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Periodical article Periodical article ASC Leiden catalogue ASC Leiden catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Unity, diversity or separation? The Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela in the borderlands of Southern Africa
Author:Pörsel, Christine
Year:2014
Periodical:Historia: amptelike orgaan (ISSN 0018-229X)
Volume:59
Issue:2
Pages:252-268
Language:English
Geographic terms:Botswana
South Africa
Subjects:Kgatla
traditional polities
legal pluralism
ethnic relations
boundaries
Abstract:The integration of traditional institutions in the aftermath of colonisation and apartheid in Southern Africa has not only affected governance and jurisdiction in individual countries but has also left a lasting imprint on traditional communities and institutions. Due to migration and changing colonial borders, the Tswana chiefdom of the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela in Botswana and in South Africa have experienced different paths of development, and both parts of the tribal entity have had to adapt to various social environments, legal frameworks and institutional setups. The research analyses the consequences of the geographical division and separate development of the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela. Internal dynamics like adaptation, modernisation and assumption of new traditions have interacted with external factors such as the impact of legal and institutional pluralism in Botswana and South Africa. The article discusses how the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela have dealt with these obstacles and whether cohesion has been maintained by the traditional leadership and communities. After periods of close co-operation, cross-border rule and mutual support of the tribal leadership, they are currently facing serious threats to tribal unity. [Journal abstract]

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