Axel Wilhelm Eriksson

Male, Deceased Person

1846 – 1901

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Who was Axel Wilhelm Eriksson?

Axel Wilhelm Eriksson was a Swedish ornithologist, settler and trader in what is now Namibia. He was born in Vänersborg, in Sweden.

Eriksson went to South-West Africa in 1866 to serve out a three-year apprenticeship to Charles John Andersson. In 1871, with Swede Anders Ohlsson, he established a brewery at Omaruru. Eriksson established a trading post there, which flourished and by 1878 employed about forty whites. Eriksson's business was based upon long-distance trading between southern Angola and Cape Colony, which necessitated the establishment of regional trade routes. He also built up an extensive bird collection, specimens coming from South West Africa, Angola and the Transvaal, which has since been donated to the municipal museum in Vänersborg.

His activities gained much respect from a wide range of communities, including native and Boer, over a large geographic area. He was known to the Herero as Karuwapa Katiti.

Axel Eriksson died on May 5, 1901 at Urupupa. It was said that "when Karuwapa died, the goodness in the country died as well". His grave at Rietfontein, thirty kilometres south west of Grootfontein, was made a national monument in 1978; a sign beside the grave reads: "This is the last resting place of Axel Eriksson, well known traveller, hunter, trader and pioneer, through whose intercession the Cape Government sent food to the distressed thirstland trekkers in 1879 thus rescuing various families from certain death".

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Born
1846
Died
1901

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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