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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Complicating the Past: Oral History and Agrarian Change in Colonial Zimbabwe
Author:Thompson, Guy
Year:2003
Periodical:Zambezia (ISSN 0379-0622)
Volume:30
Issue:2
Pages:154-177
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:oral history
agricultural innovations
farming systems
colonial period
History and Exploration
Education and Oral Traditions
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
colonialism
History, Archaeology
land reform
imperialism
historiography
agriculture
Abstract:Zimbabweanists should make more use of oral history because it offers unique insights that extend beyond archival accounts and illuminate the dynamics and debates that reshaped African society under white domination. Drawing on his ongoing research into agrarian and social change in the Madziwa Communal Area from 1920 to 1965, the author shows how interviews and conversations with members of the community can reveal important developments in these areas that are not readily accessible from documentary sources. In particular, peasants' oral accounts highlight shifts in methods of agricultural production and interaction with the environment, as well as important changes in the social organization of work. Madziwans reshaped community, family, and household dynamics in response to the pressures of commodification, technological and productive innovation, and State demands. These insights are not simply details of local history, however. Rather, they contribute to the ongoing work of fleshing out Zimbabwe's history, reshaping the central narratives of colonial domination. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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