Hunting and power : class, race and privilege in the Eastern Cape and the Transvaal Lowveld, c. 1880-1905

Gess, David Wolfgang (2014-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation examines the identity of hunters, sportsmen and their associated communities in two diverse regions of southern Africa during the last two decades of the nineteenth and the first decade of the twentieth centuries. It argues that this was a critical period during which new patterns of hunting and local tradition were created. In the eastern Cape districts of Albany, Fort Beaufort and Bathurst kudu and buffalo were hunted pursuant to permits granted in terms of the Game Act, 1886. An analysis of the identity of those to whom these permits were granted or refused provides insights into power, connection and influence amongst the English-speaking colonial elite of the region who sought to control the right to hunt “royal game”. It also reveals their interaction with civil servants who exercised the power to grant or withhold the privilege. Kudu were transferred from public to private ownership, through a process of “privatization” and “commodification” on enclosed private land, and there preserved for sporting purposes by the local rural gentry. The survival – and even growth – in numbers of kudu in the region was achieved in these private spaces. Buffalo, on the other hand, were hunted into local extinction notwithstanding their protection as “royal game”. In the north-eastern Transvaal Lowveld wild animals in public ownership were hunted by a wide variety of hunters with competing interests. The identity of the “lost” Lowveld hunters, previously hidden from history, including an important but overlooked component of elite recreational hunters from the eastern Cape, is explored as a window into the history of hunting in the region prior to the establishment of game reserves. Both the identity and networks of these hunters and sportsmen are considered in the context of enduring concerns about race, class, gender and the exercise of power.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek die identiteit van die jagters, sportmanne en die gepaardgaande gemeenskappe in twee verskillende streke van Suider-Afrika gedurende die laaste twee dekades van die negentiende en die eerste dekade van die twintigste eeu. Dit voer aan dat hierdie 'n kritieke tydperk was waartydens nuwe patrone van jag en plaaslike tradisie geskep is. In die Oos-Kaapse distrikte van Albany, Fort Beaufort en Bathurst is die jag op koedoes en buffels toegelaat op grond van permitte toegestaan in terme van die Wild Wet, 1886. Die ontleding van die identiteit van diegene aan wie hierdie permitte toegestaan of geweier was, bied insae oor die uitoefening van mag, verhoudings en invloed onder die Engelssprekende koloniale elite van die streek, wat probeer het om beheer uit te oefen oor die jag van die “koninklike wild”. Dit openbaar ook hul interaksie met staatsamptenare wat hulle magte gebruik het om permitte uit te ruik of te weerhou. Eienaarskap van koedoes was oorgedra vanaf openbare na privaat besit, deur 'n proses van "privatisering " en "kommodifikasie" op geslote private grond, met die verstandhouding dat dit vir sport – doeleindes deur die plaaslike landelike burger gebruik kon word. Die oorlewing – en selfs groei – in die getal koedoes in die streek is behaal in die private besit. Buffels, aan die ander kant, is tot plaaslike uitwissing gejag ondanks hul beskerming as "koninklike wild". In die Noord-Oos Transvaalse Laeveld is wilde diere in openbare besit gejag deur 'n wye verskeidenheid van jagters met mededingende belange. Die identiteit van die "verlore" Laeveld jagters, voorheen verborge in die geskiedenis, wat 'n belangrike maar oor die hoof verwaarloosde komponent van elite rekreasionele jagters van die Oos-Kaap insluit, word ondersoek as 'n venster op die geskiedenis van jag in die streek voor die totstandkoming van wildreservate. Beide die identiteit en netwerke van hierdie jagters en sportmanne word beskou in die konteks van blywende belangstelling met ras, klas, geslag en die uitoefening van mag.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86262
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