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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Failure of Ethnic Nationalism: Land, Power and the Politics of Clanship on the South African High Veld, 1860-1990
Author:Bank, Leslie J.ISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic terms:South Africa
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161133
Abstract:During the 1980s a great deal was written about the role of missionaries, anthropologists, colonial officials and intellectuals in the 'invention' of ethnic and tribal categories in Africa. Today few scholars would question the complicity of colonial agents in the construction of ethnic or tribal identities. Despite these interventions, however, there is a growing realization that processes of ethnicity formation are contingent on other factors as well. This article explores this proposition by investigating the role of the subethnic politics of clanship in the northeastern Orange Free State of South Africa over the past century. In this region the apartheid State set about in 1969 to create the 'South Sotho ethnic national State' of Qwaqwa in the former African reserve of Witsieshoek. The article investigates the plight of the people designated as 'South Sotho' in South Africa and their manipulation of colonial and apartheid categories in order to secure access to land and resources. It shows how the shift in State discourse from tribe to ethnic group served to politicize clanship as an ethnic label in the region. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.