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Naming the Land

San Identity and Community Conservation in Namibia's West Caprivi

by Julie J. Taylor

This book encompasses a history of identity-building amongst Khwe San people, and of contestations for authority over land and natural resources in Namibia's West Caprivi. The politics of authority in this contested borderland area were significantly shaped by state and NGO interventions into local institutions and land use between the late 1930s and 2006. Julie J. Taylor pays close attention to the role of NGOs in these processes. She shows that, in their relationship with West Caprivi's residents, NGOs unintentionally contributed towards the hardening and politicising of ethnic difference, including through the implementation of land mapping projects. At the same time, in their relationship with the state, NGOs often worked to "depoliticise" struggles over authority, thus inadvertently reinforcing the state's authority in the area.

ISBN 9783905758252 | 282 pages | 244 x 170 mm | 2012 | Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia | Paperback



“Julie Taylor has written an extraordinary book about a distinctive part of southern Africa - a tongue of land between Angola and Botswana… an area on the political and economic margins of the subcontinent. Yet it has natural riches, not least wildlife. … This recent history of the Khwe, combining disciplines and extensive fieldwork, provides a wonderful window on the new struggles over land and nature.”

Professor William Beinart, Oxford University



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