The Damara, plural Damaran are an ethnic group who make up 8.5% of Namibia's population. They speak the Khoekhoe language and the majority live in the northwestern regions of Namibia, however they are found across the rest of the country, they have no known cultural relationship with any of the other ethnicities anywhere else in Africa, little is known of their origin. It has been proposed that the Damara are a remnant population of South-Western Africa hunter-gatherers, otherwise only represented by the Cimba and Kwadi, who adopted the Khoekhoe language of the immigrant Nama people. However, recent genetic studies have found that Damara are related to neighbouring Himba and Herero people, consistent with an origin from Bantu speakers who shifted to a different language and culture, their name in their own language is the "Daman". The name "Damaqua" stems from the addition of the Khoekhoe suffix "-qua/khwa" meaning "people". Prior to 1870 the hunter-gatherer Damaran occupied most of central Namibia they used to practice pastoralism with sheep and cattle, but were agriculturalist planting pumpkins, tobacco.
The Damaran were copper-smiths known for their ability to melt copper and used to make ornaments, jewellery and spear heads out of iron. The Damaran just like the Sān believed in communal ownership of land meaning that no individual owned land as God had given land to everyone. Thus, rather than one person owning good grazing land and another seeking out an existence, all would live in harmony, it was for this reason that many were displaced when the Nama and Herero began to occupy this area in search of better grazing. Thereafter the Damara were dominated by the Namaqua and the Herero, most living as servants in their households. In 1960, the South African government forced the Damara into the bantustan of Damaraland, an area of poor soil and irregular rainfall. About half of their numbers still occupy Damaraland; the supreme deity of the Damaran is ǁGamab referred to as ǁGammāb, ǁGauna, ǁGaunab and Haukhoin by the Khoekhoe. He lives in a high heaven above the heaven of the stars. ǁGamab, from ǁGam, Khoekhoe: water, mā, Khoekhoe: give is provider of the water and thus associated with the rising clouds, thunder and water.
He ensured the annual renewal of nature being the cycle of the seasons and supplied game animals to the ǃgarob and the Damaran. One of his chief responsibilities is to warrant the growth of crops. ǁGamab is the God of Death, directing the fate of mankind. He shoots arrows at humans from his place above the skies and those struck fall ill and die. After death, the souls of the dead make their way to ǁGamab's village in the heaven above stars and gather around him at a ritual fire, he offers them a drink from a bowl of liquid fat to drink, as a reward. ǁGamab's arch-enemy is the evil ǁGaunab. Since time immemorial, before the Nama migration from Southern Africa into what is today known as Namibia, before the arrival of the Bantu groups from North and Eastern Africa to the present-day Namibia the Damaran were living in this south-western part of Africa. According to written accounts of the history of the Damaran which dates back to the leadership of the Damaras as far back as the 14th century, substantiated by archaeological and ethnological evidence reflected to those records, the Damaran next to the Sān, are the first inhabitants of what is today known as Namibia.
Oral tradition has it. The Damaran settled between Huriǂnaub and ǃGûǁōb, before entering what later-on centuries long after became known as ǀNaweǃhūb; the Damaran moved southwards and were living peacefully as a single group in the area, a stone's throw and an eagle's flight in the surrounding of Dâureb, Paresis Mountains, ǃHōb, the Omatako Mountains, Otavi Mountains and ǃOeǂgâb. Oral and written historical records have it that intruders under the leadership of a certain Mukumbi invaded that area in 1600, clashed with the Damaran; the Damaran dispersed in splinter groups as a result of the aftermath of this battle wherein the Damara Gaob, Gaob ǀNarimab succumbed due to injuries sustained in the battle. The Damara, besides the ǀGowanîn, splinter groups settled all over the country in areas where there was an abundant water and shelter in the form of mountains. Remnants of the group, led by Gaob ǀNarimab who dispersed moved eastwards and settled in the ǀGowas known as ǀŪmâs and got the name ǀGowanîn.
