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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Passive resistance to Western capitalism in rural South Africa: from 'Abantu Babomvu' to 'AmaZiyoni'
Author:De Wet, Jacques P.ISNI
Periodical:Journal for the Study of Religion
Geographic terms:South Africa
Subjects:group identity
Zionist churches
passive resistance
Abstract:Western encroachment into the southeastern region of South Africa, formerly known as the Transkei, gave rise, in the latter half of the 19th century, to two distinct social groupings among the isiXhosa-speaking people, namely 'Abantu Babomvu', or Red People, and 'Abantu Basesikolweni, or School People. The former were more prominent in the Transkei than the latter. The 'Abantu Babomvu' resisted Western Christian 'civilization' and Western capitalism, while the Abantu Basesikolweni embraced these. The 'Abantu Babomvu' continued to dominate the Transkei region during the first half of the 20th century, and even in the 1960s almost half of the isiXhosa-speaking people in this region continued to identify themselves as Red traditionalists, but by the end of the 20th century, the 'Abantu Babomvu' were gone. With the decrease in, and then the eventual disappearance of the 'Abantu Babomvu' in the Transkei, there has been a substantial increase in the AmaZiyoni, or membership of the Zionist-Apostolic churches, from those who were previously 'Abantu Babomvu'. This paper argues that the decline of the 'Abantu Babomvu' and the concurrent rise of the AmaZiyoni is not a coincidence; that the AmaZiyoni have succeeded the 'Abantu Babomvu' as the result of ongoing renegotiation of collective identity as a response to colonization of self and changing socioeconomic conditions which have been brought about by the capitalist transformation of the world; and that, like the 'Abantu Babomvu', the AmaZiyoni are also engaged in passive resistance to attempts by Western capitalism to 'colonize the self'. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]