Griqua Identity: A Bibliography

Griqua Identity: A Bibliography

47 pages

Allegra Louw, Librarian
African Studies Library
University of Cape Town


Most scholars acknowledge that the origins of the Griqua people are rooted in the complex relationships between autochthonous KhoeSan, slaves, Africans and European settlers. Coupled with the intricacies that underpin the issue of Griqua identity—and often as equally contested—is the matter of terminology.

Christopher Saunders and Nicholas Southey describe the Griquas as

Pastoralists of Khoikhoi and mixed descent, initially known as Bastards or Basters, who left the Cape in the late 18th century under their first leader, Adam Kok 1 (c.1710-c.1795).

They explain the name “bastards” as

[The] term used in the 18th century for the offspring of mixed unions of whites with people of colour, most commonly Khoikhoi but also, less frequently, slaves.”

Even in the context of post-apartheid South Africa, issues of identity and ethnicity continue to dominate the literature of the Griqua people. As the South African social anthropologist, Linda Waldman, writes:

The Griqua comprise an extremely diverse category of South Africans. They are defined neither by geographical boundaries nor by cultural practices.

Waldman goes on to illustrate the complexities surrounding attempts to categorise the Griqua people by explaining how the Griqua have been described by some as a sub-category of the Coloured people, by others as either constituting a separate ethnic group, by others as not constituting a separate ethnic group, and by still others as a nation…

Read the entire bibliography here.

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