Another group fled to mountainous central Namibia seeking shelter in ǀKhomas, ǃAoǁaexas Mountains, ǂĒros and ǀAu-ās and became known as the ǀKhomanin referred to as the Berg Damara. The group that remained in and around ǃOeǂgâb and settled nearby present-day ǀÂǂgommes got to be known as the ǃOeǂgân. There were two other groups that moved down the Tsoaxub and ǃKhuiseb namely the Tsoaxudaman and the ǃKhuiseda
Later Stone Age
The Later Stone Age is a period in African prehistory that follows the Middle Stone Age. The Later Stone Age is associated with the advent of modern human behavior in Africa, although definitions of this concept and means of studying it are up for debate; the transition from the Middle Stone Age to the Later Stone Age is thought to have occurred first in eastern Africa between 50,000 and 39,000 years ago. It is thought that Later Stone Age peoples and/or their technologies spread out of Africa over the next several thousand years; the terms "Early Stone Age", "Middle Stone Age" and "Later Stone Age" in the context of African archaeology are not to be confused with the terms Lower Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic, Upper Paleolithic. They were introduced in the 1920s, as it became clear that the existing chronological system of Upper and Lower Paleolithic was not a suitable correlate to the prehistoric past in Africa; some scholars, continue to view these two chronologies as parallel, arguing that they both represent the development of behavioral modernity.
The Later Stone Age was defined as several stone industries and/or cultures which included other evidence of human activity, such as ostrich eggshell beads and worked bone implements, lacked Middle Stone Age stone tools other than those recycled and reworked. LSA peoples were directly linked with biologically and behaviorally modern populations of hunter/gatherers, some being directly identified as San "Bushmen." This definition has changed since its creation with the discovery of ostrich eggshell beads and bone harpoons in contexts which predate the LSA by tens of thousands of years. The Later Stone Age was long distinguished from the earlier Middle Stone Age as the time in which modern human behavior developed in Africa; this definition has become more tenuous as evidence for such modern human behaviors is found in sites which predate the LSA significantly. The LSA begins about 50,000 years ago; the LSA is characterized by a wider variety in stone artifacts than in the previous MSA period.
These artifacts vary with time and location, unlike Middle Stone Age technology which appeared to have been unchanged for several hundreds of thousands of years. LSA technology is characterized by the use of bone tools; the LSA was associated with modern human behavior, but this view was modified after discoveries in MSA sites such as Blombos Cave and Pinnacle Point. LSA sites greatly outnumber MSA sites in Africa, a trend that could indicate an increase in population numbers; the greater number of LSA sites could result from bias towards better preservation of younger sites which have had fewer chances to be destroyed. Differences in stone tool technologies are used to distinguish between the Middle Stone Age and the Later Stone Age; the larger prepared platform flake-based stone tool industries of the Middle Stone Age, such as Levallois were replaced with industries that focused on producing blades and bladelets on cores with simple platforms. African stone tool technologies are divided into modes as proposed by Grahame Clark in 1969 and outlined by Lawrence Barham and Peter Mitchell as follows: Mode 1: Oldowan tool industries known as pebble tool industries Mode 2: Tools made through bifacial reduction produced from large flakes or cores Mode 3: Flake tools from prepared cores Mode 4: Punch-struck blades that are adapted into a variety of different tools Mode 5: Microlith portions of composite tools that may include wood or bone abruptly retouched or backedThe lithic technologies of the Later Stone Age fall into Modes 4 and 5.
They have been further broken into four stages within the LSA. Microlithic industries dated to between ca. 40,000 and ca. 19,000 B. P. labeled early LSA, or as late MSA, or as MSA/LSA transitions or interfaces Nonmicrolithic, bladelet-poor industries with dates between ca. 40,000 B. P. and ca. 19,000 B. P. Microlithic industries with bladelets dated between ca. 18,000 and ca. 12,000 B. P. Nonmicrolithic, bladelet-poor industries dating between 12,000 and 8000 B. P; the end of the Later Stone Age took place when groups adopted technologies such as metallurgy to replace the use of stone tools. This process happened at different rates across the continent, it is worth noting that the term "LSA" is used by archaeologists today to refer to stone tool-using hunter/gatherer populations in southern Africa; the model of the LSA "human revolution" is no longer favored by many archaeologists working in Africa due to the increasing evidence for development of modern human behavior earlier than 40,000-50,000 years ago.
