1887

n Historia - Etherington oor die Afrikaner en die Groot Trek

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Abstract

<b>Etherington on the Afrikaner and the Great Trek </b> <br>This article focuses on Professor Norman Etherington's representation of the Great Trek and the role of the Afrikaners in his work <I>The Great Treks : The Transformation of Southern Africa</I>, 815-1854, published in 2001. Particular attention is given to the truthfulness of his statements and factual material. <br>The main title, <I>The Great Treks</I>, may mislead many readers, as Etherington uses this term also to include the migrations of some black nations. This discussion demonstrates why the white migration is seen as "great", emphasizing that this adjective does not refer to the actual number of people involved. However, it seems as if the author underestimates the number of Afrikaner farmers who participated in the emigration. It is unfortunate that Etherington also decided to place Afrikaner monuments in the line of fire. He presents long-established research findings as if they had been corrected and represented in their true colours only recently. The author's fragmentary representation of the causes of the Great Trek and many details associated with these causes are not always correct and create the impression that he has either not done enough research or did not consult authoritative sources. <br>Readers frequently have to conclude that the author failed to evaluate human enterprise and thought within the context that produced them. For example, the relationship of Afrikaner frontier farmers with Stockenström, and Retief's decision to become a Voortrekker, require intensive research and reading and obviously demand to be interpreted within the context of their time. The author throws suspicion on Retief's dealings with Sekonyela and questions the authenticity of the Retief-Dingaan Treaty, ignoring sources which had already established the facts in this regard many years ago. <br>Etherington joins the voices of other writers who apparently imagine that if you can demonstrate that these nineteenth century figures or cultural groups - preferably Afrikaner farmers - were slave hunters or land grabbers, you have acquired a weapon to administer blow upon blow! In this instance Hendrik Potgieter (sometimes his name is incorrectly spelt as "Hendrick Potgieter") becomes the villain who, according to Etherington, conducted shady business practices in the Ohrigstad area. This article demonstrates that Etherington either did not interpret the sources correctly, or did not do sufficiently extensive research. He offers an incorrect representation of some important events which suggests that revisions will be necessary if a second edition is ever considered.

Hierdie artikel fokus op professor Norman Etherington se behandeling van die Groot Trek en die rol van die Afrikaner in sy werk <I>The Great Treks: The Transformation of Southern Africa, 1815-1854&lt;/I&gt; soos gepubliseer in 2001. Daar word veral gekyk na die waarheidsgetrouheid van sy stellings en feitemateriaal. <br>Sy hooftitel, <I>The Great Treks</I>, sal vir baie mense misleidend wees, aangesien hy ook migrasies van sekere swart volkere daarby insluit. In hierdie bespreking word genoem waarom die wit migrasie as "groot" bestempel word en getoon dat dit nie soseer op die fisieke grootte dui nie. Nogtans wil dit voorkom of die skrywer die getal Afrikanerboere wat aan die emigrasie deelgeneem het, onderskat. Dit is teleurstellend dat selfs Afrikanermonumente onder Etherington se pen moet deurloop. Stellings in werke uit die verre verlede word soms in hierdie boek voorgehou asof dit eers onlangs gekorrigeer is of nou eers in die ware kleure geskilder word. Die skrywer se fragmentariese uiteensetting van die oorsake van die Groot Trek en heelwat besonderhede in verband daarmee is nie altyd korrek gestel nie en skep die indruk dat hy nie regtig genoeg gelees of oral die regte bronne gebruik het nie. <br>Die leser kry met die lees van hierdie werk dikwels die indruk dat die skrywer nagelaat het om sover moontlik menslike aksies en denke in die gees van die tyd waarin dit plaasgevind het, te beoordeel. Die Afrikanergrensboere se verhouding met Stockenström en Retief se besluit om Voortrekker te word, verg byvoorbeeld intensiewe navorsing en leeswerk en daar moet vanselfsprekend gepoog word om dit binne die konteks van die tyd te vertolk. Die skrywer probeer om Retief se optrede teenoor Sekonyela en die egtheid van die Retief-Dingane-traktaat onder verdenking te plaas. Hy ignoreer bronne wat lank gelede al die ware feite hieroor bevestig het. <br>Etherington val in by die refreine van ander skrywers waarin blykbaar geredeneer word dat indien jy hierdie negentiende-eeuse persoonlikhede of kultuurgroepe - by voorkeur Afrikanerboere - as slawejagters of grondgrypers kan uitwys, al is die gegewens daaroor ook hoe dun gesaai, dan het jy 'n stok gesny waarmee jy kan slaan en slaan! In hierdie geval is Hendrik Potgieter (soms word hy sommer "Hendrick Potgieter") die sondaar wat volgens die skrywer allerlei bedenklike sake in die omgewing van Ohrigstad bedryf het. Soos in hierdie artikel uitgewys word, het Etherington die bronne nie reg vertolk of ver genoeg gelees nie en word 'n foutiewe voorstelling van sekere belangrike gebeure gegee wat beslis in die geval van 'n tweede uitgawe hersien sal moet word.

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/content/hist/50/1/EJC38181
2005-05-01
2016-12-09
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