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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Maps, Names and Ethnic Games: The Epistemology and Iconography of Colonial Power in Northwestern Zambia
Author:Worby, E.
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Great Britain
ethnic groups
personal names
maps (form)
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:The author argues that the use of tribal maps to represent relations of political power over social space has been an important means through which academic constructs have been used as instruments of colonial domination. By affixing names to discrete territories, such maps served to both encode and represent the implicit, silent vantage point of the colonial State in relation to the subjects over which it presumed or desired to hold authority. The author reveals this process by looking at a place where colonial subjects refused to be named. That place, in the northwestern quarter of Zimbabwe, once known as Sebungwe and now as Gokwe, was supposed to be the domain of a people named 'the Shangwe'. The author argues that the place of the Shangwe (pl. Vashangwe) in maps such as these, as well as in ethnographic texts, provides a ready way of reading the relation between subjectification and subjugation over the ninety odd years of the colonial presence in Gokwe. He also argues that those named in this process have shifted identities in ways that elude the mapping imperative itself and thus dissolve the subjects that such mapping and naming contitutes. Notes, ref.