Upper Paleolithic Middle Stone Age Enkapune Ya Muto Mumba Cave Mumbwa Cave Deacon, Hilary. "Learning about the past". Human Beginnings in South Africa. Cape Town: D. Phillips. ISBN 0-86486-417-5; the Stone Age of southern Tanzania
Herrnhut is an Upper Lusatian town in the Görlitz district in Saxony, known for the community of the Moravian Church established by Nicolas Ludwig, Count von Zinzendorf in 1722. It is located in the historic Upper Lusatia region, on the road Bundesstraße 178, on the Zittau–Löbau railway line. Herrnhut is about 10 km south-east of Löbau, 15 km north-west of Zittau, 25 km south-west of the district capital Görlitz; the municipality borders on, among Oderwitz. Herrnhut is the name of the largest town in the municipality. Since 1 January 2013, when Berthelsdorf was incorporated, the municipal area contains 11 subdivisions: Herrnhut Ninive Ruppersdorf Schwan Friedensthal Strahwalde Euldorf Großhennersdorf Heuscheune Neundorf auf dem Eigen Schönbrunn Berthelsdorf Rennersdorf/O. L. Herrnhut proper was founded in the early 18th century by German-speaking religious refugees of Bohemian Brethren from Margraviate of Moravia; the Unity of the Brethren arose after the reformer Jan Hus had been burnt at the stake during the Council of Constance in 1415.
In the 18th century, they had to face the stern Counter-Reformation measures enacted in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown by the Habsburg rulers. From 1722 refugees came to Upper Lusatia, held by the Electors of Saxony since the Peace of Prague. After meeting with their leader Christian David, a Moravian missionary, the German nobleman Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf invited them to settle on his extended Berthelsdorf estates. Shortly afterwards, David built the first home in what was to become Herrnhut, Herrn Hut means the Lord's watchful care or the Lord's protection. Zinzendorf himself had a new residence erected here in 1725–1727). From Herrnhut the community spread to Rixdorf near Berlin, the former Marienborn monastery near Büdingen, to Herrnhaag, to Norden, to Gnadenfeld. Numerous daughter churches arose all over the world; the first organized Protestant missionary movement began from Herrnhut in 1732, when 2 Brethren went to the Danish West Indies, others went to Greenland. The first North American mission work began in Savannah, Georgia in 1735.
In 1738, the missionary station of Genadendal was founded in South Africa. Christiansfeld in Denmark followed in 1771. Herrnhut holds a prominent place in the history of Protestantism, as well as the broader history of Christianity. Zinzendorf's community influenced John Wesley in creating Methodism and it contributed to the rise of Evangelicalism, a broad interdenominational movement of more than 300 million people all over the globe. According to the Saxon state congress in 1777, Herrnhut contained 76 homes. In the mid-19th century the population rose above 1,000, after World War II it reached more than 2,000. Since the 1950s there has been a decline in population, compensated for by the incorporation of neighboring municipalities; the Herrnhut coat of arms is blue and white, showing the tower of the Altan atop the Hutberg hill above the city. The name of Hutberg hill suggested the name of the Moravian settlement founded by these exiles on the Zinzendorf estate in 1722. Herrn Hut means "the Lord's Watchful care".
Herrnhut has two museums, including a museum of local history. It is the center of the worldwide Moravian Church, the Unitas Fratrum, in German Brüder-Unität or Brüdergemeine. Many European languages have named the Moravian Church movement directly after Herrnhut, for example hernhuutlus in Estonian, herrnhutilaisuus in Finnish, hernhūtieši in Latvian and herrnhutismen in both Norwegian and Swedish; the former Herrnhut train station on the decommissioned railway line Zittau–Löbau has been turned into an art gallery. Its economy is based on church administration, education and manufacturing, including a 25-pointed star, hung in windows and on porches during the Christmas season, produced for over 150 years, it is called Moravian Advent star. From Herrnhut, the Moravian star decoration has spread across America. Christian Renatus von Zinzendorf, church writer Heinrich August Jäschke, missionary and orientalist Adolf Heinrich Lier, landscape painter Hugo Theodor Christoph, entomologist Herbert Fischer, Ambassador of the GDR to India Martin Clemens, Saxon politician and former deputy of the Saxon Landtag David Gill, Chief of the Federal Presidential Office under Joachim Gauck Herrnhuter Sterne Evangelische Brüder
The Xhosa people are an ethnic group of people of Southern Africa found in the Eastern and Western Cape, South Africa, in the last two centuries throughout the southern and central-southern parts of the country. There is a small but significant Xhosa community in Zimbabwe, their language, IsiXhosa, is recognised as a national language; the Xhosa people are divided into several tribes with distinct heritages. The main tribes are the AmaGcaleka, AmaRharhabe, ImiDange, ImiDushane, AmaNdlambe. In addition, there are other tribes found near or amongst the Xhosa people such as AbaThembu, AmaBhaca, AbakoBhosha and AmaQwathi that are distinct and separate tribes which have adopted the Xhosa language and the Xhosa way of life; the name "Xhosa" comes from that of a legendary leader and King called uXhosa. There is a fringe theory that, in fact the King's name which has since been lost amongst the people was not Xhosa, but that "xhosa" was a name given to him by the San and which means "fierce" or "angry" in Khoisan languages.
