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Bakgomong: the Babirwa's transboundary pastoralist identity and social change in late 19th century Botswana

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dc.contributor.author Molosiwa, Phuthego
dc.date.accessioned 2017-08-03T09:51:44Z
dc.date.available 2017-08-03T09:51:44Z
dc.date.issued 2016-07
dc.identifier.citation Molosiwa, Phuthego (2016) Bakgomong: the Babirwa's transboundary pastoralist identity and social change in late 19th century Botswana. New Contree : A journal of Historical and Human Sciences for Southern Africa, Vol. 75, pp 14- 40 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/52
dc.description This article has examined the Babirwas transition from herders of caprines, to herders of cattle, and symbolically from buffalo people to cow people. It contests particularly the cultural, mystical and resistance cliches that summarily represented African pastoralist pursuits as irrational. The article has demonstrated that the Babirwas adoption of cattle herding during the second half of the nineteenth century was a historical process that depended on the reconfiguration of indigenous knowledge systems as communities navigated an unfriendly physical terrain to shape a pastoralist ethnic identity en_US
dc.description.abstract To follow is a critical narrative on the intersection between identity production and transformations in the indigenous herding systems of the Babirwa of pre-colonial Botswana. The production of the Babirwa's pastoralist identity rested on the adaptability of their cultural practices, language and social systems to socio-ecological influences. This emerging pastoralist identity was embedded in organic or loan words and concepts, which were continually reconstituted to negotiate social and environmental change. From the 1850s, the Babirwa of the eastern Botswana gradually transformed into cattle herders. The assimilation of cattle led to a symbolic shift in the Babirwa:s social identity from the Banareng (people of the buffalo) to the Bakgomong (people of the cow). This shift was crucial in the production of a cattle-based identity in an area where crop production, hunting and the herding of caprines (goats and sheep) had been the primary ways of life since the first settlement of the Babirwa in the eastern Botswana a century earlier. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher North West University en_US
dc.subject Bakgomong en_US
dc.subject Botswana en_US
dc.subject Babirwa en_US
dc.subject Cattle en_US
dc.subject Identity en_US
dc.subject Environment en_US
dc.subject Cultural Encounters en_US
dc.subject Social change en_US
dc.title Bakgomong: the Babirwa's transboundary pastoralist identity and social change in late 19th century Botswana en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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