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The Elephant Shooting - Colonial Law and Indirect Rule in Kaoko, Northwestern Namibia, in the 1920s and 1930s

Rizzo, Lorena. (2007) The Elephant Shooting - Colonial Law and Indirect Rule in Kaoko, Northwestern Namibia, in the 1920s and 1930s. Journal of African history, 48 (2). pp. 245-266.

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Abstract

The law as a means of sociopolitical control in colonial states has gained significance as an issue in the recent historiography of Africa. This article discusses the making of a criminal case in colonial Kaoko, northwestern Namibia in the 1920s and 30s. It focuses on the problem of African voice and narrative and the ways in which they have been transformed into written evidence in the course of legal investigation. It demonstrates that the archival documents which emerged from this case require careful methodological scrutiny if they are to be used for the reconstruction of the region's past. It goes beyond colonial law as constituting a particular discourse to conceive colonial law as a space for intervention and agency for both colonized and colonizers. The central argument raised in the article is that while the South African administration in northwestern Namibia allegedly aimed at prosecuting culprits and securing evidence for their transgressions, men and women in Kaoko used colonial law as an arena for the negotiation of social and political issues. Concerned with the case's impact on the configuration of gender, the article shows how colonial law became both a site of male representation and power, and a space for female contestation of male claims to sociopolitical mastery.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Geschichte
04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Geschichte > Bereich Geschichte Afrikas
UniBasel Contributors:Rizzo, Lorena
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:0021-8537
e-ISSN:1469-5138
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:15 Sep 2020 09:23
Deposited On:15 Sep 2020 09:23

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