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Tracks in a Mountain Range. Exploring the History of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg

Tracks in a Mountain Range. Exploring the History of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg

Tracks in a Mountain Range. Exploring the History of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg highlights the histories of the indigenous San hunter-gatherers, black farmers and European colonisers.
Mazel, Aron; Wright, John
tracks-in-a-mountain-range
978-1-86814-409-9
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Title: Tracks in a Mountain Range
Subtitle: Exploring the History of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg
Authors: Aron Mazel, John Wright
Publisher: Witwatersrand University Press
Johannesburg, South Africa 2007
ISBN 9781868144099 / ISBN 978-1-86814-409-9
Paperback, 18 x 21 cm, 176 pages, many b/w and colour photos

About: Tracks in a Mountain Range. Exploring the History of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg

Since the arrival of literate European settlers in what is now KwaZulu-Natal in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, numerous stories about the Drakensberg region have made their way into print. But for every story which happens to have been written down, there are many others which have not, and which are therefore unavailable to us in our aim of wanting to establish a modern-day understanding of the history of the Drakensberg. This applies especially to the stories told by the unlettered San hunter-gatherers and their forebears during the several thousand years for which they inhabited these mountains, and by the isiNtu-speaking black farmers who have lived in the neighbouring uplands for the past thousand years or so. But it also applies to the unwritten stories told by European colonizers and their descendants over the last century and a half. The declaration of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park as a World Heritage Site - on the basis of its scenic beauty, high degree of biodiversity and the exceptional cultural value of its heritage of San rock art - provides an occasion for reflecting on the history and people of the region, from the earliest known times to the present. Constructed from archaeological and written sources, this book highlights the histories of the indigenous San hunter-gatherers and black farmers, as well as of the European colonisers. The accessible text is complemented by photographs of the landscape, rock art and archaeological finds. The authors have not aimed to write a definitive history, but have tried to open up ways of looking at the region's past which go beyond the mainly 'colonial' views which have predominated in the literature up to the present.

Content: Tracks in a Mountain Range. Exploring the History of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg

List of Maps
Preface
THE MOUNTAINS AND THE STORY-TELLERS
The terrain
Indigenous histories
Histories for a colonial frontier zone
Histories for 'modern' times
THE EXCAVATED PAST
Hunter-gatherers settle in the Drakensberg
Hunter-gatherer life in the Drakensberg
The advent of black farmers
THE ROCK PAINTINGS OF THE MOUNTAINS
Changing interpretations
Preparing paint and making the paintings
Dating the paintings
Abundance and diversity
Powerful visions
BLACK PEOPLE, SAN AND EUROPEAN COLONISTS
New forces of change, 1800-1840
The 'Berg' as a colonial frontier, 1840-1870
The last years of San autonomy
THE CLOSING OF THE MOUNTAIN FRONTIER
The subjugation of the Hlubi
The colonial takeover of East Grigualand and Basutoland
"MODERNISATION' IN THE MOUNTAINS
The domestication of the Berg, 1890-1940
Tenant labour
The decline of homestead economies
The growth of mountain tourism
Conservation
'Development' and its discontents, 1940s to the present
Farming, trade and a road
Tourism and conservation
The growth of big business and its influence on the Berg
'Homelands' policies and popular resistance
Lesotho
Democracy
Further reading
Index
List of Maps
The Drakensberg region in relation to neighbouring territories
Locations of archaeological sites mentioned in the text
The Drakensberg region in the later eighteenth century
The Drakensberg region in the mid-to-later nineteenth century
The 'Nomansland' region in the mid-to-later nineteenth century
The Drakensberg region at the end of the twentieth century


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