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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Using ritual to resist domination in the Transkei
Author:MacAllister, P.A.ISNI
Periodical:African Studies
Geographic terms:South Africa
rites of passage
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00020189108707738
Abstract:This paper summarizes and draws together data on various forms of ritual among the Xhosa-speaking people of the Shixini Administrative Area of Willowvale District in Transkei, South Africa. The data were collected by Philip Mayer during fieldwork conducted in Shixini in the early 1960s and again in 1976, and by the present author during fieldwork conducted in Shixini in the period 1976-1977 and for short periods annually after that. The paper more specifically examines the role of ritual in the construction and maintenance of a conservative world view among a section of the Transkei population, shows why such a world view persists, and illustrates some of the pressures on it in recent years. On the one hand, ritual in Shixini is used to help maintain a tradition of resistance to fuller incorporation into the Southern African political economy. This might be termed the wider or macropolitical context of Xhosa ritual. On the other hand, however, there is a local micropolitical context, in that ritual serves several local-level political functions, such as directing the way in which a migrant worker ought to view his work. The paper shows that there is a close relationship between these two contexts, in that the latter local-level functions of ritual (such as beer drinks) contribute towards the wider goal. Bibliogr., notes, ref.