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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ngwaketse inheritance: the devolution of cattle on women in a Tswana chiefdom
Authors:Roberts, SimonISNI
Schapera, IsaacISNI
Periodical:African Law Studies
Geographic term:Botswana
customary law
family law
Abstract:Goody has observed that a significant feature of the inheritance regimes in most African societies at the time of colonial penetration was that property devolved 'homogeneously': from males to males, or females to females, in contrast to 'diverging' inheritance, predominant in Europe and Asia, under which property in an estate is capable of devolving on recipients of both sexes. One African example in which diverging strains seem to have been present is that of the Ngwaketse, a major Tswana group of Botswana: cattle held by males have long been capable of devolving upon females and through them out of the agnatic segment. The opportunities for this to happen appear to have increased during the 20th century, partly as a result of innovative action by the traditional authorities. This is examined here by looking 1) at the idelal rules governing devolution of cattle, 2) at the pattern which appears in everyday life, and 3) at the picture of devolution which emerges in the context of disputes. Notes, ref., fig.