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A note on terms and languages As has been well documented, the term ‘bushman’ derives from the­ appellations ‘Bosmanneken’ and ‘Bosjesmans’ conceived in the minds of ­ European travellers and early Dutch settlers at the Cape from at least the ­ seventeenth century. The consequences of colonial expansion and its­ impacts on indigenous groupings and life ways, including the marginalisation of people identified as hunter-gatherers or foragers, have also been well ­documented. It is the elaborations of these processes and their playing out in various strategies of identity making and naming that are called to mind when thinking the category ‘bushman’. The scholarship of Dorothea Bleek is located within this evolving discourse .As this book suggests, Dorothea’s work had bearing on the continued use of the term ‘bushman’ to designate a stable category of people defined by what were seen as unchanging cultural and physical attributes, and who were also regarded as ‘ancient’. Such scholarship further contributed to the term ‘bushman’ being invoked to demarcate a particular area of disciplinary engagement in the South African academy of the early twentieth century. My use of the term ‘bushman’ in this text includes an awareness of its historically contingent and contested meanings, and an acknowledgement of the shifting interpretations that have accrued to the term in the history of its usage. It also recognises its use in identity making in the present. In this text, I follow Dorothea Bleek’s terminology (though I dispense with her use of the capital B except where I am quoting her directly) in choosing to use the word ‘bushman’ to designate people she identified as such on the basis of language and physical attributes as was acceptable in her scholarly milieu. I use ‘bushman’ in preference to alternative terminologies such as ‘San’, ‘Khoisan’ or ‘Khoesan’, which are themselves historically and politically contingent and remain topics for debate among linguists who study southern African languages. I also follow Dorothea’s usage in regard to names given to groups defined on the basis of language, such as Naron (Nharo or Naro) or !Kung (!Kuŋ, !Xuŋ or !Kũ), as well as to geographical locations such as Kakia (Khakhea) Book 1.indb 15 10/12/15 10:57 AM D O R O T H E A B L E E K xvi or the Tanganyika Territory (Tanzania). I do this in order to locate this work within the intellectual and geographical contexts that it is concerned to describe and explore. I have chosen to use the word ‘interlocutors’ instead of ‘informants’ to refer to the bushmen and other people who shared their languages and folklore with Dorothea Bleek, and with Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd before her. I do this to signal an awareness of the interview process as a conversation and a dialogue in which knowledge is shared among all participants rather than a one-dimensional method of knowledge extraction. Languages Linguists have continued to study the many diverse southern African languages sampled by Dorothea Bleek in the early decades of the twentieth century . These include ‘bushman’ languages such as /Xam: This language, represented in the notebooks recorded by Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd, was previously spoken across most of what is now the Northern Cape province of South Africa and parts of the north-eastern Cape stretching from Graaff Reinet to Oudtshoorn. Dorothea visited the Prieska and Kenhardt regions in 1910 and 1911 in search of descendants of Wilhelm and Lucy ’s‘Colonial Bushmen’, and commented that their folklore was‘almost extinct’. //Ng!k’e: Similar to /Xam, this language was recorded by Dorothea on trips to Mount Temple, the Langeberg and Lower Molopo regions of Griqualand West and Gordonia in 1911 and 1915. In addition, Dorothea recorded limited samples from /’Auni speakers as well as of Xatia (Kattia or ≠Keikusi) in the Lower Nossop area of the Kalahari. She described the latter as a dialect of the former. Together with Masarwa recorded at Kakia in 1913 and /Xam discussed previously, these were grouped as ‘Southern Bushman’ languages in Dorothea’s classification system.A decade later, while travelling south of Sandfontein in Namibia, Dorothea sampled /Nu//en (or Nusan), a language described as similar to Masarwa. On the same trip, she described !Ko (!Xõ) or !Koon (!Xóõ) as a ‘branch of /Nu//en’. //Xegwi: Dorothea recorded limited samples of this language while at Lake Chrissie in what is now Mpumalanga.At the time (between 1913 and 1915) she wrote that the people‘had no name for themselves...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781868148820
Related ISBN
9781868148790
MARC Record
OCLC
957318242
Pages
272
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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