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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Chiefship in Early Colonial Natal, 1843-1879
Author:Lambert, JohnISNI
Year:1995
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Volume:21
Issue:2
Period:June
Pages:269-285
Language:English
Geographic terms:South Africa
Natal
Great Britain
Subjects:colonialism
chieftaincy
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637025
Abstract:Under the guidance of Theophilus Shepstone, the British colonial State in early Natal, South Africa, developed a form of indirect rule by, on the one hand, retaining the position of sitting chiefs, and, on the other, creating new 'tribes' under appointed chiefs for Africans whose kinship relations had been destroyed during the upheavals within the area prior to 1843. During these early years chiefdoms which offered a bulwark against the Zulu kingdom tended to be favoured by the colonial State. The administration gave 'loyal' chiefs considerable authority. The colonial presence did, however, bring about changes to the institution of chiefship. Duties such as collecting an annual hut tax and supplying the State with 'isibhalo'(forced) labour undermined the position of many chiefs. In the 1870s the introduction of a Code of Native Law and the transferral of powers of criminal jurisdiction from chiefs to magistrates further undermined the position of the former at a time when they were also faced by a growing land shortage. As their usefulness declined so the colonial State was looking to new forms of authority to replace them. Ref., sum.
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