The pernicious combination of tribe and tradition continues to tether modern South Africans to ideas about the region’s remote past as primitive, timeless and unchanging. Any hunger for knowledge or understanding of the past before European colonialism thus remains to a significant degree unsated, even denied, in the face of a narrowly prescribed archive and repugnant, but insidiously resilient stereotypes.

These volumes track how the domain of the tribal and traditional was marked out and came to be sharply distinguished from modernity, how it was denied a changing history and an archive and was endowed instead with a timeless culture. These volumes also offer strategies for engaging with the materials differently – from the interventions effected in contemporary artworks to the inserting of nameless, timeless objects of material culture into histories of individualised and politicised experience.

The volumes make the marooned archive of material culture more visible and more available for consideration as an archival resource than it is currently. They also seek to spring the identity trap, releasing the materials from pre-assigned identity positions as tribal into settings that enable them to be used as resources for thinking critically about identity in the long past and in the present.

Table of Contents: Volume 1

Book jacket of Tribing and Untribing the Archive



Orthographic and Name Notes

Introduction: Tribing and Untribing the Archive

  • Carolyn Hamilton and Nessa Leibhammer (FULL TEXT AVAILABLE)

Section One: Mortified, Marooned, Mobilised

Negotiating a South African Inheritance:Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century ‘Traditional’ Collections at the Johannesburg Art Gallery

  • Nessa Leibhammer

Shifting Contexts: Material, Process and Contemporary Art in Times of Change

  • Nontobeko Ntombela

‘(Re)discovering the Correct History’: Tradition and Custom, the Archival Record and Identity in Contemporary KwaZulu-Natal

  • Grant McNulty

Section Two: Layered Landscapes, Segregated Spaces

Archaeological Contexts and the Creation of Social Categories Before the Zulu Kingdom

  • Gavin Whitelaw and Simon Hall

Making Identities in the Thukela-Mzimvubu Region c.1770–c.1940

  • John Wright

The Tribal History Project, 1862–4

  • Jeff Guy

A.T. Bryant’s Map of the ‘Native Clans in Pre-Shakan Times’

  • Norman Etherington

The Historiography of the KwaMachi People: A Frontier Community between Zulu and Mpondo in the Nineteenth Century

  • Nokuthula P. Cele

Re-tribe and Resist: The Ethnogenesis of a Creolised Raiding Band in Response to Colonisation

  • Sam Challis

‘We of the White Men’s Country’: The Remaking of the Qadi Chiefdom, 1830s to 1910

  • Heather Hughes and Mwelela Cele

Table of Contents: Volume 2

Book jacket of Tribing and Untribing the Archive

Section Three: Significant (Mis)identifications

Forging Identities in an Uncertain World: Changing Notions of Self and Other in Early Colonial Natal

  • Sandra Klopper

‘A Paralysis of Perspective’: Image and Text in the Creation of an African Chief

  • Jeff Guy

Auxiliary Modes of Collecting: Circulation and Curation of Photographs from the Mariannhill Mission in KwaZulu-Natal, 1880s to 1914

  • Christoph Rippe

Ethnologised Pasts and Their Archival Futures: Construing the Archive of Southern KwaZulu-Natal Pertinent to the Period Before 1910

  • Carolyn Hamilton and Nessa Leibhammer

The Natal Government Railways and Their Productions of ‘the Zulu’

  • André Croucamp

Section Four: Archival Biographies

‘The Name of Zulu is Now Given’: Provenancing Objects from Colonial Natal in
the British Museum’s Christy Collection

  • Catherine Elliott Weinberg

Curiosity and Aesthetic Delight: The Snuff Spoon as Synecdoche in Some Nineteenth-Century Collections from Natal and the Zulu Kingdom

  • Anitra Nettleton

‘Knobkerrie’: Some Preliminary Notes on the Transformation of a Weapon into a Swagger Stick, or Sometimes a Stick is Not Just a Stick

  • Hlonipha Mokoena

Using Zulu and Losing Zulu: How the Clem Webb Collection was Undone

  • Sara Byala and Ann Wanless

Epilogue: We Need New Names Too

  • Mbongiseni Buthelezi (FULL TEXT AVAILABLE)


Select Bibliography

List of Illustrations