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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Environment, Production and Social Difference in the Kalahari Thornveld c.1750-1830
Author:Jacobs, Nancy J.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
food production
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637677
Abstract:This article looks at the conjunction of environment, production and social difference in the Tlhaping and Tlharo Tswana chiefdoms in the Kalahari thornveld in an area stretching from northeast of modern Vryburg over Kuruman to west of Olifantshoek in the present-day Northern Cape and North-West Provinces of South Africa. It explores the way in which power related to food production methods after the mid-eighteenth century, when the chiefdoms were established, until the 1820s, when the Tlhaping chiefdom fragmented, and the region came under increasing influence from the Cape frontier, paying attention to production activities, efficacy and environmental suitability. It considers the identities of those engaged in food production practices, and uses this evidence to discuss the significance of difference by class and gender. It describes the transition of the Tlhaping and Tlharo from being foragers, small herders and clients to agropastoralists to being agropastoralists in their own right. People in the thornveld developed a way of providing food for themselves which was adequate for the population of the towns, the households of the fortunate and powerful. Powerful men invested their efforts in stockkeeping, a form of producion most suited to the semi-arid environment. Excluded from this, women practised rain-fed shifting cultivation. The lower classes, or 'balala', were left only with the option of foraging. Notes, ref., sum.