The Xhosa people refer to themselves as the AmaXhosa, to their language as isiXhosa. Presently 8 million Xhosa are distributed across the country, the Xhosa language is South Africa's second-most-populous home language, after the Zulu language, to which Xhosa is related; the pre-1994 apartheid system of Bantustans denied Xhosas South African citizenship, but enabled them to have self-governing "homelands" namely. Many Xhosa live in Cape Town, East London, Port Elizabeth; as of 2003 the majority of Xhosa speakers 5.3 million, lived in the Eastern Cape, followed by the Western Cape, the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, North West, the Northern Cape, Limpopo. The Xhosa are part of the South African Nguni migration which moved south from the region around the Great Lakes; these tribes lived peacefully together until the frontier wars. Xhosa people were well established by the time of the Dutch arrival in the mid-17th century, occupied much of eastern South Africa from around the Port Elizabeth area to lands inhabited by Zulu-speakers south of the modern city of Durban.
The Xhosa and white settlers first encountered one another around Somerset East in the early 18th century. In the late 18th century Afrikaner trekboers migrating outwards from Cape Town came into conflict with Xhosa pastoralists around the Great Fish River region of the Eastern Cape. Following more than 20 years of intermittent conflict, from 1811 to 1812, the Xhosas were forced east by the British Empire in the Third Frontier War. In the years following, many tribes found in the north eastern parts of South Africa were pushed west into Xhosa country by the expansion of the Zulus in Natal, as the northern Nguni put pressure on the southern Nguni as part of the historical process known as the mfecane, or "scattering"; the Xhosa-speaking people received these scattered tribes and assimilated them into their cultural way of life and followed Xhosa traditions. The Xhosa called these various tribes AmaMfengu, meaning wanderers, were made up of tribes such as the amaBhaca, amaBhele, amaHlubi, amaZizi and Rhadebe.
These newcomers are sometimes considered to be Xhosa. Xhosa unity and ability to resist colonial expansion was to be weakened by the famines and political divisions that followed the cattle-killing movement of 1856–1858. Historians now view this movement as a millennialist response, both directly to a lung disease spreading among Xhosa cattle at the time, less directly to the stress to Xhosa society caused by the continuing loss of their territory and autonomy; some historians argue that this early absorption into the wage economy is the ultimate origin of the long history of trade union membership and political leadership among Xhosa people. That history manifests itself today in high degrees of Xhosa representation in the leadership of the African National Congress, South Africa's ruling political party. Xhosa is an agglutinative tonal language of the Bantu family. While the Xhosas call their language "isiXhosa", it is referred to as "Xhosa" in English. Written Xhosa uses a Latin alphabet–based system.
Xhosa is spoken by about 18% of the South African population, has some mutual intelligibility with Zulu Zulu spoken in urban areas. Many Xhosa speakers those living in urban areas speak Zulu and/or Afrikaans and/or English. Traditional healers of South Africa include diviners; this job is taken by women, who spend five years in apprenticeship. There are herbalists and healers for the community; the Xhosas have a strong oral tradition with many stories of ancestral heroes. One of Xhosa's descendents named Phalo gave birth to two sons, Gcaleka kaPhalo, the heir, Rarabe ka Phalo, a son from the Right Hand house. Rarabe was a great warrior and a man of great ability, much loved by his father. Gcaleka was a meek and listless man who did not possess all the qualities befitting of a future king. Matters were complicated by Gcaleka's initiation as a diviner, a forbidden practice for members of the royal family. Seeing the popularity of his brother and fearing that he might one day challenge him for the throne, Gcaleka attempted to usurp the throne from his father, but Rarabe would come to his father's aid and quell the insurrection.
