Tuesday, June 24, 2008

boere

i love history. i am fascinated by where we come from and its influence on who we are today.

from 1899 to 1902 two small boer republics held off the onslaught of what then was the local world power, britain. they had no standing army. they were basically a group of farmers fighting for their freedom. but they could ride and they could shoot. these days most of their descendants live in cities and have lost most of the skills of their forefathers.

last week i went hunting with one that hadn't lost this connection with his past. he was brought up on the back of a horse and his father had taught him to place a bullet exactly where it needed to go from very young. to top it off, he lent me his 100 year old mauser, the same make of weapon that the boers had used in that war against the british so many years ago.

yes i love history and i enjoyed the connection i felt to my great grandfather who took up the same make weapon i had strung over my shoulder when he was called on to resist the might of the british nation.

4 comments:

rlbates said...

That's why my husband likes history so much. His favorite period may be our Civil War. He knows all the guns used, the generals, his relatives/their units, etc. He has even done the reenacting thing. I didn't, but I did make his uniform.

Bongi said...

the boers didn't have uniforms. with that in mind i suppose it could be said when i was hunting i was also dressed like a boer soldier of old (without a uniform):)

Anonymous said...

"...basically a group of farmers fighting for their freedom"

That's the way the ancient Greeks often did it, too. And, come to think of it, the Americans also -- also against the Brits!

I love history, too!

Philippa said...

What you wrote reminded me strongly of Stuart Cloete's "Turning Wheels", which I read earlier this year. While it takes place during the Great Trek, I think it conveys the Boer mindset very well. I don't know if the book is still easily available as it was first published in 1937, but well worth it if you can find it.

Another excellent book is Commando, by Deneys Reitz. It's a Boer journal of the Boer War, and my memory of it is a little hazy, but I remember it being an excellent read.