Southern African Humanities <p>A journal for archaeological, anthropological and historical research, especially that which concerns material culture</p> en-US <div>&nbsp;</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> (Ghilraen Laue) (Geoff Blundell) Fri, 30 Nov 2018 08:36:11 +0200 OJS 60 “Painted buffalo horns”: imagery from the South African War <p>Several cattle horns engraved with scenes inspired by the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 are attributed to an unnamed Zulu artist from the Newcastle district of the Colony of Natal, South Africa. The pair of engraved horns illustrated and described here are attributed to a “native” artist in the Bedford district of the eastern Cape Colony, South Africa. They are decorated with scenes from the South African War (1899–1902). The Bedford horns depart from the ordered design of the nineteenth-century exemplars with their flowing pattern, and their use of colour. Whereas the work of the Artist of Newcastle involved repetitive depictions framed within small panels and often related to the formal flaunting of power, the Artist of Bedford described chaotic and organically linked scenes of interpersonal combat in a mode more akin to landscape. Working in different contexts, the two artists produced different expressions of a common artistic genre for an early craft market within a spreading cash-economy.</p> Val Ward, Justine Wintjes ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 08 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200 Between the body and the ancestors: expressions of religious thought in the clothing of Zulu-speaking women in the Nongoma region of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa <p>In the religious and philosophical thought of Zulu-speaking people the human body serves as a vehicle for spiritual forces. The body must be open to encounters with spiritual forces, while simultaneously protected from physical and spiritual threats. This state is especially true for women, who serve as conduits for the rebirth of ancestors. Clothing can be used to mediate encounters between the physical and spiritual worlds. Rather than the historical and political, this study examines the religious aspects of dress of women of the late twentieth century in the Nongoma region, South Africa. It develops a complex understanding of how women, as creators and wearers, use dress to navigate experiences unique to their gender.</p> Carol Boram-Hays ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 08 Oct 2018 14:36:36 +0200 New finds of engraved whole ostrich eggs from southern Namibia and the Northern Cape Province of South Africa <p>We describe two new caches of whole engraved ostrich eggs from southern Namibia and the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.</p> Leon Jacobson, Dieter Noli ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 08 Oct 2018 14:56:52 +0200 The praying mantis in Namibian folklore <p>This essay discusses the character and importance of the praying mantis among the Khoisan peoples of Namibia. It provides an analysis of interviews made between 1972 and 1997 among Nama and Damara people in Namibia. It aims to clarify misunderstandings and to come to an objective estimation of the debates about early Khoisan religion and practices. It builds on discussion in an earlier article, in 1973, and now continues on the main topics: the name ‘<em>hottentotsgod</em>’ and its development from pre-Christian times to present-day pejorative connotations; the insect in oracular use and as an omen, particularly in connection with rain; and the |Kaggen of the Bleek and Lloyd collection, the mythological trickster of the stories and the lord of animals in |Xam folk belief. The statements of present-day Nama and Damara people are complemented by references from further Bantu and Afrikaans sources from southern Africa.</p> Sigrid Schmidt ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 09 Oct 2018 00:00:00 +0200 Thoughts on ‘thinking strings’ <p><span style="background-color: #ffffff;">|Xam !gi:ten (shamans) accomplished much of their supernatural work by ‘dreaming’, in which thought played a pivotal role. According to the |Xam worldview, thought was generated by the throat arteries or ‘thinking strings’. Moreover, thoughts generated by thinking strings were conceptually similar to the blood that !gi:ten used to cure illness; both were a means of ‘working magic’. Thus, the healing power of blood was part of a conceptual system that imbued thinking strings with the capacity to facilitate various kinds of supernatural work. Thinking strings lived on as spirits after death. This conceptual system has interpretative implications for the long and often sinuous painted red lines that occur in the rock art of the Maloti-Drakensberg and in the Cederberg of southern Africa. These thin red lines probably represent the thinking strings of !gi:ten.