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The British Empire comprised the dominions, protectorates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2, 24% of the Earth's total land area; as a result, its political, legal and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories. During the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries and Spain pioneered European exploration of the globe, in the process established large overseas empires.
Envious of the great wealth these empires generated, England and the Netherlands began to establish colonies and trade networks of their own in the Americas and Asia. A series of wars in the 17th and 18th centuries with the Netherlands and France left England and following union between England and Scotland in 1707, Great Britain, the dominant colonial power in North America, it became the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent after the East India Company's conquest of Mughal Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The independence of the Thirteen Colonies in North America in 1783 after the American War of Independence caused Britain to lose some of its oldest and most populous colonies. British attention soon turned towards Asia and the Pacific. After the defeat of France in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century. Unchallenged at sea, British dominance was described as Pax Britannica, a period of relative peace in Europe and the world during which the British Empire became the global hegemon and adopted the role of global policeman.
In the early 19th century, the Industrial Revolution began to transform Britain. The British Empire expanded to include most of India, large parts of Africa and many other territories throughout the world. Alongside the formal control that Britain exerted over its own colonies, its dominance of much of world trade meant that it controlled the economies of many regions, such as Asia and Latin America. During the 19th century, Britain's population increased at a dramatic rate, accompanied by rapid urbanisation, which caused significant social and economic stresses. To seek new markets and sources of raw materials, the British government under Benjamin Disraeli initiated a period of imperial expansion in Egypt, South Africa, elsewhere. Canada and New Zealand became self-governing dominions. By the start of the 20th century and the United States had begun to challenge Britain's economic lead. Subsequent military and economic tensions between Britain and Germany were major causes of the First World War, during which Britain relied upon its empire.
The conflict placed enormous strain on the military and manpower resources of Britain. Although the British Empire achieved its largest territorial extent after World War I, Britain was no longer the world's pre-eminent industrial or military power. In the Second World War, Britain's colonies in East and Southeast Asia were occupied by Japan. Despite the final victory of Britain and its allies, the damage to British prestige helped to accelerate the decline of the empire. India, Britain's most valuable and populous possession, achieved independence as part of a larger decolonisation movement in which Britain granted independence to most territories of the empire; the Suez Crisis confirmed Britain's decline as a global power. The transfer of Hong Kong to China in 1997 marked for many the end of the British Empire. Fourteen overseas territories remain under British sovereignty. After independence, many former British colonies joined the Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of independent states.
The United Kingdom is now one of 16 Commonwealth nations, a grouping known informally as the Commonwealth realms, that share a monarch Queen Elizabeth II. The foundations of the British Empire were laid when Scotland were separate kingdoms. In 1496, King Henry VII of England, following the successes of Spain and Portugal in overseas exploration, commissioned John Cabot to lead a voyage to discover a route to Asia via the North Atlantic. Cabot sailed in 1497, five years after the European discovery of America, but he made landfall on the coast of Newfoundland, mistakenly believing that he had reached Asia, there was no attempt to found a colony. Cabot led another voyage to the Americas the following year but nothing was heard of his ships again. No further attempts to establish English colonies in the Americas were made until well into the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, during the last decades of the 16th century. In the meantime, the 1533 Statute in Restraint of Appeals had declared "that this realm of England is an Empire".
