Children of the Mist by Scott Balson - Published by Interactive Presentations (340 pages)
Children of the Mist by Scott Balson is the story of the lost tribe of South Africa, the Griqua people. The book is the result of 30 years of research and interest in the Griquas by the author.
The Griqua people are the coloured descendants of the Hottentots and the San (Bushmen); today the Hottentots are extinct and the San eke out a precarious existence in the nether regions of Southern Africa.
The Hottentots and the San are the original inhabitants of much of present day South Africa. It is estimated that at the time of Van Riebeeck’s landing there were 200 000 Hottentots in the South Western Cape, and 20 000 San in the whole of Southern Africa.
The history of South Africa has been well documented from the perspective of White/Caucasian settlement from the 17th century onwards, but little has been written about the impact that such a settlement had on the indigenous peoples of the land. In the case of the Griqua people, much that has been written to date has been either tedious or incorrect.
Children of the Mist sets out to redress the inaccuracies of the past and set down a definitive record of the proud nation that is the Griqua people.
The nomadic lifestyle that the Griqua people were forced to adopt as they were harried and chased by Boer and Briton over large tracts of South Africa, across the centuries is described very thoroughly.
Much of the history of the Griquas is a succession of treks and journeys by wagon in an attempt to find a settled life of peace and quiet. The frustration of the Griqua people culminated in rebellion in 1878, which is what ultimately saw the demise of their status.
They were forced by white sellers into a situation where they could no longer live in the way their culture had evolved into over hundreds of years, and to which they had become accustomed.
Children of the Mist is a very readable book and is a valuable and worthy account of the history of the Griquas.
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