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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gungubele and the Tambookie Location 1853-1877: end of a colonial experiment
Author:Kelk Mager, AnneISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:race relations
social history
political history
About person:Gungubele#Chief of the amaTshatshu Thembu#
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2014.968996
Abstract:This article brings a fresh perspective to colonial encounter in the north-eastern Cape frontier through the story of Gungubele, chief of a senior Thembu clan living in the southern part of the Tambookie location. Queenstown and the Tambookie location were established as twin colonial projects at the end of the seventh frontier war. While the location evolved as a prototype experiment in peasant agriculture and freehold tenure, the white town provided a locus for settler colonial commerce and magisterial control over the district that encompassed the Tambookie location. Both projects were creations of frontier conflict, and tensions simmered. Boers coveted the land granted to Africans in the district, and residents of Queenstown struggled to align their dependence on indigenous people with their desire to distance themselves from them. African inhabitants of the Tambookie location chafed at their confinement in a tiny corner of the vast territory from which they had been routed. In 1856-67, the episode known as the Great Cattle Killing shifted economic power relations and created a new dependence on the white colonists. Making use of this vulnerability in the mid 1860s, colonial authorities attempted to relocate Africans further away from Queenstown in order to free up land for further colonial settlement. When this strategy failed, they fell back on the hope of drawing Africans into settler capitalist development, and began tinkering with the system of land tenure, imposing taxes and appointing compliant headmen. Tensions exploded in 1877, when the Queenstown magistracy clashed with Gungubele, setting in motion the final tragic showdown between the colonists and the Tambookie location. The moment came to define the hardening character of settler colonialism on the north-eastern frontier and inexorably altered relations both within African society and between colonist and colonised. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]