The subsequent Protestant Reformation turned Catholic Spain into implacable enemies. In 1562, the English Crown encouraged the privateers John Hawkins and Francis Drake to engage in slave-raiding attacks against Spanish and Portuguese ships off the coast of West Africa with the aim of breaking into the Atlantic slave tr
The Richtersveld is a desert landscape characterised by rugged kloofs and high mountains, situated in the north-western corner of South Africa’s Northern Cape province. It is full of changing scenery from flat, coastal plains, to craggy sharp mountains of volcanic rock and the lushness of the Orange River, which forms the border with neighboring Namibia; the area ranges to 1,377 m at Cornellberg. Located in the north-eastern side of the Northern Cape province in South Africa, the Richtersveld is regarded as the only arid biodiversity hotspot on earth and the majority of the area is inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List due to its cultural values; the Nama people people of Richtersveld claimed title to their traditional land and set aside this conservancy for future research and tourism. The northern part of the area was proclaimed in 1991 after 18 years of negotiations between the National Parks Board and the local Nama people who continue to live and graze their livestock in the area, it has an area of 1,624.45 square kilometres.
This is a space for Nama people who live what is known as a transhumant lifestyle – where they migrate seasonally with their livestock and make use of a fragile succulent ecosystem. The community conservancy is bordered to the north by the Richtersveld National Park the Nababiep Provincial Nature Reserve and designated community grazing areas that allow the Nama people to continue with their lifestyle. Richtersveld National Park is the South-African part of the ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. In June 2007, the "Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape", just to the south of the National Park and an area of equivalent size and beauty, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Unlike the National Park, the Richtersveld Community Conservancy, which forms the core zone of the World Heritage Site, is not subject to diamond mining and is as a result the more pristine of the two areas; the Richtersveld comprises desert and succulent Karoo biomes. It is characterized by harsh summer temperatures which have been recorded to reach 53 °C in mid-summer.
Nights bring with them heavy dew. With water being scarce, life in the Richtersveld depends on moisture from the early morning fog. Locals call it'Ihuries' or'Malmokkies' and it makes survival possible for a range of small reptiles and mammals. Temperatures drop between April and May to more temperate levels, through June - August the nights grow much colder. Strong gale-force winds pick up in the winter and these cause sandstorms; the wind is cold due the influence from the Atlantic ocean in the west. The rainfall in the Richtersveld varies from 5 mm per annum in the east to 200 mm per annum in the west; the western mountainous region receives winter rainfall as well as life-giving mists from the ocean. The eastern area along the Orange River is drier and the rain more arrives in summer as large thunderstorms. By late August through to early October spring arrives with a vast floral blooming of daisy species and "vygies", namely in Namaqualand; the Richtersveld offers habitats for a diverse range of mammal and bird species.
These include the Grey rhebok, Steenbok, Hartmann's mountain zebra]], Chacma baboon, Vervet monkey and the African leopard. Reptiles include snakes such as the Puff adder, Black Spitting Cobra, the Nama Tiger Snake, lizards which comprise species of Agama. Species of weaver birds and Guineafowl are found inland, although bird species become more diverse during the rainier seasons; the threatened Richtersveld katydid is endemic to the area. In addition there are several species of scorpions. 4 849 plant species, 40 percent of which are endemic, have been documented in the Richtersveld and comprise succulent and aloe species. The area is home to a number of rather unusual plants, many of which are found nowhere else on earth. Chief among these is the "Halfmensboom" meaning "half-person tree", the name comes from the plant's resemblance to the human form; these trees are revered by the indigenous Nama people as the embodiment of their ancestors, half human, half plant, mourning for their ancient Namibian home.
Found here are three endemic species of the tree aloe Aloidendron: A. dichotomum, A. pillansii and A. ramosissimum referred to as "kokerbooms" or "quiver trees". The area is inhabited by other peoples; the local community, which owns the entire area, manages the National Park in conjunction with South African National Parks and is responsible for management of the World Heritage Site. Both areas are used by traditional nomadic/transhumance herders to practice their ancient lifestyle and culture, it is the last place where the traditional way of life of the Khoikhoi who once occupied the entire south-western part of Africa, survives to any great extent. The World Heritage Site is declared under the cultural criteria of the World Heritage Convention although it is recognised that the cultural values of the community and their continued existence are intrinsically connected to the environment. South African National Parks Richtersveld National Park and the Orange River Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier National Park The Richtersveld Community Conservancy, core of the World Heritage Site A mini travel portal for those considering to visit the Richtersveld The Richtersveld Municipality website
The Moravian Church, formally named the Unitas Fratrum, in German known as Brüdergemeine, is one of the oldest Protestant denominations in the world, with its heritage dating back to the Bohemian Reformation in the 15th century and the Unity of the Brethren established in the Kingdom of Bohemia. The name by which the denomination is known comes from the original exiles who fled to Saxony in 1722 from Moravia to escape religious persecution, but its heritage began in 1457 in Bohemia and its crown lands forming an autonomous kingdom within the Holy Roman Empire; the modern Unitas Fratrum, with about one million members worldwide, continues to draw on traditions established during the 18th century. The Moravians continue their tradition of missionary work, such as in the Caribbean, as is reflected in their broad global distribution, they place high value on ecumenism, personal piety and music. The Moravian Church's emblem is the Lamb of God with the flag of victory, surrounded by the Latin inscription: Vicit agnus noster, eum sequamur.
