S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Wulfhorst, August (plant collection)

Born: 12 March 1861, GŁterslow, Westfalen, Germany.
Died: 28 September 1936, GŁterslow, Westfalen, Germany.

August Wulfhorst, a Rhenish missionary, was ordained in 1890. He came to German South West Africa (now Namibia) with F. Meisenholl that same year and erected a mission station among the Uukuanjama tribe at Ondjiva, Ovamboland. Wulfhorst soon started another station at Omupanda, where he worked until his return to Germany in 1917. His departure was precipitated by hostilities resulting from World War I (1914-1918). Wulfhorst was the pioneer Rhenish missionary in the territory. He participated in the translation of the Bible into Oshikuanjama and, with Meisenholl, prepared a translation of the four Gospels in 1896. Among others he published a booklet (in German) describing the early Rhenish missionary work among the Uukuanjama (Barmen, 1904, 34p), and in 1917 completed a manuscript (which was not published) describing the 25 years of Rhenish missionary work. Articles on his work appeared regularly in the Berichte der Rheinische Missionsgesellschaft between 1891 and 1917. During this period he accumulated a large collection of ethnological material.

During his stay in Ovamboland Wulfhorst collected plants and sent specimens to the botanist Dr Hans Schinz* at Zurich, Switzerland. The genus Wulfhorstia and the species Baissea wulfhorstii were named after him, the latter by Schinz.

List of sources:
Dictionary of South African biography, Vol. 2, 1972.

General directory of South Africa, 1903, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911: Ecclassiastical directory.

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

South African bibliography to the year 1925, Vol. 5. Cape Town: South African Library, 1991.

Compiled by: C. Plug