers, the Bantu-speaking peoples. Khoisan consist of two subgroups, the Khoikhoi and the San, or Xhosa, whom early White writers like Laurens Van der Post would have known as the Hottentots and the Bushmen.
See my post on Madagascar, for which I chose a William S. Burroughs novel. It features a lot of animals, which seemed appropriate, since Madagascar, like Australia, is home to some very unique creatures found nowhere else on earth. Madagascar is just about twice the size of the U.S. state of Arizona. Huge for an island.