Die Rynse Sendinggenootskap en grondkwessies in die Kareeberggrensgebied in die neëntiende eeu : met spesifieke verwysing na die Aandelboomsending

Herbst, Robert Otto (2004-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this thesis the focus is on the history of the Kareeberg Bastaards who lived in the Kareeberg region at the time of the establishment of the Amandelboom mission station by the Rhenish Mission Society in 1845. Marginalised by their more powerful white neigbours, the Kareeberg Bastaards existed as semi-independent nomadic pastoralists in the Kareeberg mountains on the northern borders of the Cape Colony. The objective of the Rhenish Mission Society in extending their missionary activities to the Kareeberg region was to first convert the Kareeberg Bastaards and later the Schietfontein Xhosa into settled Christian communities. What was first viewed as a simple missionary endeavour by the Rhenish Mission Society unexpectedly developed into a serious problem for the Society. Due to several factors the initial objectives ofthe Rhenish Mission Society for these people were never fully realized. The most obvious reason for the initial problems experienced by the misssionaries was their strong Eurocentric ideas - something which characterized virtually all foreign missionaries to South Africa during the 19th century. This aspect which complicated matters at Amandel boom from the outset, is thoroughly examined in this thesis. It is argued that the main reason for the failure of the Rhenish Mission at Amandelboom can primarily be found in its world view. In this regard particular attention is paid to the regional factors operating in Germany which impacted upon the origin and development of the Rhenish Mission Sociey. The influence of these factors on the development of the Rhenish Mission Society could possibly explain why the Amandelboom missionaries were so out of touch with the realities of the Kareeberg area and its peoples. The impact of these factors on the Bastaard community specifically and the Amandelboom mission in general, is thoroughly investigated. Another aspect of the missionary's involvement at the Amandelboom mission which can be attributed to the specific characteristics of the Rhenish Mission Society itself, was that the society confined itself almost exclusively to the spiritual needs of the Bastaard people. In general the emphasis on spirituality to the exclusion of everything else in the training programme of the Rhenish Mission Society resulted in somewhat naive missionaries who, when in the field, found themselves out of their depth in the special circumstances that prevailed in the societies they tried to minister. In particular the position of the Bastaards in the broader sphere ofthe Cape colonial politics and their socio-economic position in that society, were crucial aspects of the Kareeberg Bastaard community which the missionaries either ignored, or failed to grasp. In contrast to the London Mission Society and its workers who often fought on behalf of their congregations for their rights and liberties, the Amandelboom missionaries assumed that the worldly condition of their congregants had to be accepted as the will of God. According to the strong Pietistic principles of the Rhenish Mission Society they held the view that true Christians should refrain from indulging in undesirable political activity. However, the complicated history of the Kareeberg Bastaards prior to the arrival of the missionaries and several external factors which applied to this community, resulted in an intricate and uncertain relationship between the Bastaards and the rest of the people of the Cape Colony. The threat which resulted from this to the existence of the Bastaards as a group required a more drastic approach from the missionaries than that which they were trained for, or prepared to perform. The missionaries were consequently ill-prepared for their task in the Kareeberge. Against this background, coupled to the fact that the Bastaards were isolated in an ecologically marginal farming area, the associated land questions and threats of displacement of the community made for insurmountable problems at the Amandelboom mission. These socio-political questions were more complicated than anything that could be handled by means of instructions from Germany. The change in farming practices in the districts adjacent to Amandelboom from meat to wool production, the impact thereof on the acquisition of land and how land reforms in these districts eventually impacted upon the Amandelboom Bastaard communities, form an integral part of this thesis. Against this background an attempt is made to put the Kareeberg mission and the involvement of the Rhenish Mission Society at Amandelboom, in its proper historical perspective.