Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home Africana Periodical Literature Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'...And My Blood Became Hot!': Crimes of Passion, Crimes of Reason: An Analysis of the Crimes of Murder and Physical Assault against Masters and Mistresses by Their Indian Domestic Servants, Natal, 1880-1920
Author:Badassy, PrinishaISNI
Periodical:Journal of Natal and Zulu History
Geographic terms:South Africa
domestic workers
offences against the person
History and Exploration
Labor and Employment
Ethnic and Race Relations
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Law, Legal Issues, and Human Rights
Cultural Roles
Abstract:This article presents microhistories of Indian domestic servants who lived and worked in Natal, South Africa, during the years 1880-1920, a period marked by great turbulence. The paper analyses crimes committed by these servants against their masters and mistresses, in particular murder and physical assault. The article argues that the experiences and emotional strain associated with being a domestic servant gave rise to a 'culture' of anger and violence within the ranks of Indian domestic servants. Based on court records, two cases are examined in detail to illustrate some of the broader issues of the study. The article shows that the tensions between masters/mistresses and their servants, contrary to established theories on indenture, had very little to do with the actual labour and physical work which the domestics were required to perform. Rather, the crimes were the result of the erosion of the servants' personal freedom and space which fosterd feelings of disrespect, humiliation and dehumanization. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]