Reflections on Music and Deutschtum in Namibia

van Zyl, Deborah Lynn (2016-12)

Thesis (MMus)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis examines music-making through the lens of Deutschtum and the construction of a Heimat in South West Africa/Namibia. The research is concerned with how German musicking took root in German colonial life, and the role of musicking in establishing and cementing German culture in South West Africa/Namibia thereafter. The thesis documents the German presence in South West Africa/Namibia from the arrival of the German missionaries to the establishment of a German colony, through the mandate years including two world wars, until after independence in 1990. A summary of the topography and demography, with emphasis on the towns of Swakopmund and Lüderitz, as well as music activities in the prisoner of war camps of both World Wars, serve as case studies to delve into the role of music in creating a sense of settledness. In the perceived re-enactment of German culture in an unfamiliar space, German nationalism, and nationalism in music is discussed, by viewing its role in the context of the German settlers making a home away from home in South West Africa/Namibia. Deutschtum or Germanness and the socio-political implications of the establishment of German cultural societies and clubs in South West Africa/Namibia are considered in order to establish how Namibian Germans have used their music to create an identity and a sense of belonging in a hostile and alien environment. The Swakopmund Men‟s‟ Chorus (Swakopmund Männergesangverein) which was established 1902, and the Swakopmund Music Week (Swakopmunder Musikwoche) which celebrated fifty years of existence in 2015, are discussed in detail against the social milieu of the town. Several leading musical personalities in Swakopmund are highlighted. Similarly, the musical activities in the „forgotten‟ town of Lüderitz have been researched within the context of the colonial years and the economic rise and fall of the town. Continued music-making in the prisoner-of-war camps of both the First and Second World Wars contributed further to the notion of music as an accepted part of daily life in a German environment. Although the Herero and Nama people involved at the mission stations in both central and southern South West Africa/Namibia were schooled in Western classical music to a certain level, they were never assimilated into the social musical life of the settlers. My findings are that German musicking had a significant influence on the social life of the German-speaking population, contributing simultaneously to their cohesion and to their isolation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek musisering en musiek deur die lens van Deutschtum en die skepping van ‟n Heimat in Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië. Die navorsing is gemoeid met die dokumentasie van die wyses waarop Duitse tradisies van musisering en musiek wortel geskiet het in Duitse koloniale lewe, en die rol van musiekmaak in die totstandbring en vestiging van Duitse kultuur in Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië daarna. Die tesis is gemoeid met die Duitse teenwoordigheid in Suidwes Afrika/Namibië vanaf die aankoms van die Duitse sendelinge tot en met die vestiging van ‟n Duitse kolonie, insluitende die mandaatjare, twee wêreldoorloë, tot na die verkryging van onafhanklikheid in 1990. ‟n Oorsig van die topografie en demografie, met spesifieke nadruk op die twee dorpe Swakopmund and Lüderitz, insluitend musiek bedrywighede in die oorlogsgevangeniskampe van albei wêreldoorloë, rig die navorsing na die rol wat musiek gespeel het in die skepping van ‟n sin van bodemvastheid. In die beoefening van Duitse kultuur in ‟n vreemde omgewing, word Duitse nasionalisme en nasionalisme in musiek bespreek om die presiese rol wat musiek gespeel het met betrekking tot die skepping van „n nuwe Heimat in Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië vas te stel. Duitsheid en die sosio-politiese bedoeling van die daarstelling van Duitse kulturele gemeenskappe en klubs in Suidwes Afrika/Namibië word ondersoek om te bepaal hoe Namibiese Duitsers hulle musiek aangewend het om ‟n identiteit te skep, asook samehorigheid in ‟n vyandige en vreemde omgewing. Die Swakopmund Mannekoor (Swakopmund Männergesangverein), wat reeds in 1902 totstand gekom het, en die Swakopmund Musiekweek, (Swakopmunder Musikwoche), wat in 2015 hulle vyftig-jarige bestaan gevier het, word in diepte bespreek met betrekking tot die sosiale agtergrond van die dorp. Verskeie toonaangewende musikale persoonlikhede in Swakopmund word uitgelig. Op dieselfde manier word die musikale aktiwiteite in die dorp Lüderitz nagevors, spesifiek met betrekking tot die koloniale tydperk en die ekonomiese groei en ondergang van die dorp. Volgehoue musiekmaak in die oorlogsgevangeniskampe van beide die Eerste en Tweede Wêreldoorloë het verder bygedra tot die opvatting van musiek as ‟n aanvaarde deel van die daaglikse lewe in ‟n Duitse omgewing. Alhoewel die Herero en Nama bevolking wat aktief was by die sendingstasies in beide sentraal en suidelike Suidwes-Afrika/Namibië in Westerse klassieke musiek geskool was tot op ‟n spesifieke vlak, was hulle nooit in die sosiale musieklewe van die setlaars geassimileer nie. My bevindings is dat Duitse musiekmaak ‟n betekenisvolle invloed op die sosiale lewe van die Duits-sprekende bevolking gehad het, wat terselfdertyd tot beide hul samehorigheid én isolasie bygedra het.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100295
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