1887

n South African Journal of Cultural History - Writing the 'natives' out : 'Blouberg' as a landscape of conquest in the colonial literature of the 1890's

USD

 

Abstract

In the present article several written accounts of the 1894 conquest by the South African Republic (ZAR) of the Hananwa of Kgalu?i Mmalebôhô are scrutinized. The meaning of these white observers' continual references to landscape is investigated. Whereas painters use paint on canvas to give their designs form, diarists draw pictures with words. The landscapes created in paint and those sketched in words have this in common: that the subjects represented are designs suggested by culture, convention and cognition. This applies to any representation of the environment, even the 'wilderness', a description used by most contemporary writers for the Hananwa's living space. In the words of British cultural historian Simon Schama, "The wilderness, after all, does not locate itself, does not name itself"- it is a value judgment observers make about a space they themselves have demarcated. Thus the act of writing, as a way of making and disseminating one's particular way of seeing the world (in other words, one's knowledge), is in itself a means of asserting power. While English chaplain Colin Rae's diary of the "Malaboch campaign" reads like a textbook example of the othering of the colonised and their landscape, German missionary Christoph Sonntag's diary bears witness to Boer officers' similar observations, but also to the contradictory observations and remarks of members of the Hananwa community the missionary had contact with.


In hierdie artikel word verskeie geskrewe weergawes van die 1894- verowering deur die Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) van die Hananwa van Kgalu?i Mmalebôhô ondersoek. Daar word gesoek na die betekenis van hierdie wit waarnemers se voortdurende verwysings na landskap. Terwyl skilders verf op doek gebruik om vorm aan hulle ontwerpe te gee, skets dagboekhouers prente met woorde. Hierdie landskappe geskep in verf of geskets in woorde het die volgende gemeen: dat die onderwerpe ontwerpe is wat deur kultuur, kognisie en konvensie voorgestel word. Dit geld vir enige voorstelling van die omgewing, selfs vir die 'wildernis, ' 'n beskrywing wat deur die meeste tydgenootlike skrywers gebruik is om na die Hananwa se leefomgewing te verwys. In die woorde van Britse kultuurhistorikus Simon Schama, "The wilderness, after all, does not locate itself, does not name itself"- dit is 'n waardeoordeel wat deur waarnemers uitgespreek word oor 'n ruimte wat hulle self afgebaken het. Dus is die handeling om te skryf, as 'n metode om 'n mens se spesifieke wêreldbeskouing daar te stel en te versprei (met ander woorde, 'n mens se kennis), insigself 'n manier om op mag aanspraak te maak. Terwyl die Engelse kapelaan Colin Rae se dagboek van die "Malaboch veldtog" soos handboek-voorbeeld van die van die gekoloniseerdes en hulle landskap lees, getuig Duitse sendeling Christoph Sonntag se dagboek van soortgelyke waarnemings deur Boereoffisiere, maar ook van die teenstrydige waarnemings en opmerkings deur lede van die Hananwa-gemeenskap met wie die sendeling kontak gehad het.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/culture/19/2/EJC30635
2005-11-01
2016-12-03
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error