n Historia - Jacobus Bernardus de Vaal as Suid-Afrikaanse historikus (1914-1989)

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0018-229X
  • Author A.J.J. Jordaan
  • Source : Historia, Volume 39, Issue 1, May 1994, p. 6 - 18
  • Accreditation : Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)
    SciELO SA
    The International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBSS)



Through his contributions on the history of the Northern Transvaal, particularly the Soutpansberg district, Dr. De Vaal became known as a historian who could write with authority about this area. He received the MA and DLitt degrees cum laude. His theses dealt with João Albasini's role in the history of the Transvaal. Due both to his qualifications and his dedication he made rapid progress in his teaching career to his qualifications and his dedication and held the post of Regional Director of Bantu Education when he retired.
His list of publications includes the fields of history, archaeology, ethnography, ethnology, geography and pedagogics. His research focused particularly on the history of the area. De Vaal believed that the environment can shape one's view of life and of the world.
His most important archaeological research dealt with the Matshema ruins in the Soutpansberg bushveld. He identified important similarities between these ruins and the Zimbabwe ruins. In spite of his wide interest in archaeology, De Vaal did not regard himself as a skilled archaeologist, but as a skilled historian.

Dr. De Vaal se bydraes oor die geskiedenis van Noord-Transvaal, veral die Soutpansbergse distrik, het hom bekend gemaak as 'n historikus wat met gesag oor sy omgewing kon skryf. Sy M.A.- en D.Litt.-grade, wat handel oor die rol van João Albasini in die geskiedenis van Transvaal, het hy met lof verwerf. Kwalifikasies en toewyding het hom in staat gestel om vinnig opgang in sy onderwysloopbaan te maak. Met sy aftrede het hy die pos van Streekdirekteur Bantoe-onderwys in Transvaal beklee.

Die lys publikasies uit die pen van De Vaal oor sy historiese omgewing, het gestrek vanaf die historiese, tot die argeologiese, etnografiese, etnologiese, geografiese en pedagogiese. In sy navorsing daaroor het hy hom veral besig gehou met die geskiedenis daarvan. De Vaal het geglo dat 'n mens se omgewing 'n vormende invloed op jou lewens- en wêreldbeskouing uitoefen.
Sy belangrikste argeologiese navorsingswerk handel oor die Matshemabouval in die Soutpansbergse bosveld. Hy het belangrike punte van ooreenkoms tussen dié bouval en die Zimbabweruïnes blootgelê. Ten spyte van sy wye belangstelling in die argeologie het De Vaal homself nie gesien as 'n geskoolde argeoloog nie maar as 'n geskoolde historikus.

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