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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Same War, Different Story: A Century's Writing on the Boer-Hananwa War of 1894
Author:Kriel, LizeISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
military operations
historical sources
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4133884
Abstract:An earlier issue of the Journal of Southern African Studies (vol. 25, no. 1 (1999)) carried an article by A. Joubert and J.A. Van Schalkwyk, in which they contextualized and interpreted a prominent praise poem performed for their leader by the Hananwa, a northern Sotho community in South Africa. While that article looked into the Hananwa's oral memory of the violent subjugation of their ancestors by the forces of the South African Republic (ZAR) in 1894, the present article explores white people's representations of the Hananwa leader, Mmaleb˘h˘, over the past hundred years. It suggests ways in which white memories of Mmaleb˘h˘, alias Ratshatsha, can be read not only for what they reveal about the Hananwa 'kgosi' and his community, but particularly for what they reveal about the world view of those whites who deemed it necessary to preserve the memory of the events of 1894. The first part of the survey is concerned with the earliest popular documentation of the Boer-Hananwa War. The second section illustrates how 'academic' interest in the 1894 conflict surged mostly after the first generation of eyewitnesses had recounted their experiences. In conclusion, it seems that white writers, in serving their own personal needs for self-assertion by writing down their memories, were simultaneously reinforcing - indeed, creating - the hegemonic order of their day. The memories of the Hananwa, the subordinates, were not presented on their own terms in written form until the last quarter of the 20th century. It was thus via written accounts that the prevailing white hegemony was concealing the oppositional historical consciousness of the subjugated, a consciousness which contradicted that seemingly hegemonic view. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]