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie proefskrif word die fokus geplaas op die Kareebergbasters as 'n uitgeworpe splintergroep van die blanke samelewing aan die Kaapkolonie se noordgrens. Teen 1845, met die vestiging van die Rynse sendingstasie by Amandelboom, het die Kareebergbasters nog 'n semionafhanklike nomadiese bestaan in die Kareeberge gevoer. Die doelstelling van die Rynse Sendinggenootskap met die uitbreiding van hulle sendinginisiatiewe na die Kareebergstreek, was om hierdie verdronge groep, en later ook die Schietfontein-Xhosa, in gevestigde, Christelike gemeenskappe te verander. Wat aanvanklik as 'n maklike sendingveld gesien is, het egter spoedig na die vestiging van die eerste sendelinge op Amandelboom, onverwags in 'n ernstige probleem vir die genootskap ontaard. Weens talle faktore het die aanvanklike doelstellings van die Rynse Sendinggenootskap vir die Kareebergbasters nooit werklik gerealiseer nie. Die mees voor-die-hand-liggende rede vir die aanvanklike probleme waarmee die sendelinge te kampe gehad het, was die sterk Eurosentriese idees van die sendelinge wat so 'n algemene kenmerk was van feitlik alle buitelandse sendinginisiatiewe in Suid-Afrika gedurende die 19de eeu. Hierdie aspek wat vanuit die staanspoor sake op Amandelboom ernstig bemoeilik het, word in hierdie proefskrif diepliggend ondersoek. Daar word aangevoer dat die rede waarom die Amandelboomsending misluk het in die eerste plek teruggevoer kan word tot die wêreld-en lewensbeskouing van die Rynse Sendinggenootskap self. In hierdie verband word indringend gekyk na die impak van streeksfaktore in Duitsland op die ontstaan en ontwikkeling van die Rynse Sendinggenootskap as moontlike verklaring waarom die ter plaatse sendelinge op Amandelboom dikwels so uit voeling was met die realiteite van die Kareebergstreek en sy inwoners. Die impak hiervan op die Bastergemeenskap, asook die implikasies daarvan vir die Kareebergsending in sy geheel, word indringend ondersoek. Nog 'n aspek van die Kareebergsending wat tot die aard van die Rynse Sendinggenootskap self teruggevoer kan word, was dat die sendelinge hulle taak in die Kareeberge bloot tot die geestelike bearbeiding van die Basters beperk het. In die algemeen het die ietwat "wêreldvreemde" Rynse Sendinggenootskap en hulle sendelinge in die sendingveld weinig begrip vir die besondere sosioekonomiese en veral politieke posisie van die Bastergemeenskap in die breë Kaapse samelewing getoon. In teenstelling met die Londense Sendinggenootskap wat dikwels as kampvegters vir die regte van hulle volgelinge opgetree het, het die Rynse Sendinggenootskap in hierdie stadium nog uitsluitlik op die geestelike welstand van hulle volgelinge gefokus. Buite hierdie breë raamwerk is in die algemeen streng afsydig gestaan teenoor elke ander aspek van die gemeenskappe waaronder hulle gewerk het. Die aardse lotgevalle van hulle volgelinge was Godgegewe en moes so aanvaar word. Volgens die streng Piëtistiese interpretasie van die Rynse Sendinggenootskap moes die opregte Christen hom weerhou van ongewenste politieke bemoeienis. Die ambivalente posisie van die Basters in die koloniale gemeenskap; hulle lang, ingewikkelde voorgeskiedenis en komplekse verweefdheid met talle eksterne faktore, het egter 'n meer drastiese benadering geverg as waarvoor die Rynse sendelinge opgelei was, ofwaarop hulle ten opsigte van die Kareebergbasters voorbereid was. Teen hierdie agtergrond was die verdringingsprobleem van die Kareebergbasters as 'n vasgekeerde gemeenskap in 'n ekologiese randgebied en die gepaardgaande grondkwessies op Amandelboom, meer ingewikkeld as wat die sendelinge en veral die voorskriftelike direksie van die genootskap in Duitsland ooit besef het. Die oorskakeling van vleis- na wolproduksie in die aanliggende blanke distrikte, die impak daarvan op toegang tot grond en hoe grondhervormings in hierdie distrikte uitgekring het na die onafhanklike Bastergemeenskap buite die grense van die kolonie, vorm 'n geïntegreerde deel van die proefskrif. Teen hierdie agtergrond word gepoog om die Kareebergsending en die Rynse betrokkenheid by die Bastergemeenskap op Amandelboom, in sy besondere historiese perspektief te plaas.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49927
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