Damaraland - Encyclopedia




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DAMARALAND, a region of south-western Africa, bounded W. by the Atlantic, E. by the Kalahari, N. by Ovampoland, and S. by Great Namaqualand. It forms the central portion of German South-West Africa. Damaraland is alternatively known as Hereroland, both names being derived from the tribes inhabiting the region. The so-called Damara consist of two probably distinct peoples. They are known respectively as "the Hill Damara" and "the Cattle Damara," i.e. those who breed cattle in the plains. The Hill Damara are Negroes with much Hottentot blood, and have adopted the Hottentot tongue, while the Cattle Damara are of distinct Bantu-Negro descent and speak a Bantu language. The term Damara ("Two Dama Women") is of Hottentot origin, and is not used by the people, who call themselves Ova-herero, "the Merry People" (see Hottentots and Herero) .

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