UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Cattle, raiding and disorder in Southern African history

King, R; (2017) Cattle, raiding and disorder in Southern African history. Africa , 87 (3) pp. 607-630. 10.1017/S0001972017000146. Green open access

[thumbnail of Cattle_raiding_and_disorder_in_Southern.pdf]
Preview
Text
Cattle_raiding_and_disorder_in_Southern.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (567kB) | Preview

Abstract

Cattle raiding is iconic of the colonial frontier in Southern African history and historiography. Incorporating settlers and Africans as aggressors and victims alike, archives and ethnohistories depict raiding as thieving, subverting authority, and inciting conflict. Despite the in-depth anthropological attention given to ‘Bushman raiding’ and frontier commandos, comparatively little work has focused on the social and cultural function of cattle raiding within chiefdoms: that is, examining cattle raiding as socially embedded rather than simply transgressing authority and property ownership. This article explores how these narratives of ‘disorder’ have been constructed, and some alternative perspectives on nineteenth-century cattle raiding as a social institution. Through vignettes drawing on archival, archaeological, ethnographic and folkloric evidence, this article offers glimpses of what narratives of the recent past could look like if views of raiding-as-disorder were revisited and revised. I draw attention to where raids were illegal versus illicit, the role of cattle as social agents, and the logic underpinning designations of raiding as resistance. Developing a view of raiding as social practice permits us to interrogate archival perceptions of raiders as outlaws and raids as analogues for warfare, thus enabling more nuanced investigations of conflict in Southern Africa's past.

Type: Article
Title: Cattle, raiding and disorder in Southern African history
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0001972017000146
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972017000146
Language: English
Additional information: © International African Institute 2017. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10024582
Downloads since deposit
230Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item