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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Itinerant and Sedentary
Author:De Jongh, Michael
Periodical:South African Journal of Ethnology
Geographic term:South Africa
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:The itinerant, sheep-shearing Karretjie people in South Africa's Karoo region are not only dependent upon, but also exploited by the wider community they live in and this has highlighted human agency coming into play and in their developing particular strategies to meet the demands of the sociocultural environment. This article explores, through an examination of a situation and context as exemplified by the Karretjie people in the town and district of Colesberg, human practice and culture, and in particular, human adaptation to singular sociocultural and environmental conditions, particularly in the form of an itinerant lifestyle, but also the gradual transformation from itinerancy to sedentarism. In order to do this, the author takes cognisance of their uncommon status and structural position. As an examination of one particular Karretjie family shows, the Karretjie people's movements are directed by an intricate interplay of seasonal, social, economic and ideological factors which result in discernible, though flexible, regularities. These flexible regularities are the result of a network of ordered social relations, but especially kinship relations. Such relationships provide every Karretjie unit with a spectrum of alternatives when faced with the numerous risks that are part and parcel of the lives of itinerants. Bibliogr., sum. in English and Afrikaans.