MEET THE COMMUNITY

MEET THE COMMUNITY

© Richard Finn Gregory / GOOD WORK

Why Do We Care?

The Afrikaans-Argentine community represents an unparalleled context that allows us to study how language becomes interwoven with cultural identity.

Why Do We Care?

The Afrikaans-Argentine community represents an unparalleled context that allows us to study how language becomes interwoven with cultural identity. Our collaborative research allows for a deeper understanding of communities in exile than could be achieved by any one scholar working in isolation. At the same time, the shift from Afrikaans to Spanish is advancing so rapidly in Patagonia that the oldest generation represents the last group of fluent Afrikaans-Spanish bilingual speakers in the world. We are studying a highly-endangered language variety.

© Richard Finn Gregory / GOOD WORK


THIS IS THEIR STORY


1899 - 1902

The Second Anglo-Boer War

The Second Anglo-Boer War started in October of 1899 and ended in May of 1902.

1902

Boers Depart

In April of 1902, the first group of Boers departed Cape Town for Argentina on the La Pampa.

1902

Boers Arrive

In June of 1902, the first group of Boers arrived at Comodoro Rivadavia (Chubut province, Argentina).

1907

End of Migration

1907 brought the end of migration for the Boers - a total of about 600 Afrikaners were settled in Comodoro Rivadavia area at this point.

1907

Discovery of Oil

In December of 1907, oil was discovered in Comodoro Rivadavia.

1926

Die Nederduits Gereformeerde Vrouebond

In 1926, the Dutch Reformed Women’s Association, Die Nederduits Gereformeerde Vrouebond, was founded.

1938

Back to South Africa

In 1938, about half of the Afrikaner community repatriated to South Africa.

1953

Last Words

The last official contact between South Africa and Patagonian Afrikaners occured in 1953.

1954

Shifting from Afrikaans to Spanish

1954 brought the first record of a Reformed Church minutes in Spanish.

1960s

Afrikaans Still Strong

Afrikaans was still the most commonly spoken language in Sarmiento (Chubut province, Argentina) through the 1960s.

1995

An Afrikaner Settlement

Brian du Toit published “Colonia Boer: An Afrikaner Settlement in Chubut, Argentina" in 1995, calling attention to the community.

2014

Michigan in Patagonia

In May of 2014, a University of Michigan team (Andries Coetzee, Lorenzo García-Amaya, Nick Henriksen) was sent to the community on a Fieldwork Trip.

2015

Boers at the End of the World

The cinema release of “The Boers at the End of the World” in South Africa called international attention to the community in Patagonia.

2017

Collaboratory

IN SPRING 2017 THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AFRIKAANS-ARGENTINE COLLABORATORY WAS FORMED BY SIX FACULTY AND ELEVEN STUDENT MEMBERS. THEIR RESEARCH IS ONGOING.