</span></p> Carolyn Thorp ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:28:15 +0200 ‘Zulu’ wooden vessels: the archive and the history of a genre <p><span style="background-color: #ffffff;">In this paper I consider a particular genre of elaborately carved wooden vessels made in Natal between<br>1840 and 1900 against an archive located in both material objects, published images and published written<br>texts. In unravelling the history of this genre, I consider the ways in which isiZulu-speakers used wooden<br>receptacles and their production of objects for sale to outsiders. Unpacking both the ‘indigenous’ names<br>given to these vessels, and to the only recorded individual artist, enables an understanding of the status<br>of these objects within a larger corpus of artefacts categorise as ‘Zulu’ on one hand, and of objects made<br>by traditional artists for outside patrons on the other. In the process it throws light on the ways in which<br>the archive itself creates conditions for establishing differential categories of authenticity.</span></p> Anitra Nettleton ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 29 Nov 2018 14:37:34 +0200 Nkandla style: Zulu izinkamba beer pots with a distinct, local decorative mode <p><span style="background-color: #ffffff;">This is the first description of a highly distinctive decorative mode, defined by both technique and motif, applied to traditional, blackened beer pots from a localised area of KwaZulu-Natal. The area corresponds to Nkandla district and some immediately neighbouring localities. This paper builds on the pioneering regional ceramic review by the late Frank Jolles. However his survey, with the exception of one illustrated pot, does not cover this decorative mode.</span></p> Tim Maggs ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 29 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +0200 After the silt: middle and late Holocene hunter-gatherer archaeology of the Metolong Dam, Lesotho <p>In contrast to a rich record of Later Stone Age occupation across the Pleistocene/Holocene transition, previous research has struggled to identify in situ evidence of hunter-gatherer presence between c. 8200 BP and the second millennium AD on the Lesotho side of the Caledon River. Fieldwork undertaken ahead of the commissioning of the Metolong Dam on Lesotho’s Phuthiatsana River, the Caledon’s largest tributary, has afforded a means of re-addressing this question. This paper reports the excavation of post-8200 BP assemblages at four sites within the dam’s catchment: Fateng Tsa Pholo, Litsoetse, Ntloana Tšoana, and Ha Makotoko. Together with AMS radiocarbon dates for fine-line Bushman (San) rock paintings within the same area, these assemblages now establish that hunter-gatherers did visit the Metolong stretch of the Phuthiatsana in both the mid-Holocene and—much more compellingly—during the last 1000 years. While agropastoralist settlements may have helped attract hunter-gatherers into the area in recent centuries, a clear contrast persists between the settlement records of the Lesotho and South African sides of the Caledon. A dynamic geomorphology able to erode and deposit substantial quantities of sediment within relatively brief periods of time in ways that filled, hid, or cleaned out rockshelters may help explain the continuing paucity of Holocene hunter-gatherer archaeology in the Phuthiatsana Valley between 8200 and 1000 BP.<br>KEY WORDS: later Holocene; hunter-gatherers; Metolong; Lesotho; landscape change.</p> Charles Arthur, Peter Mitchell, Genevieve Dewar, Shaw Badenhorst ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 12 Dec 2018 17:05:53 +0200 Looking beneath the surface: Later Stone Age remains at Klipgats Pan, Bushmanland, South Africa <p>A set of open-air Later Stone Age sites near the town of Copperton, South Africa, was found to be rich in quartz artefacts that frequently include backed tools and adzes. Comparison with contemporaneous Bushmanland assemblages suggests greater variety in material culture during the past two millennia in the region than hitherto recognised and that categorical distinctions between hunter-gatherer and herder material culture may require revision. We describe the extent of the ‘Bushmanland’ region from an archaeological perspective and find that ‘looking beneath the surface’ of local open-air sites in this arid region to maximise the amount of information extracted is critical. Future research into precolonial herding in southern Africa will also benefit from the inter-regional integration of archaeological findings.<br>KEY WORDS: Klipgats Pan, Bushmanland, Later Stone Age, Swartkop, Doornfontein.</p> Jayson Orton, Isabelle Parsons ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 12 Dec 2018 17:16:49 +0200 The archaeological context of recent archaeomagnetic research in Zimbabwe <p>Archaeomagentic research in the Mount Buhwa area of south-central Zimbabwe focused on a Silver Leaves village (2030CB19) and the famous Gokomere site of Mabveni (2030AD5). At both sites, in situ daga features were selected for sampling. These features were the remains of granaries whose burnings correlate with known droughts. The droughts, ceramics and radiocarbon dates place the two occupations in different phases of the Early Iron Age―early fifth and late seventh centuries respectively. Despite the time difference, both sites yielded evidence for interaction with people making Bambata pottery. The rich iron ores attracted faming peoples throughout the Iron Age and interaction was probably common.<br>KEY WORDS: Bambata pottery, Buhwa, droughts, interaction, Mabveni, paleomagnetism, Zimbabwe.</p> Thomas N. Huffman, Munyaradzi Manyanga, John A. Tarduno, Michael K. Watkeys ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:00:00 +0200