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Kinship and land in an inter-ethnic rural community

James, Deborah Ann (1987) Kinship and land in an inter-ethnic rural community. Masters thesis, University of the Witwatersrand.

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This dissertation is a study of the way in which ethnicity shapes various aspects of the life of a Lebowa vi11age. Differing histories as labour tenants on the white farms of the south-eastern Transvaal have determined differing access to agricultural resources for Pedi and Ndebele when they left the farms for their present home in the village of Morotse. In the contemporary setting, these rural assets are combined with the migrant remittances which have become indispensable to the survival of any household in the southern African reserve areas. Again, the resulting combined packages of resources are distributed unequally between the two ethnic groups. Corresponding to this relative poverty or prosperity, a range, of household types has evolved, with a broad contrast between a Pedi and an Ndebele type. The practice of inheritance also manifests a contrast between the two ethnic groups. At times, ethnicity is manifest not simply in different aspects of social structure, but in more overt conflict. I describe an occasion on which ethnic hostility was expressed - relating to the use of agricultural land - and in conclusion attempt to explain the existence of ethnicity in the village in the light of some recent literature on the topic. I argue that, in general, ethnicity must be understood in the light of competition over scarce resources in the contemporary ttHomelandtt context. In addition, the particularly strong ethnicity apparent in the Ndebele village section I explain by reference to the history of chiefly authority in the community, and to the observance of particular marriage rules. My final explanation thus invokes the events of recent history and the circumstances of the present.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: © 1987 The Author
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 17 May 2013 15:00
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 23:34

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