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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Death, Christianity, and African miners: contesting indirect rule in the Zambian Copperbelt, 1935-1962
Author:Kalusa, Walima T.
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies (ISSN 0361-7882)
Geographic term:Zambia
Subjects:death rites
black workers
indirect rule
Abstract:In locating death, its rituals, and their underlying belief systems outside the historical context in which they occur, anthropological interpretations obscure fundamental transformations that take place in the social and cultural meanings of death and rituals when societies come under the pressure of socioeconomic and political change. Such interpretations largely skirt the important issue of how the subjects of empire deployed their shifting knowledge of dying, death, and interment to not only contest but also to wrest power from their unwilling colonial masters. This paper illuminates why death became a contested terrain between British rulers and African mineworkers in Zambia's Copperbelt from 1935 to 1964. It asserts that the roots of the conflicts in question lay in the manner in which Black workers deployed their Christianized discourse of death to forge urban identities, to rework interethnic social relations, and, above all, to contest chiefly power and hence British indirect rule. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]