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The politics of possession: Herero spiritual epistemologies, repatriation of remains, and the memorialization of the 1904-1908 genocide

Lynn, Maja B (2022) The politics of possession: Herero spiritual epistemologies, repatriation of remains, and the memorialization of the 1904-1908 genocide. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Herero people, or OvaHerero, of Namibia are currently engaged in a struggle for the memorialization of the murder of 80% of their population by German colonial soldiers from 1904 -1908 (Wallace 2011, 177). Herero activists have worked to establish their history within international genocide discourse. These efforts have helped them gain the political leverage needed to have skulls stolen by colonial soldiers repatriated by museums. Existing literature on this genocide examines the complex relationships between actors involved in reparation and genocide reconciliation negotiations. My research focuses on spirituality, a subject of intimate and immediate importance to the OvaHerero who practice ancestor veneration, as a driving factor in these negotiations. My research relies on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted in New York City and Berlin, Germany that bring to light the underlying spiritual motivations of the OvaHerero.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lynn, Maja Bmbaskalynn@gmail.commbl28
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWebel,
Committee MemberBender,
Committee MemberKranson,
Committee MemberHitchcock,
Committee MemberYoung,
Date: 27 April 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 14 April 2022
Approval Date: 27 April 2022
Submission Date: 21 April 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 133
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: University Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: OvaHerero and Nama Genocide, German History, Post-Colonial studies, Memory, Museum studies, Repatriation, Namibia.
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2022 12:02
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2022 12:02


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