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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Silencing the past: historical and archaeological colonisation of the southern San in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Author:Francis, MichaelISNI
Periodical:Anthropology Southern Africa (ISSN 0258-0144)
Geographic term:South Africa
ethnic identity
Abstract:The San of the Drakensberg (South Africa) are assumed to be extinct. Yet, there are Zulu-speaking people in the Drakensberg who still identify as San. These people and their claims both challenge the preconceived notions of what it means to be San in southern Africa and show the situational nature of ethnicity. The claims revolve around mutual ties and family genealogies that do not necessarily constitute a salient or 'complete' identity, but a process intimately tied with the history of the region and all its complexity, violence and changes. Basing himself on research carried out in 2003-2006 in the community of Thendele in the Kamberg Valley of the Drakensberg, the author shows how people claim different ethnicities at different times, past and present, in order to respond to changing social and political conditions. By highlighting the situational nature of ethnicity, he fractures singular notions of ethnicity as seen in the image of the San as essentially Kalahari hunter-gatherers. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]