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The ‘Interior World’ of the Nineteenth-Century Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains

King, R; Challis, S; (2017) The ‘Interior World’ of the Nineteenth-Century Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains. The Journal of African History , 58 (2) pp. 213-237. 10.1017/S0021853716000700. Green open access

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Abstract

Over the last four decades researchers have cast the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains as a marginal refuge for ‘Bushmen’ amidst constricting nineteenth-century frontiers. Rock art scholarship has expanded on this characterisation of mountains as refugia, focusing on heterogeneous raiding bands forging new cultural identities. Here, we propose another view of the Maloti-Drakensberg: a dynamic political theatre in which polities that engaged in illicit or ‘heterodox’ activities like cattle raiding and hunter-gatherer lifeways set the terms of colonial encounters. We employ the concept of the ‘interior world’ to refigure the region as one fostering subsistence and political behaviours that did not conform to the expectations of colonial authority. Paradoxically, such heterodoxies over time constituted widespread social logics within the Maloti-Drakensberg, and thus became commonplace and meaningful. We synthesise historical and archaeological evidence (new and existing) to illustrate the significance of the nineteenth-century Maloti-Drakensberg, offering a revised southeast-African colonial landscape and directions for future research.

Type: Article
Title: The ‘Interior World’ of the Nineteenth-Century Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0021853716000700
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853716000700
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Maloti-Drakensberg, Basutoland, AmaTola, BaPhuthi, rock art, interior world
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/10024584
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