By Jonathan A. Draper
Literacy is basically in regards to the keep an eye on of knowledge, reminiscence, and trust, and with colonialism in Southern Africa got here the Bible and text-based literacy monitored by way of missionaries and colonial specialists. outdated and new oral traditions, notwithstanding, are past the keep an eye on of empire and infrequently hold the resistance, hopes, and goals of colonized humans. The essays during this quantity get better facets of Southern Africa's wealthy oral culture. The authors, from disciplines reminiscent of anthropology, African literature, and religious study, delineate many of the contours of the indigenous wisdom structures which sustained resistance to colonialism and this present day offer assets for postapartheid society in Southern Africa.
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Extra resources for Orality, Literacy, and Colonialism in Southern Africa (SBL Semeia Studies 46)
69–70) Now, Callaway claims, it is more likely that “white friends of the natives” would be seeking to preserve the Xhosa heritage, friends who might find themselves confronted by ingratitude for their efforts. To those blacks who urge the preservation of their customs and traditions, Callaway suggests that these well-disposed whites might reply: Do you not see all that we have been doing during the long years that you have been asleep? Do you not see that we have tried to save your language, your folk-lore, your good customs, your best characteristics?
This figure of encapsulation echoes the very title of the work, The Natives and Their Missionaries, which signals the concept that it was up to the natives to accept and embrace the missionaries who entered their history at a particular time, in effect assuming possession of them as a conscious act. The second sentence then immediately introduces a note of dispossession, signaling an ultimately political aim and intent in what seems to be a pious tract by “a Native Minister,” a display piece published by the missionaries but written by someone not important enough to identify by name anywhere in the publication.
They found existing in the heathen society a complete system of ethics. . There was much that harmonised with Christian ethics; there were also many things which were repugnant to the Christian sense. Could the whole structure be pulled down and a new one set up, or was there room for wise discrimination? That was the problem the Missionary had to solve. (7) Wauchope himself argues for accommodation, that “discarding the structure and replacing it by a new has proved a failure, as witnessed to by the state of the present Native Christian generation, which has lost the good things their fathers had, but has not taken easily to the new” (7).
Orality, Literacy, and Colonialism in Southern Africa (SBL Semeia Studies 46) by Jonathan A. Draper