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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Historical relevance? Ten sketches of women illegally enslaved at the Cape, 1823 to 1830
Author:Rugarli, Anna MariaISNI
Periodical:New contree: a journal of historical and human sciences for Southern Africa
Geographic terms:South Africa
The Cape
Subjects:female slaves
Abstract:This article focuses on the stories of individual slave women involved in the slave trade at the end of the eighteenth century. They were brought to the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) either as free individuals, as slaves or as 'presents'. They complained of, and reported their situations to the authorities when it was possible in the 1820s. The author reviews ten such first-person testimonies reported in the Book of Complaints kept by the Guardian of Slaves and evaluates their accuracy and historical relevance. Understanding these women's real situations and positions is not always easy. The interchange of the terms 'slave', 'servant' and 'present' led to a confusion in roles, and to legal difficulties in defining them, which was a clear advantage to the ruling class in a society in which the social strata were clearly divided. However, whether these slave women were stating the truth in their complaints or not, they were all trying to retrieve their lost freedom. Notes, ref., sum. in Afrikaans. [ASC Leiden abstract]