1887

n South African Journal of Cultural History - Die sendeling Héli Chatelain en die Afrikaners in Angola, 1897-1907

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Abstract

Héli Chatelain, 'n Switser gebore in Morat in 1859, maar wat later 'n Amerikaanse burger geword het, was die stigter van die wat van 1897 af in Sentraal-Angola sendingwerk gedoen het. Die genootskap het onder sy leiding van 'n feitlik eenman-sending met rasse skrede gegroei. Hy het in 1907 na Switserland teruggekeer en is kort daarna in Lausanne oorlede.


Chatelain het na sy bekering in sy jeugjare teologiese opleiding in Switserland ontvang en daarna in die VSA waar hy ook 'n mediese kursus in New York gevolg het. Van 1884 tot 1887 was hy aan die sending van W. Taylor in Noord-Angola verbonde en het sy talent ontluik om nuwe tale aan te leer. Hy het hierna verskeie boeke oor swart tale die lig laat sien. Sy het groot aftrek in die VSA gekry. Tussen 1887 en 1897 pendel hy tussen Europa, die VSA en Angola totdat hy in September 1897 in Benguella land en saam met Afrikaners in hulle ossewaens na Caluquembe vertrek om daar 'n sendingstasie te stig.
Caluquembe is geleë op die sentrale hoogland waar Afrikaners hulle reeds sedert 1890 gevestig het. en wat bekend was as die kerkwyke Hogeveld, Hanha en Qué. Tydens Chatelain se verblyf in Sentraal-Angola het hy ten nouste met die Afrikaners as geestelike raadgewer, handelaar en vriend saamgeleef, wat nie gehuiwer het om die Afrikaners se swakhede uit te wys nie. Sy lewendige beskrywing van die Afrikaners werp lig op hulle lewenswyse wat verder toegelig word deur die fragmente van alledaagse, Afrikaanse dokumente wat in die argief van die Schweizer Allianz Mission (SAM), of die in Frans, in Winterthur, gehuisves word. Die Britse historikus, David Birmingham, het die waarde van hierdie dokumente 'n dekade gelede "ontdek" nadat dit lank in staaltrommels op die perseel van die genootskap geberg was. Benewens die Afrikaanse dokumente, word ook in briewe in Engels, Portugees, Frans en Duits na die Afrikaners verwys.


Héli Chatelain, born in Morat in Switzerland in 1859, but who later accepted American citizenship, was the founder of the that did mission work in Central Angola. Under his direction the virtual one-man undertaking rapidly grew to a fully-fledged society. He returned to Switzerland in 1907 where he died in Lausanne soon after his arrival.
After Chatelain's conversion in his late youth he studied theology in Switzerland and the USA where he also completed a medical course in New York. From 1884 until 1887 he was attached to W. Taylor's mission in Northern Angola where he discovered his talent for learning new languages.
He was the author of a number of books on Angolan indigenous languages and his received prominence in the USA. Between 1887 and 1897 he roamed between Europe, the USA and Angola until September 1897 when he set foot in Benguella and left with a number of Afrikaners with their ox wagons where he settled at Caluquembe to found a new mission station.
Caluquembe is situated on the central highlands where Afrikaners had already settled in 1890 in the area known by its church wards as Hogeveld, Hanha and Qué. During his stay at Caluquembe, he had close relations with the surrounding Afrikaners and provided them with spiritual guidance, with daily necessities as a trader, acted as councillor and was their friend. However, he also criticised them when the need arose and mentioned their weaknesses in his correspondence. His vivid descriptions of the Afrikaners, and the fragments of documents and notes in Afrikaans in the archives of the Schweizer Allianz Mission (SAM) in Winterthur, shed light on the daily life of the Afrikaners in Central Angola. The British historian, David Birmingham, "discovered" the value of these documents after they had been kept in steel drums for decades on the premises of the society. Apart from the Afrikaans letters, reference to the Afrikaners are also to be found in letters in English, Portuguese, French and German.

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/content/culture/27/1/EJC138871
2013-01-01
2016-12-06
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