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n South African Journal of Cultural History - Memorabilia and the formation of cultural identity : Afrikaner folk festivals, 1938 to 1952

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-0745
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Abstract

The three folk festivals (the symbolic ox wagon trek, the inauguration of the Voortrekker Monument and the Van Riebeeck festival) that were organised during the period between 1938 and 1952 contributed largely to the cultural upsurge in South Africa's Afrikaner community. It is stressed that culture and cultural creation determines and influences historical processes to a large extent and it is therefore not surprising to learn that culture also had an impact on the country's political processes. In this article, I shall point out that the shaping of culture is predominantly the result of a process of learning in which, in this case, the festivals played a major role. Their role was strengthened by the impact of the vast number of memorabilia that were produced and which were able to maintain and perpetuate the cultural influence of the festivals. This again strengthened the political culture and, eventually, created Afrikaner nationalism which culminated in the formation of the Republic. However, the establishment of a Republic was the epitome of the process of cultural creation and in the following decades the impact of folk festivals declined, as did the significance of the various memorabilia.


Die drie volksfeeste (die Simboliese Ossewatrek, die inwyding van die Voortrekkermonument en die Van Riebeeckfees) wat gedurende die tydperk 1938 tot 1952 gehou is, het 'n groot bydrae tot die kulturele opbloei van die Afrikanergemeenskap in Suid-Afrika gelewer. Daar word beklemtoon dat kultuur en kultuurskepping in 'n groot mate historiese prosesse bepaal en beïnvloed en daarom is dit nie vreemd dat kultuur 'n groot impak op land se politieke ontwikkeling gehad het nie. In dié artikel word daarop gewys dat die vorming van 'n kulturele identiteit deel van 'n leerproses is waarin volksfeeste - as geheueskeppers - 'n groot rol speel. In die artikel word ook aangetoon dat nie net die volksfeeste nie, maar ook die groot hoeveelheid gedenkwaardighede wat gedurende 'n tydperk geskep word, tot kultuurskepping bydra. Op sy beurt het kultuurskepping die politieke kultuur versterk en Afrikanernasionalisme help skep, wat uiteindelik tot die verkryging van 'n republiek gelei het. Die skepping van 'n republiek was nogtans die hoogtepunt van die proses van kultuurskepping en in die dekades daarna het 'n afname in die belangrikheid van volksfeeste en die impak van gedenkwaardighede onvermydelik voorgekom.

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/content/culture/27/1/EJC138870
2013-01-01
2016-12-10

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