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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Racial Formation and Ethnogenesis From Below: The Zulu Case, 1879-1906
Author:Mahoney, Michael R.
Year:2003
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Volume:36
Issue:3
Pages:559-583
Language:English
Geographic terms:South Africa
Natal
Subjects:Zulu
ethnicity
Bambatha rebellion
1906
colonialism
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3559434
Abstract:Like many of the other chiefdoms, the Qwabe chiefdom in the British colony of Natal had a long history of conflict with the Zulu kings. During the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, thousands of Natal Africans fought on the British side, while only a few dozen fought for the Zulus. Twenty-seven years later, in 1906, the Qwabe chief Meseni led the largest outbreak in the Poll Tax Rebellion or Bambatha's Rebellion. This time the Qwabe and many other Natal Africans claimed to be fighting against the British and for the Zulu king Dinuzulu. During the period 1879-1906, most Natal Africans came to identify themselves as Zulus, which had not been the case before. Moreover, Zulu ethnic categorization was something that most Natal Africans chose for themselves. It was not imposed upon them by colonial officials - in their policy of 'indirect rule' - or missionaries, chiefs, or by the emerging African Christian middle class. Although more and more Natal Africans adopted a common political culture, this did not eliminate conflict among those who would be Zulus. This paper examines the way in which Zulu ethnicity could be both divisive 'tribalism' in one context and unifying 'territory-wide political consciousness' in another. The paper is based on research conducted in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng provinces in South Africa during 1995-1997 and 2001. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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