Reading an amusing book by Kyril Bonfiglioli [thanks for the rec, Michel], All the Sea in China, I came across unknown to me previously ethnic term. Griqua, according to Wiki, is the name of people of mixed-race originating from Cape Colony, roughly – children of European men (mostly Dutch) and indigenous tribes’women, who called themselves Bastaards. Sanctimonious English hypocrites found the name indecent and changed it to Griqua, by the name of a common ancestor.
This passage caught my attention:
“The high proportion of single Dutch men led to their taking indigenous women as wives and companions, and mixed-race children were born. They grew to be a sizeable population who spoke Dutch and were instrumental in developing the colony.
These children did not attain the social or legal status accorded their fathers, mostly because colonial laws recognised only Christian forms of marriage. This group became known as Basters, or bastards. The colonists, in their paramilitary response to insurgent resistance from Khoi and San people, readily conscripted the Basters into commandos. This ensured the men became skilled in lightly armed, mounted, skirmish tactics. Many recruited to war chose to abandon their paternal society and strike out and live more the way their maternal lines did. The resulting steady stream of disgruntled, Dutch-speaking, trained marksmen leaving the Cape hobbled the Dutch capability to crew their commandos. It also created belligerent, skilled groups of opportunists who harassed the indigenous populations the length of the Orange River. Once free of the colonies, these groups called themselves the Oorlam. In particular, the group led by Klaas Afrikaner became notorious. He attracted enough attention from the Dutch authorities to cause him to be rendered to the colony and banished to Robben Island in 1761.”
Humanity seem to have a very short attention span – and where is that notorious self-correcting evolutionary mechanism when we need it? We raise, train, appease and arm these bastards ourselves. (link via American Rattlesnake) We do not learn from our predecessors’ mistakes.