The Hussite movement, to become the Moravian Church was started by Jan Hus in early 15th century Bohemia, in what is today the Czech Republic. Hus objected to some of the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Since these actions predate the Protestant Reformation by a century, some historians claim the Moravian Church was the first Protestant church; the movement gained support in the Crown of Bohemia. However, Hus was summoned to attend the Council of Constance, which decided that he was a heretic and had him burned at the stake on 6 July 1415. From 1419 to 1437 were a series of Hussite Wars between various Catholic rulers and the Hussites, the political situation continued into a Hussite civil war between the more compromising Utraquists and the radical Taborites. In 1434, an army of Utraquists and Catholics defeated the Taborites at the Battle of Lipany; the Utraquists signed the Compacts of Basel on 5 July 1436. Within fifty years of Hus' death, a contingent of his followers had become independently organised as the "Bohemian Brethren" or Unity of the Brethren, founded in Kunvald, Bohemia, in 1457.
A brother known as Gregory the Patriarch was influential in forming the group, as well as the teachings of Peter Chelcicky. This group held to a strict obedience to the Sermon on the Mount, which included non-swearing of oaths, non-resistance, not accumulating wealth; because of this, they considered themselves separate from the majority Hussites that did not hold those teachings. They received episcopal ordination through the Waldensians in 1467; these were some of the earliest Protestants, rebelling against Rome some fifty years before Martin Luther. By the middle of the 16th century as many as 90 per cent of the inhabitants of the Bohemian Crown were Protestant; the majority of the nobility was Protestant, the schools and printing-shops established by the Moravian Church were flourishing. Protestantism had a strong influence in the education of the population. In the middle of the 16th century there was not a single town without a Protestant school in the Bohemian crown lands, many had more than one with two to six teachers each.
In Jihlava, a principal Protestant center in Moravia, there were five major schools: two German, one Czech, one for girls and one teaching in Latin, at the level of a high/grammar school, lecturing on Latin and Hebrew, Dialectics, fundamentals of Philosophy and fine arts, as well as religion according to the Lutheran Augustana. With the University of Prague firmly in hands of Protestants, the local Catholic church was unable to compete in the field of education. Therefore, the Jesuits were invited, with the backing of the Catholic Habsburg rulers, to come to the Bohemian Crown and establish a number of Catholic educational institutions. One of these is the university in the Moravian capital of Olomouc. In 1582 they forced closure of local Protestant schools. In 1617, Emperor Matthias had his fiercely Catholic brother Ferdinand of Styria elected King of Bohemia, but in 1618 Protestant Bohemian noblemen, who feared losing their religious freedom, started the Bohemian Revolt; the Revolt started by the unplanned second Defenestrations of Prague and was defeated in 1620 in the Battle of White Mountain near Prague.
As consequence the local Protestant noblemen were either executed or expelled from the country while the Habsburgs placed Catholic nobility in their place. The war and subsequent disruption led to a decline in the population from over 3 million to some 800,000 people. By 1622 the entire education system was in the hands of Jesuits and all Protestant schools were closed; the Brethren were forced to operate underground and dispersed across Northern Europe as far as the Low Countries, where their Bishop John Amos Comenius attempted to direct a resurgence. The largest remaining communities of the Brethren were located in Leszno in Poland, which had strong ties with the Czechs, small, isolated groups in Moravia; these latter are referred to as "the Hidden Seed" which John Amos Comenius had prayed would preserve the evangelical faith in the land of the fathe