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- Volume 8, Issue 1, 1994
South African Journal of Cultural History - Volume 8, Issue 1, 1994
Volumes & issues
Volume 8, Issue 1, 1994
Author J.** Fisher, R.C.* & BooysenSource: South African Journal of Cultural History 8, pp 1 –11 (1994)More Less
As an introduction to this essay, observations made by English settlers on the landscape of the Eastern Cape are quoted. In this way a link is forged with their home/and. The Eastern Cape, an area to become a zone of dispute and warfare between European settler and aboriginal peoples, is compared with the border frontier zone between England and Scot/and in the time before the 18th century. The representative frontier farmhouses are compared in terms of those elements which distinguish the type in the Eastern Cape, using Sephton Manor as a prototypic example. The English border counties of Cumbria and Northumberland are explored with these elements in mind. Peles and bastle houses are described and illustrated. Some passing comments are made on the local farm buildings. Their defences are described and compared to Sephton, and the event of its razing by fire recorded.
Author Pieter W. GrobbelaarSource: South African Journal of Cultural History 8, pp 12 –15 (1994)More Less
When Estelle van der Merwe started puppet making in the 1920s, she created, among others, a black character named Ta. The main scene enacted with Ta concerned a story in verse about a domestic servant being sent to buy some fish, but buying liquor instead, and in the end receiving a severe thrashing. The story in fact represents a version of an old Afrikaans folksong about a man called Meliengo Hoi, but- as has been the fate of the majority of these songs- it is nowadays virtually unknown. Yet it must have been quite popular during the early part of the century as versions were recorded in the Cape, the Free State and the Transvaal. As has happened with numerous folksongs, 'Meliengo Hoi' served as the basis for a new, in this instance satirical, script. It concerned the capers of Mr Vitlorio Carpio who, as Chairman of the United Nations' Special Committee for South West Africa, visited the region in 1962, and was eventualy signatory to a very favourable report. When a furore broke out, he claimed that his coffee had been poisoned and that he consequently did not grasp the contents of the communique. Rumour had it that in truth he had become too fond of South Africa's KWV brandy. Estelle van der Merwe immediately created a puppet called Carpio and she adopted Ta's script for him to enact. The song about 'Mallengo Hoi' faded further and further into oblivion. When in 1987 a newspaper reader enquired about someone he vaguely remembered called 'Mafienkahoi', the response was that 'she' was identified as some or other girl or woman, perhaps even a vicious British queen of yore.
Author S. Marianna BotesSource: South African Journal of Cultural History 8, pp 16 –23 (1994)More Less
Bloemfontein's imposing Old Presidency Museum, situated in President Street. offer the visitor a glimpse into the lifestyle of the last three presidents of the Republic of the Orange Free State during the period 1886-1900. This large and impressive presidential residence was occupied in tum by Presidents J.H. Brand, F. W. Reitz and M. T. Steyn. It was the last of the three official residences to be erected on this site between 1846 and 1900. Only this Third Presidency is still in existence. Completed in 1886, it was a double-storey sandstone building with a corrugated iron roof and was designed by the well-known Scottish architect Francis Lennox Canning. This article investigates the question of whether the Third Presidency fulfilled the expectations and demands placed upon the official residence of the Orange Free State's president. Even though the last three Free State presidents and their families and guests had to do without the modern conveniences of running water, electricity and sanitation, the elegant Third Presidency seemed like a palace compared to the previous two official residences on the site. Important visitors could be graciously received and entertained in its spacious rooms. With the building of the Third Presidency the Free Staters had or the first lime, a presidential residence they could be proud of.
Author Retha Van NiekerkSource: South African Journal of Cultural History 8, pp 24 –30 (1994)More Less
The Society of Beardmen of Pretoria was founded in 1949. A founders' meeting was held at the Afrikaans Koffiehuis in Pretoria on 13 May 1949. The objective of the society was to promote the growing of traditional Boer beards. However, the society functioned in an organised fashion by means of a constitution, a committee and regular communication with members. This society established a beardmen's choir which was a unique phenomenon in the cultural history of the Afrikaner, as the choir combined and revived the traditions of beard-growing and Singing which had been practised by previous generations. The choir was well supported by members of society; the members also participated enthusiastically in choir practices. The choir sang only traditional Afrikaans songs, e.g. Die Stem, Transvaalse Volkslied, Dierbaar Suid-Afrika, 0 Boereplaas, Vryheidslied, Land, Volk en Taal, and Afrikaners landgenote. In this way, the Choir wanted to encourage Afrikaners to turn the inauguration of the Voortrekker Monument into a typical Boer festival. The choir received numerous invitations to appear at preliminary festivals and at the inaugural festival of the Voortrekker Monument. The choir contributed to the inaugural festival of December 1949, by participating in choir performances, mass choirs and historical presentations. Although the society and choir were disbanded after December 1949, they had, indeed, made a special contribution to the festivities of 1949. It had been another opportunity for the Afrikaner nation to demonstrate its national feelings.
Author P. De KlerkSource: South African Journal of Cultural History 8, pp 31 –34 (1994)More Less
During the last two decades, a large number of books have been published which present a general overview of South African history. In this article, these books are compared with equivalent publications on American, British, Dutch, French and German history with regard to the position of cultural history in these texts. The comparison involves a brief survey of the number of books published, the length of these books and the relation between the treatment of events and the treatment of structures, conditions and long-term developments. The space alloted to cultural history in general surveys is determined in relation to political, economic and social history. It is concluded that less than a third of the texts consulted include sections or chapters on cultural history. While there are some general historical overviews available on the USA and the European countries which deal with cultural history, no overviews on South African history have been published which pay any attention to cultural history.
Author S.J. JoosteSource: South African Journal of Cultural History 8, pp 35 –39 (1994)More Less
South African music history has focused mainly on western art music for many years. Whilst one can get a fairly clear view of the performance and teaching of art music in this country during the previous centuries, only a few occurrences of African musical activities are included in historical writings. In 1954 Prof. P.R. Kirby still found it surprising that only a few scholars chose to study the vast field of ethnic music in South Africa. South African musicological journals give a clear indication of the attitudes ot South African musicologists towards African music. Although sporadic references to African music have been made in the editorial commentaries of some since 1977, regular articles on the characteristics of African music and other related topics have appeared only in the last decade. Several music departments at universities have introduced ethnomusicology as a subject during the last decade. The syllabi of some contain an even larger component of African music than westem art music. A prerequisite for the continuation of a meaningful musical life in South Africa is that it should be made possible for all the inhabitants to experience the joy of music in different ways. To achieve this objective, certain changes with regard to the availability, the experience and tuition of music are inevitable. Such changes in the practice of music would give a dual character to musicology. However, this duality of art music and ethnic music, like African and Indian music, would not inevitably lead to a merging of styles, but would bring many advantages for the promotion of music and musicology.