Edhina ekogidho - Names as links: The encounter between African and European anthroponymic systems among the Ambo people in Namibia

Dublin Core

Title

Edhina ekogidho - Names as links: The encounter between African and European anthroponymic systems among the Ambo people in Namibia

Description

PhD Dissertation: This study analyses the changes in the anthroponymic system of the Ambo people, the largest ethnic group in Namibia, caused by the Christianisation and Europeanisation of the traditional Ambo culture. The central factors in this process were the work of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM) and the German and South African colonisation, beginning in 1883 when the first Ambos were baptised by the Finns and received new biblical and European names at baptism. The main sources for this study are the European missionary and colonial archives and literature dealing with the history of the Ambo area and the Ambo culture. A number of Ambos were also interviewed for this study in Namibia. The linguistic analysis of the personal names of the Ambos is based on a corpus including the baptismal names of 10,920 people from three Lutheran congregations: Elim, Okahao and Oshigambo (1913–1993). The most significant changes in the Ambo naming system are the adoption of biblical and European names, the practice of giving more than one name for a person, and the adoption of hereditary surnames. Elements of the traditional naming system have also survived in this process. Just as in the old days, Ambo children today are typically named after other people, and the role of the namesake continues to be important in the society. The old custom of giving the new-born baby an Ambo name is also preserved, as well as the practice of using Ambo nicknames (e.g. praise names). The surnames of the Ambos are also based on traditional Ambo personal names. Since the 1950s, African baptismal names have become popular, and they have often been given according to principles that are similar to those traditionally observed. Hence, the encounter of African and European naming systems led not only to the adoption of new names in the personal nomenclature of the Ambos, but also to the formation of a new “African-European” naming system that consists of both African and European elements. This revolution in the Ambo naming system was particularly rapid, as it was essentially completed within one century.

Creator

Minna Saarelma-Maunumaa

Source

http://ethesis.helsinki.fi/julkaisut/hum/suome/vk/saarelma-maunumaa/

Publisher

University of Helsinki, Department of Finnish, Faculty of Arts.

Date

2007

Format

PDF

Language

English, Finnish, Oshiwambo

Files

http://namibia.leadr.msu.edu/files/original/d0b781f81aeb16becd6fb658aae30f91.pdf

Citation

Minna Saarelma-Maunumaa, “Edhina ekogidho - Names as links: The encounter between African and European anthroponymic systems among the Ambo people in Namibia,” Namibia Digital Repository, accessed September 23, 2021, https://namibiadigitalrepository.com/items/show/286.

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